Back in February when Moda announced their Bella Solids Challenge, I immediately knew I wanted to participate. I had a rough idea come to me, which I sketched out, then got to work. The colors they chose were a real challenge…. more so than coming up with an original idea. They are SO bright and not my normal style (there’s no pink or aqua and definitely orange, yellow, red, purple, and lime green).
The parameters for the competition were to create a modern, 72″ x 90″ finished quilt, using all 12 colors in an original design. I have always loved the Dutchman’s Puzzle traditional quilt block. I love it even more because my husband’s family has a huge Dutch heritage on both sides. I wanted to do a spin on the Dutchman’s Puzzle block and make a minimal quilt. Nothing feels more Modern to me than a minimalistic quilt. It takes a huge amount of restraint to go minimal. It is so much easier to overdo things than to hold back.
In this quilt, which I named Dutchman’s Dilemma, there are several iterations of the Dutchman’s puzzle block with some elements omitted. I am so proud of this quilt, even though it did not win. I had Marion McClellan quilt this in a “graffiti” style to help add movement and fill in the blank space that I intentionally left knowing Marion would fill it in with amazing motifs. She blew me away. Some have asked if I’ll choose to enter a competition of this kind again. At this point, I am not sure. It was a process that caused me to grow, but also was really hard to get the box of shame back in the mail. For now, I’m glad I participated and hope to make this quilt again out of fabrics of my choosing and maybe release a pattern for it in the future.