MQX East 2012 Special Exhibit: Neutral Fusion


I’ve only ever entered challenges at the guild level, so I was excited to have the chance to enter a quilt at MQX. I paid $20 and received a selection of beige tone-on-tone fabric and instructions to make a small quilt. The design involved snowball blocks and 9-patches. We were allowed a contrasting inner border, but everything else had to stay neutral. Even the thread needed to be a neutral color.

I was making the quilt at a retreat weekend and several people commented how ugly it was. I didn’t disagree. I became even more frustrated when I tried to figure out how to quilt this darn thing. It stared at me, from my design wall, for almost a month.

Eventually I had a flash of inspiration. Use trapunto and make a memorial piece for MQX 2012. After the competition, I was going to use the quilt to hold my show pins and ribbons. (So far there is one ribbon —  and it’s for being a participant!)

This was my first try at trapunto and the results were less than spectacular. Still, I was pleased with the design.

The best part of the challenge was seeing how everyone else approached the quilt. The most successful (in my opinion) were designs that ignored the block structure and focused on designing a picture. My favorite was a tree.

(If you can’t see photos, go directly to my blog at

Some of the Neutral Fusion Quilts

My Neutral Fusion Quilt -- if you look carefully you'll see "QUILTS" spelled out in trapunto in the body of the quilt

Closeup of my trapunto attempt.


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