I finished my Marsala Quilt for the Pantone 2015 Quilt Challenge! I seriously did not think I would! It wasn’t an easy process and the quilt turned out nothing like my original plan. My first problem in making this quilt was that I didn’t have any Marsala fabrics. No problem, I thought, I’d pick some up on my trip to the States in February.

Shopping with Amanda, Anne, Deb, Anne and Adrianne at The Intrepid Thread in February

That’s me (second from the right) shopping for Marsala fabrics with the coordinators of the Pantone Quilt Challenge. Haha! I made the most of the shopping opportunity and quizzed Anne and Adrianne about what Marsala fabrics actually looked like. Turns out they’re quite hard to find. I found four fabrics on the whole trip and that was it.

Back home, I started making some of my Raspberry Kiss blocks using low volume fabrics for the background. It quickly became obvious that I didn’t have enough fabrics to achieve the scrappy look I was after. So I raided my stash and added a few more fabrics, stretching the definition of Marsala into brown and dusty pink. To stretch my fabrics a bit further, I made blocks with Marsala fabrics as the background. Then I got stuck. I really wanted to make a throw size quilt with an improv background but I couldn’t get it to look right. With the challenge deadline fast approaching I decided to save myself a headache and keep it simple. I rediscovered a piece of denim chambray in my stash and used that to make a wide border. I had always planned to include skinny fabric strips at the top and the left. The idea was to give the impression of margin lines on a page, a page covered with kisses, just like a letter my eight year old daughter might write to me. I used an Oakshott cotton for the margin lines.

I finished the quilt with simple straight line quilting, using an Aurifil Marsala-ish coloured thread on the denim. I used the denim chambray again for the binding, with just a little of the Oakshott to continue one of the margin lines right to the edge of the quilt.

I’m so pleased to have this quilt finished (just) before the deadline. I really enjoyed the challenge, it was good to work outside my normal colours. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Pantone Quilt Challenge.

Linking up to the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge AND this was the first of my Finish Along Second Quarter goals so I will be linking up to the FAL when it opens in July.

2015 Pantone Challenge
2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Quilt Stats;

Quilt Size: 34″ square
Border and Binding: denim chambray found at my LQS, unknown manufacturer
Quilting: straight line quilting with my walking foot, Superior Threads in 401 Snow for the kisses and Aurifil 50wt Burgundy 1103 for the border
Batting: 100% cotton batting (Hobbs)
Backing: Scrappy

16 thoughts to “Marsala: 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge

  • Julie

    This is beautiful Rachel. Love it with the denim. Make sure you bring it to how off at Rachael's next Sunday.

  • Debbie

    Oh I really like your Marsala quilt! Sweet raspberry kisses and the bit of matched binding is perfect!

  • Franziska


  • Wendy @ Wendysquiltsandmore

    Well, I didn't see that coming! I love the demin borders. Somehow they accentuate the Marsala within the quilt. Well done – it's lovely. At our Guild today we were talking about Symposium in Palmy, and I thought back to meeting you and Grace for coffee. It was lovely to meet quilty people in real life!

  • cat and vee xoxo

    Really gorgeous Rachel, I admire you for taking on this challenge, as Marsala is definitely a very difficult colour to get on board with – and to find in the first place, as you said! Love your margin, and the continued line into the binding, and the little Lizzy House cat peeking out in one of the kisses. Cat

  • dutchcomfort

    You’ve done so well on the Marsala colours and I love all those kisses!

    I’ve made a pillow cover in 2011 that could be defined as a Marsala one, so funny, never thought of that!

  • Vera

    Nice one! At first I thought it is a mini 🙂 Thank you for sharing the tut as well.

  • Michaelanne

    This is just GORGEOUS Rachel…I love that denim border! and the solid stripe!! Just wonderful! and…I REALLY enjoy seeing your process here:)

  • Carmen

    This post makes me chuckle, Rachel — you tried so hard! I think you stretched the definition of Marsala just right, 'cause the quilt looks fantastic:D I have a bottle of Marsala that I use for cooking, and it does not look like that at all — it's completely dark, like soy sauce. Maybe it's 'cause I'm using dry Marsala? I dunno. Anyway, good for you for taking on the challenge!

  • Erica

    Beautiful, Rachel!I love the marsala with the denim chambray. The colors are beautiful together!

  • agnes

    Your Marsala quilt is beautiful!

  • Anne

    Wow, so gorgeous! Not that I would expect anything less. 😉 The denim is such a nice pair with the marsala, and I love that you expanded the range of marsala fabrics! And I think we're all looking forward to next year's color…it couldn't be harder to use than marsala!

  • Leonie

    it is fantastic Rachel! love the spin with and design of it! Very clever and beautifully executed of course!

  • Tessa @ TheSewingChick

    It's beautiful Rachel! I saw that you won a nice prize too — Congratulations!!

  • leanne

    really love the margin lines with pages of kisses – what a wonderful quilt Rachel x

  • Kirsten

    Your Marsala quilt is stunning Rachel – the kisses blocks are just lovely with the denim chambray!
    *Visiting as a member of the official 2015 Finish-Along cheerleading squad.*


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