Brown Bag Challenge

I recently participated in a brown bag challenge with my art quilting group. Each participant was asked to bring three items in a brown lunch bag to be used in a small art quilt. Everyone took home a random bag that wasn’t their own, and had two months to use the items to create a 12″x12″ art quilt.

I was so excited as I opened my brown bag because I knew instantly that my friend Jackie had placed the items I found within it.


It contained cuts of 5 hand-dyed fabrics, a baggie of colorful marble-sized  woolen balls and half-dollar-sized woolen discs, and a playfully tied bundle of silk ribbon and perle cotton embroidery floss.


The planning begins! A preliminary layout for the fabric, and a sketch for the embroidery.


The pieced base layer takes shape.  Jackie’s hand-dyes were supplemented with a few from my stash.


The completed piece. The original design was rearranged to incorporate a quote from Rumi that I heard while working on the embroidery: “This turning toward what you deeply love saves you.” It resonated with me in a way that I thought Jackie might feel too.


The complete poem is printed onto fabric and applied to the back side.






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