The Brown Bag Special

Posted on February 22, 2018 by prairiemoonquilts in Challenges

Are you looking for something fun to do with your quilting group?

Then I have the perfect project for you!

It’s called the Brown Bag Special, and it’s a program I designed specifically for groups. It’s a sort of round robin/mystery quilt project that gets passed among members of the group. You need a group of at least 3 people to do it, but there’s no upper limit on group size — you can have as many members as you want. You just need a good group organizer.

You start out with a fat quarter, and end up with a finished project, and you don’t know ahead of time what that project will be, or who will have worked on it.

There have been several groups that have done this project. I tested it on my own guild a few years ago, the Pecan Valley Quilt Guild. We had 24 participants, and they had a great time doing it. In fact, it’s been so popular that some of the groups wanted to do another one, so I came out with Brown Bag Special II. It works the same way, just uses a different pattern.

Here’s how one of mine came out:

I started with the red polka-dot fat quarter, and ended up with this wall quilt/table topper.

My two helpers were Teresa and Donna. And I helped two other people in the group.

I really had fun quilting mine. It was a small piece, so I got to play around with some designs, yet didn’t have to cover an entire large quilt.

Here’s the back:

My Cowboy asked me how come I made the edge zigzag . . . I said: “Because I ran out of fabric.” And that’s the honest truth! I would have made it square if I’d only had a few more scraps, but instead, it came out a bit unusual, and I actually like it better because of that.

At the end of the challenge, those of us who had our projects finished showed them to the group. (And don’t worry that I’m ruining the “mystery” with these pictures — every project comes out different — that’s part of the fun!)

Our guild’s projects turned out great — and the variety! We had a little bit of everything!

Jean made a purse:

Janet made a table runner:

Jessica made a purse, and TWO matching clutches to go with it — very inventive!

Teresa made a table runner:

Jeanette made a table runner:

Norma made a table runner:

Michelle made a table runner:

Janeen made a wall hanging:

Barbara made an entire LARGE quilt! She was dubbed the overachiever for this challenge:

If you’re interested in presenting this project challenge to your own quilting group, the Brown Bag Special program is available in my Etsy Shop. It comes complete with everything you need to know to easily run the program for your group. There’s also a second version called Brown Bag Special II. It’s run the same way, just makes a different block pattern.

You purchase the program once, and you can use it as many times as you like. It comes with all the instructions for exactly how to run the program, all the materials you’ll need to copy for your group, and everything you need to get it done easily and have fun while doing it.

And if you need help along the way, all you have to do is give me a holler, and I’ll help out the best I can!

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