December 8, 2015

Triangle Quilt Challenge: Witco's Daisies

I love a good challenge and am pleased to share with you my EZ Quilting Triangle Challenge entry, Witco's Daisies, for QuiltCon West which will be held February 18-20, 2016 in Pasadena, California.
EZ Quilting Triangle Quilt Challenge, Witco Daisies by Paige Alexander

Modern Quilt Guild Challenges

At QuiltCon, the Modern Quilt Guild's international juried quilt show, there are usually two challenge categories.  In 2013 there was a fabric challenge sponsored by Dear Stella and a modern miniature challenge sponsored by Modern Quilts Unlimited.

Michael Miller Fabrics sponsored the 2015 fabric challenge with their Spring Cotton Couture line featuring pastel solids.  Here I am below with my entry, After Dinner Mints, which placed 2nd in the fabric challenge.  Needless to say, I was shocked and thrilled.

Paige Alexander with After Dinner Mints Quiltcon 2015

There was also a bias tape applique challenge for QuiltCon 2015 sponsored by Panasonic in which I did not participate.  I had an idea, but simply ran out of time.

For QuiltCon West (2016), Michael Miller is again sponsoring the fabric challenge with their Glitz fabric line.  I will share details of my entry for this fabric challenge with you in a later post.

EZ Quilting is sponsoring the QuiltCon 2016 Triangle Quilt Challenge using the mini triangle templates designed by Darlene Zimmerman.  The category description states that quilts should be made using one or more of the EZ Quilting Triangles Templates and additional shapes can be included in the quilt.

MQG members could sign up earlier in July to receive the templates.  I had already signed up for the fabric challenge and without an idea in mind, I didn't sign up for the triangle templates.  I ordered them directly from Simplicity, just in case.

I came up with an idea late in the game and had several late nights in order complete the challenge by the deadline.  And, yes, I completed it on the very last day for entry, November 30th.


My idea came from artwork I first saw by Donna Mibus where she recreated Witco's Daisies originally designed and manufactured in the 1960's by Western International Trading Company (Witco) in Mt. Vernon, Washington.  The company co-founders, William Westenhaver and Ron Hovde, created Tiki style art and furniture with Mid Century/Danish Modern influences.  Ken Pleasant, husband of Mr. Westenhaver's granddaughter, carries on the tradition today with Witco inspired pieces and reproductions.  You can see and read more about Witco here and here.

Witco's Daisies with wooden accents from the 1960's
 (Photo by DejaVuLB on Etsy used with permission)

Fabrics and Techniques

To recreate the daisy petals, I used both the 60 and 45 degree templates and a double layer of Michael Miller's Cotton Couture in Soft White.  I originally planned to quilt over raw edge applique but was nervous that fraying might occur, so I decided to applique the petals, leaves and stems using a zigzag satin stitch onto a background of Avocado, again Cotton Couture.

But how would I imitate the walnut stained red cedar used in Witco's designs?  The perfect fabric was Joel Dewberry's Woodgrain in Bark from his Aviary 2 collection.  I covered 1 1/2" buttons with the fabric and used the same for the binding fabric cut crossgrain.

Witco's Daisies applique detail and Woodgrain fabric

Witco's Daisies backing and buttons


Wanting to create a landscape effect with the the quilting, I used a hera marker and drew the first quilting line on an angle below the flowers and repeated parallel lines using the edge of my walking foot as a guide.  I quilted the remainder of the quilt with the same parallel lines perpendicular to the first sloping line using the hera marker as needed to insure I kept the quilting straight.

Witco's Daisies quilting detail

The Modern Question

With covered buttons, is this still a modern quilt?  After all, the Modern Quilt Guild's definition includes "primarily functional" in their description of What is Modern Quilting.  And I wouldn't want to put this quilt through the washing machine.

My fingers are crossed while the quilt show jury is deliberating, so I will not know if Witco's Daisies be accepted into QuiltCon until the end of this month.

Quilt Stats:

  • Finished size:  31" x 22"
  • Fabrics: Cotton Couture in Avocado by Michael Miller, Soft White and Black; Woodgrain in Bark from Aviary 2 by Free Spirit
  • Backing: Bear Essentials 2 in Lime by P&B Textiles
  • Fusibles: Lite Steam-A-Seam 2, bottom layer and 805 Wonder-Under, top layer
  • Buttons:  1 1/2" by Dritz
  • Batting: Warm & Natural
  • Thread: Aurifil 5016 for quilting and Mettler Metrosene for applique

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day is December 9th, so please return and enter for your chance to win two Kaffe Fassett charm packs.

I am linking up to Thank Goodness Its Finished Friday, Link-A-Finish Friday, Whoop Whoop Friday, Fabric Frenzy Friday, Finish It Up Friday and Show Off Saturday.


  1. I am amazed at how often a Joel Dewberry print is the *just* right one when I need some perfect touch or detail. The quilting is quite effective and adds great dimension to this mini. Thank you for sharing so much about the inspiration behind the quilt, you did a great job making a modern quilted version.

  2. It's so great! And the quilting is perfect!

  3. I just discovered your blog from the link in your Instagram feed. Great job on your triangle challenge quilt. Your quilting is impeccable, as always! Good luck on having it selected for QuiltCon. Mt. Vernon is in my neck of the woods. Thanks for sharing your inspiration

  4. What a lovely mini quilt ❤️❤️💓, and I applaud you on your modern version of quilting 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻! XO

  5. You know I love this quilt and I enjoyed seeing it come together. I can't wait to see it in person!

  6. Witco's Daisies is so striking and I love it Paige! Every choice is perfect! You are sure to be juried in. Also congratulations on your win last year with After Dinner Mints!

  7. Love it! I think it is an amazing interpretation of the original art work

  8. I love everything about your daisies. It's clean, crisp and beautiful. I especially love the quilting, and how the quilting design changes direction.

  9. This is wonderful...right down to the quilting! I love it and love that it is so different from everything else I have seen! Well done!!

  10. Wow, that's wonderful. I would say this is functional Art! With its mid century roots, it definitely feels modern.

  11. That is a lovely piece for the triangle challenge! Well done!

  12. Oh wow, that's such a clever interpretation, I love how the quilting lines look like a mowed field. Good luck 😀