2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala Edition 30

The day is finally here! 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala details!


Today Adrianne from On The Windy Side and I are thrilled to announce that we are co-hosting the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala! We loved running the 2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge last year, and we can’t wait to see what amazing creations you come up with this year.

We’ve got some inspiring posts lined up, fabulous guest judges, information on where you can find awesome Marsala fabric to work with, not to mention the incredible prizes up for grabs which have been provided by our wonderful sponsors.


This swatch is the official Marsala colour.  We know that finding fabrics in this exact colour isn’t easy, so don’t worry, the fabric in your quilt does not have to match Marsala perfectly.

Grab our button and spread the word that the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala is on now!

2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala

So, straight into the nitty gritty, here are the rules.  They are pretty much the same as last year, with a couple of very small tweaks.


All items must be finished in 2015 to be eligible to win prizes.

We will be enforcing the rules and will remove any entries that don’t meet the requirements.  See below for more information about a separate linky for quilts that don’t meet the requirements.

1. There will be 3 categories:

– Minis: Shortest side under 30″. Pillows, table runners, place mats, mug rugs, etc. will count as minis.

– Quilts: any size from baby to bed (shortest side must be at least 30”).

– Just the Top: any size from baby to bed (shortest side must be at least 30”).

2. This is the Marsala Quilt Challenge, so your project must contain at least some Marsala or similar colour. You can also use any other colours or neutrals you like (and as many as you like). That said, we would like to see Marsala as the feature colour of your quilt and we will be asking the judges to take your use of Marsala into account when making their decision.

3. You can submit one entry per category. Entries for quilts and minis should be completed projects, including quilting and binding.


1. A link party/gallery will be hosted at Play Crafts and On the Windy Side. Entries will be open from April 17 – April 24 2015. Entries will close at on April 24 at 11pm PST and winners will be announced on April 29 2015.

2. Each entry should link to a blog post / Threadbias post / Flickr page

3. Each entry must include quilt dimensions.

Now, onto the exciting stuff!  Our sponsors have been more than generous, which means we have wish-we-could-win prizes on offer.  Here are the details, and while you’re there, please check out our lovely sponsors.


Quilts – judged by Amy Gunson from Badskirt

First place – Hawthorne Threads – $75 gift certificate

Second place – Fat Quarter Shop – Fat Quarter bundle of the winner’s choice

Viewers’ choice award – Westwood Acres – $50 gift certificate

hawthornethreads FatQuarterShop Westwood-Acres


Minis – judged by Jeni Baker from In Color Order

First place – Green Fairy Quilts – $50 gift certificate

Second place – Stitchbird – 10 piece Japanese fabric fat quarter bundle

Viewers’ choice award – Fat Quarter Shop – $50 gift certificate

greenfairyquilts stitchbird FatQuarterShop


Just the top – judged by Kristin Link from Sew Mama Sew

First place – Aurifil – Large spool thread collection

Second place – The Intrepid Thread – prize to be confirmed

Viewers’ choice award – Fat Quarter Shop – $50 gift certificate

aurifil theintrepidthread FatQuarterShop

As you can tell, we have expanded the viewer participation element of this challenge so that there is a viewer’s choice award for each category.  We know you’ll have fun looking at all the entries and voting for your favourite in each category.

Finally, we would really really love to see an entry from absolutely everyone who feels the slightest bit inspired by Marsala, regardless of skill level, so an entry in each category that hasn’t already won a prize will be drawn at random, and will win one of: a $25 gift certificate from Sew me a Song, a a set of four large spools from Aurifil, or a £20 gift voucher from Karen Lewis Textiles.

sewmeasong aurifil karenlewis


We are delighted to have three fantastic guest judges on board.  These ladies are seriously talented quilters, designers and authors.  We love their work and know they’ll do a fantastic job when it comes to judging your entries!

amybadskirt jeniincolororder kristinsewmamasew

From left to right: Amy Gunson from Badskirt, Jeni Baker from In Color Order, and Kristin Link from Sew Mama Sew.

Non-judged entries:

We thought it would be fun to provide a place for people to share quilts that feature Marsala that don’t comply with the rules for the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala (for example, because they were not finished in 2015).  We will be providing a separate link-up for people to share these quilts.  However, they will not be eligible for judging, voting, or to win prizes.

Other important information:

We are well and truly aware that people have their doubts about Marsala.  Nevertheless, we really encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and try using it in a quilt.  You can always just make something small so that it’s not a huge investment of time and fabric – and you know, it’s called a Challenge for a reason!

To give you a helping hand on your Marsala journey, here are some posts to get you started:  my thoughts on Marsala including a fabric pull, Anne’s thoughts including some suggested palettes and quilt designs, Latifah Saafir’s thoughts and Debbie at A Quilter’s Table’s thoughts.

We would love to see your creations while you’re working on them, so be sure to add them to the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala Flickr Group, or tag them on Instagram using #pantonequilt.

If your stash is, like many, a little light on Marsala coloured fabrics, never fear, Hawthorne Threads has put together a digitally printed Marsala collection especially to celebrate the Pantone Colour of the Year:

You can find all the prints in this special Marsala collection here.

Keep an eye out for more suggestions on where to find Marsala fabric – we’ll update you if we find any other bundles.

So get your thinking caps on and get to it! I can’t wait to see your entries!


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30 thoughts on “2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala Edition

    • anne Post author

      Hi there! Thanks for asking about that. We just mean that we don’t want quilts finished last year entered, it needs to be something you’ve finished this year before April. Last year we said quilts had to be started in 2015, but we relaxed it this year to allow things that you might have started that are fitting but aren’t finished yet.

      Does that make sense? Please let me know if you have any other/further questions. 😀

  • Heulwen

    Welp, I don’t know that I have much Marsala in my stash, but I love a challenge! 🙂 I had a look on Pantone’s website too, they have some handy-looking palettes already picked out. No idea if I’ll manage to finish anything, either, but I do *love* starting things! XD

    • anne Post author

      For what it’s worth, I have NO Marsala in my stash. Hahaha! And the love of starting things is how we ended up with a “Tops only” category. 😉 I think we all have a WIP pile bigger than we’d like. 🙂

    • anne Post author

      Hahahaha I love your breakdown of Marsala. 🙂 I’m really excited to see what people do with this one! It is definitely one of the harder colors Pantone has thrown at us, and I know people will rise to the challenge!

  • Wendy Gontier

    Well I am excited, my fabric arrived this week and I do know what I will create with it this year for this challenge. I am hoping I can even quilt it in time! So this weekend I will finish one quilt and start on finishing another, so by the end of next week I hope I can be putting together this quilt for this challenge, bring on Masala!

    • anne Post author

      Fantastic! You’re well on your way with this challenge. 🙂 I’m so excited to see what you make with your fabric. Which fabric did you get if you don’t mind sharing? I know it’s not easy finding fabric the appropriate color!

    • anne Post author

      This year more than any before will provide quite the challenge I think. There are just not a lot of fabrics in that color range, and it’s a neutral-ish which makes it tough to feature. But /because/ it’s so challenging, I am really excited to see what people make with it. 😀 I know y’all are gonna knock it outta the park!

  • Cécile

    I’ll try to give it a try (I heard creativity was at its best under pressure).
    The most difficult in this might be to find any fabric in marsala (that I like). Luckily I managed to find some scraps of unknown solids looking like it (the pleasures of stash archaeology), so I think it will be the Minis category for me.

    • anne Post author

      Finding marsala fabrics is really quite tough, which is why we’re being pretty lenient this year on how closely the color matches. Even when you look at the Pantone site, they show designer clothes in everything from brick to wine to crimson, and very little that is truly “Marsala”. So we’re going with that. 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you enter!

  • barbe

    already working on my projects. it is surprising, or maybe not, how many designers (Kaffe, AMH, Tula, all my favs) use Marsala to make other colors shine, its not a neutral but it almost plays like one. i for one am loving it.

    • anne Post author

      You totally nailed it! The designers who don’t shy away from some earthy midtones are the best place to find marsala in use. 🙂 I would actually say it is a neutral, somewhere along the lines of ochre or olive. Still very much a specific color, but definitely plays the role of a neutral because it has some of the other colors mixed in. I can’t wait to see what you make with it! 😀

  • susan hemann

    I just love the color! I saw a tissue box with the color and I saved part of it because I wanted to see what I could find in that color. Well I opened my email from Hawthorne tonight and there it was, Marsala!! I am ordering some fabric tonight. I’m not real good with the linky thing.

  • Jennifer Dewing

    I’m liking this color, in all it’s various shades! It’s got me wondering what dyeing fabric in actual Marsala wine would turn out like? Leaving some longer in the solution than others should produce lighter and darker shades. Hmmm, even if I don’t enter this challenge (which I really want to, but baby #9 is due at the end of March, so we’ll see.), I think I’m going to have to try this and see what comes about.

    • anne Post author

      Ooooh I think you should try it!! And if you do, please share! I think it would come up with some lovely colors. 😀
      Also baby #9! Congratulations! 😀 How exciting!

    • anne Post author

      I love the design you came up with, and the fabrics you pulled! Other than having triangles and some radial symmetry (which are both pretty general concepts), it doesn’t look that similar to mine. 🙂 Nothing wrong with QDAD taking over your life, though! 😉

      • jennrodriguez1

        I find it so interesting how I am influenced by QDAD-ers’ designs. We all have our own styles but we trade ideas, get inspired by others personal challenges or series. I love it! And feel like my designing has improved ten-fold.

        • anne Post author

          I am totally influenced by other QDADers! My own personal style has evolved significantly from when I started, and you all played a part in that. <3 <3 <3

  • jody deschenes

    omg, seems like i just finished my Orchid quilt!!! i like Marsala tho, and i’m sure i have some PILE i could turn into a Marsala challenge! and even if not, i love the challenge and will look forward to all of the cool things people will come up with!

    • anne Post author

      I DID just finish my orchid quilt. 😉 I have the fabric for my marsala quilt, but I haven’t started it yet. I am super excited to see what people do with Marsala! 😀 I thought purple was a hard sale last year, but that’s nothing compared to “reddish-brown”! It’s going to be a great challenge. 🙂

  • Paula K.

    My daughter insists that I should enter an apron, but I don’t believe it would fit into any of these categories. Would an apron or any garment be acceptable?

    • anne Post author

      Oooh an apron would be fantastic! I see we didn’t put it in the rules, but bags and garments go in the Mini category. I can’t wait to see what you make! 😀