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Quilt Olympics!

by Shelly Hazard

You're wondering what the heck Quilt Olympics are, right? Quilt Olympics is a fun event for your quilters meeting. Break the group up into teams, draft a few volunteers to act as judges, and be ready for a light-hearted time with lots of laughter.

Just like in the real Olympics, your Quilt Olympics consists of a number of timed events in which your teams compete to win the most points. The number of points and events should be based upon the number and size of the teams and the amount of time you expect the events to run.

For example, when we introduced Quilt Olympics to my quilting guild, we planned for about an hour of the meeting time; five events with a back-up event in case we needed a tiebreaker. Each table of people was considered one team; we had nine teams of about seven people each.

We told the guild members only that the meeting program was a Quilt Olympics event and that they needed to bring their sewing kits.

The events we used for our Quilt Olympics included:

  • Needle Threading: how many needles can you thread in a minute?
  • A Quilter's Alphabet word problem: choose a quilt-related word for each letter of the alphabet (six minutes)
  • Name the Quilt Blocks: each team was given pictures of 15 quilt blocks to name (3 minutes)
  • Scavenger Hunt: a list of 30 quilt-related items that some member of the team had to have with them (2 minutes), this event in particular generated lots of laughter - it's amazing what quilters carry in their pocketbooks and sewing kits!
  • Fill-in Quilt blocks: each team was given pictures of 11 common patchwork blocks with lines missing that they had to correctly draw in (5 minutes)
  • Fabric cutting: each team was given a piece of scrap fabric that, using only scissors and no ruler, they had to cut a 2" square out of (2 minute)
  • The back-up event was Template Graphing: each team was given a paper with a picture of a popular block on it that they had to graph and cut the templates out (3 minutes)

Other ideas we had but didn't use included:

  • giving each team templates and having them design blocks
  • having a race to see who could rotary cut the most squares
  • giving each team the cut fabric for a 9-patch square and having them sew it together

With a little bit of planning, organization, and creativity, Quilt Olympics can be a very successful addition to your special quilt meeting, celebration, or party.

All contents copyright 2004, Shelly Hazard. All rights reserved.
Permission is granted for personal use of the material found on this site. The materials on this site may not be duplicated for personal profit. Material noted to be by a different author is copyrighted by that individual.