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A Million Flashes of White Light and Fire

Hoffman California-International Fabrics has been hosting The Hoffman Challenge since 1988.  Every year Challenge participants put their creative and technical skills to the test, submitting various pieces for judging that utilize the specific Hoffman Challenge fabrics or threads that fit the year’s theme.  This year, 2018 marked the 30th, and final, year of the Challenge.

Shine On!  The 2018 Hoffman Challenge:
To celebrate, we designed Shine On!, a digital-print line bursting with diamonds to symbolize this special anniversary and to honor quilters and sewists.  As a Challenge participant, you put your creative and technical skills to the test, polishing your diamond-in-the-rough ideas to make sparkling projects – all under pressure!  Cash, fabric, and thread prizes awarded!  Selected artwork exhibited at quilt shows and festivals!  This year’s Hoffman Challenge was sponsored by Aurifil Thread.

Main Categories:

  • Quilts – Applique, Pieced, Mixed Technique, Modern
  • Clothing – Any type of wearable garment.
  • Accessories – Handbag, Hat, Jewelry, Shoes
  • Best Use of Aurifil Thread – Thread Painting, Embellishment, Beading


The Rules – The Challenge Fabric:
The one fabric required for entry is the Shine On! Q4429 featured fabric, either in 633-Prism or the 657-Spectrum color ways, or a combination of both.  The fabric must be used in the body of the quilt top in a clearly recognizable amount.  For applique quilts, the Challenge fabric must be used in more than one spot.  At least 75% of the entry (quilt top or main body) needs to be made up of Hoffman fabrics, and they can be your choice — whether from the Shine On! collection or from your personal stash.

The Rules – Quilt Entries:

  • Any shape is allowed. 
  • Combined sides must equal 72 inches to 160 inches.  No more, no less.
  • The quilt must have a hanging sleeve with a 4″ opening and be unseen when hanging.
  • All quilts must be quilting or tied (no false backs).  
  • All quilts must be marked into an appropriate category for judging (applique, pieced, mixed technique, or modern).
  • All quilts must have a 4″ squared quilt label with name, address, phone number, entry title and the label must be affixed to the bottom right corner of the back side of the quilt.


To Enter:
Online registrations and photos of your artwork (only one overall and one close-up) must be submitted by June 22, 2018, along with a $30 entry fee.  An independent panel of judges will evaluate the digital photo entries and select the semi-finalists, who will be asked to mail their pieces for the next round of judging.  Finalists’ and award winners’ pieces will be exhibited on a national traveling circuit displayed at best stores, quilt guilds, and quilt shows across the USA.  Items selected for travel will not be returned until mid-October to late September of 2019.  Numerous cash value, Aurifil product, and Hoffman Fabric awards will be given for placing 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Honorable Mention, Hoffman’s Choice, Best Hand Quilting, Best Free-Motion Domestic Machine Quilting, Curator’s Choice for Quilts, Best First-Time Entry, Original Pattern Design, and Best Long-Arm, Non-Computerized Quilting awards.

All Entrants Receive:
A Fat quarter of Hoffman Fabric, A spool of Aurifil Thread, and a 2018 Hoffman Challenge Cloisonne Pin.

My Hoffman Challenge Entry Quilt:

Quilt Name:  A Million Flashes of White Light and Fire

Category:  Modern Quilts

Dimensions:  37″ x 42″  (158″ total)

Statement:  I used the 100% Cotton Shine On! Q4429-633-Prism color way fabric paired with the Q4431-676-Diamond and Q4431-402-Sea-Glass fabrics along with some complimentary pieces from my personal stash in both the main body and in the binding of the quilt.  The batting is 100% cotton, medium weight.  The quilt top is 100% machine pieced.  I adapted the pattern from Rebecca Bryan’s Icarus Star applique pattern to create a fully-pieced quilt top that would fit the parameters of this challenge.  The quilt is entitled A Million Flashes of White Light and Fire, which defines the perfect cut of a diamond or jewel.

Materials and Techniques:  

  • Shine On! Fabrics used in the main body of the quilt:  Q4429-633-Prism color way, Q4431-676-Diamond and Q4431-402-Sea-Glass.  Additional fabric from my personal stash was used to
  • complete the quilt.
  • Shine On! Fabrics used in quilt binding:  Q4431-676-Diamond and Q4431-402-Sea-Glass.  Additional fabric from my personal stash was used to complete the binding.
  • Quilt batting:  100% cotton, medium loft/weight.
  • Top:  100% pieced, machine-sewn.
  • Quilting:  free-motion custom quilting, longarm sewing machine, quilted by The Cotton Cupboard.
  • Sleeve:  permanent, sewn into binding and hand-sewn across quilt back by The Cotton Cupboard.
  • Label:  machine-sewn label and hand-written by Jackie Fitzgerald.  Hand-sewn to quilt back by The Cotton Cupboard.
  • Piecing thread:  Aurifil Thread, 100% Cotton, 50WT, Color 2021
  • Quilting thread 1:  Superior Threads, Masterpiece Collection, 40 WT, Color Granite
  • Quilting thread 2:  Superior Threads, King Tut Collection, 40 WT, Color Chinese Jade


Though my Hoffman Challenge entry quilt was not selected for an award, my quilt will be traveling to be displayed with the show collections in “Trunk L” beginning September 2018.  So far, it looks like my quilt will be traveling to the Sackets Harbor Quilt Show in Sackets Harbor, New York; the Quilts on the Bayou Show by the Jefferson Regional Quilt Alliance in Jefferson, Texas; and the Tree City Quilter’s Guild Quilt Show in Alachua, Florida.  Click HERE to see all the 2018 Hoffman Challenge winners.  Click HERE to see the full 2018 Hoffman Challenge Trunk Schedule.