My Quilt has Arrived in L.A. – Quilt Con Charity Quilt

I made a charity quilt as part of the Modern Quilt Guild’s Charity Quilt Challenge. We were given a specific colour palette and were required to use “Improv With Intent” as the technique for creating our quilts. No patterns were allowed.

My Quilt Con Charity Quilt titled “Flying Colors”. Pieced and Quilted by Anita LaHay of Daydreams of Quilts.

As soon as I saw the colour palette I thought of the Hindu Holi Festival and the North American “Colour Runs” where people throw the bright coloured corn starch powders through the air. I started searching on Google for images of the festival and the Colour Runs and created a Pinterest Board of inspirational images. The Calgary Colour Run website states that the run celebrates “healthiness, happiness and individuality.” I thought this was perfect given that I plan to donate this quilt to the Alberta Cancer Foundation and wouldn’t every person fighting cancer love to celebrate healthiness, happiness and individuality once they have beaten cancer?

I used the technique “Improv With Intent” to convey the colours flying out the bottom left side of the quilt. My main improv choice was “slash and insert” to show movement and direction. The movement of the powders is continued across the quilt with coloured thread. There are ribbons, circles indicating powder clumps and particles, arrows and clouds of powder filling the white space of the quilt. The grey fabric indicates the streets people are running and celebrating on. The majority of the white space is filled in with white cloud quilting to represent the clouds of powder in the air and the breath being expelled by the people running.

When I was piecing the quilt I originally planned to have the colours running from left to right (blue, red, yellow) along the bottom edge of the quilt and exploding upwards but when I turned the top sideways to press seams I realized I liked that much better. Since I was free in the improvisational technique to do whatever I wanted I changed my layout plan halfway through.

I thought about what happens after the runs and the festival. People would need to wash the coloured powders off of their skin. The three large bars in the top left of the quilt are quilted with big drips to show the colours dripping off of people. Immediately below the bars the drips continue in threads of corresponding colours. There are more water drops and more drips quilted with white in the space below the three large bars.
My Aunt, Valorie Weir, died of cancer on December 25th, 2015. I have contacted the Alberta Cancer Foundation to inquire about donating this quilt to them and happily they are able to accept the quilt and they have several major events coming up this year where they will be able to auction the quilt as a fundraiser for the Foundation. After the quilt hangs at Quilt Con in their Charity Quilt Exhibit it will be returned to me and I will donate it to the Alberta Cancer Foundation.


  1. I love your story about building this beautiful quilt, Anita. You seem to have embraced the whole improv thing! It will make a fabulous quilt for auction for a very worthy cause which has affected most people at some point.

  2. Thank you so much Patti! I found it tricky to get my head around the improv technique but once I got going I had a lot of fun with it. 🙂 The Alberta Cancer Foundation has emailed me back to say that they will be happy to auction it at one of their events so I a thrilled with that.

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