2017 Hoffman Challenge


Aurifil is honored to partner with Hoffman Fabrics for the 2017 Hoffman Challenge. This annual contest was created to honor and recognize the talents of quiltmakers and sewists. The 2017 event will focus on Mastery, a brand new collection inspired by the Old Masters era of magnificant artworks created by illuminaries such as DaVinci, Michelangelo, Carvaggio, Rembrandt, and Leyster. The coordinating Aurifil Thread collection was hand-selected to highlight and accentuate the stunning large scale prints. For more information about the challenge, please click here.

We are head over heels for this year’s fabrics & threads and can’t wait to see what you all do with them!

2017 Hoffman Challenge
12 Large Spools – 100% Aurifil Cotton 50wt, 1422yds each
Colors included:
2024 – 2692 – 2615 – 2210 – 2350 – 2270 – 1133 – 1135 – 2730 – 2805 – 2865 – 5017


To view this info on our website, click the image above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

(excerpt from The Hoffman Challenge Turns 21 by Kelly Gallagher-Abbott, published in American Quilter)

For two decades, Hoffman California Fabrics has challenged quilters, sewers, and crafters of all skill levels to transform a distinctive fabric into a work of fiber art. Known as the Hoffman Challenge, this annual event welcomes quilts, dolls, clothing, and accessories made with the company’s specially -designer fabric to be judged for a contest and display at northern American fiber art venues.

It all started 21 years ago, with a casual comment from one friend to another at a quilt show. Betty Boyink and Hollis Turnbow were fellow vendors and NQA certified quilt judges working at a quilt show in 1988. Betty store patterns dan books, and was speaking with a third vendor about a Hoffman fabric that wasn’t selling as fast as some other Hoffman fabrics. She took the bolt to her booth and pondered design ideas when Hollis asked her what she was holding.

“A challenging fabric,” Betty said.

Hollis answered that he’d accept that challenge. He asked her to buy him the same amount of fabric she bought for herself and they’d have a friendly competition. They mentioned the idea to the other vendors at that show and word spread. A year later, the pair presented finished quilts from 94 makers at a show each quilt using some of the original “challenging” fabric, and the Hoffman Challenge was born.

THE INTERVIEW (with Michelle Flores of Hoffman Fabrics)
How did the Hoffman Challenge first begin and what inspired its creation? 
The Hoffman Challenge first began in 1988 when Betty Boyink and Hollis Turnbow – fellow vendors and NQA-certified quilt judges –  challenged each other to design a quilt to help merchandise a Hoffman screenprint. The two started a friendly competition and the idea took off with other vendors at the show. According to the article written by former curator Kelly Gallagher-Abbot, the first Hoffman Challenge offered 94 quilts. Today it is the longest-running annual contest of its kind.

What is the most fun part about the Challenge? 
I feel these two aspects distinguish the Challenge: 1.) quilters and sewists truly enjoy testing their skills to design a quilt, garment, accessory or home décor item using the Challenge fabric. Each contest helps them grow as a designer and maker. Many take the opportunity to commemorate an event or honor a loved one with their unique artwork. 2.) Participants look forward to the opportunity to see their artwork shown at a quilt show near them, and they “track” where their quilts/garments/accessories have traveled around the country – from Houston Quilt Festival to a regional guild show to a museum or library.

Prism from Mastery
Prism from Mastery

How is the focal fabric selected? 
The focal fabric is selected from fabric lines developed for Hoffman’s summer release to retailers. The final decision is made by a team of people that includes the art director, sales and merchandising director, sales manager, marketing assistants, creative content director, and Hoffman family executive-team members.

Blooms from Mastery
Blooms from Mastery

What do you love most about Aurifil threads and how they partner with Hoffman’s digitally printed fabrics? 
Hoffman Fabrics is beyond thrilled to have Aurifil as co-sponsor because both companies share the same goal of offering the highest quality in products and in design to their customers. Both companies show their passion for design on their sleeves. The incredible array of richly colored Aurifil thread perfectly complements the vibrancy of Hoffman’s digitally printed fabric collections. The special collection thread boxes that Aurifil has produced for the Challenge focal fabrics and coordinates have been spot-on for the variety of colors and light, medium and dark values.

Working on thread selection with small spools...
Working on thread selection with small spools…

What are you most excited to see with the 2017 Challenge?
Since the first digital-print fabric (the butterfly print from Crystalia) was so well received by retailer and consumers for the 2016 Challenge, Hoffman is excited to offer a new digital print for the 2017 contest. It is the gorgeous floral (#P4299) from Mastery, a line that celebrates the era of stunning, masterpiece still lifes. Participants again can choose to create with the multicolor version of the focal (562-Blooms) or the grayscale (55-Charcoal) – or use both in one piece. And we’re also looking forward to seeing the different ways quilters will thread paint, embellish and bead the Challenge fabric for the Best Use of Aurifil category.


1st place – Cassandra Beaver for Crystalized Citrus

Crystalized Citrus by Cassandra Beaver of The (not so) Dramatic Life

2nd place – Jolene Shindler for Thank My Lucky Stars

Thank My Lucky Stars by Jolene Shindler
Thank My Lucky Stars by Jolene Shindler



To enter-to-win the 2017 Hoffman Challenge Thread Collection, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Saturday, October 15! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Sunday, October 16. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed — Congratulations to our winner Melissa Weisleder LaGreca!

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  1. Wow the Hoffman challenge fabrics are beautiful in both color and black and white. The Aurifil Thread collection matches wonderfully.

  2. What inspires me in the Hoffman Challenge is the beautiful fabrics. The rafflecopter said to comment on the blog, but since there was no link, I didn’t know which blog to comment on. I hope this is the right one.

  3. The Aurifil collection is beautiful, and the Hoffman fabrics are stunning–that floral is drop-dead gorgeous and challenging.

  4. I am soooo inspired by the colors…fabrics & thread!! GORGEOUS always!!! Loooove the Floral..WOW!

    Thank you for chance to win your Give-a-way too! 🙂

  5. Oh my, I just love these fabrics and thread colors! Wow!!! I am a newer quilter and loved the showcased projects from last year and reading about this contest idea. Great to get the creativity jumping!

  6. The challenge fabrics are beautiful, and the gray scale is wonderful. I won’t enter the challenge but may have to buy some of the fabric. Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. It is definitely all of the beautiful colors that have been chosen for this challenge! My head spins!

  8. The colors are beautiful. It will be fun to see what different objects can be made from small pieces of the fabric.

  9. The fabrics are quite nice…the threads are absolutely gorgeous….quite complimentary to the fabric colors….AS USUAL!!! Aurifil thread are perfect! No dealers close by…within 4 hours anyway….I order online.

  10. The fabrics are what inspires me. The large designs look amazingly real. Thank you for all of the inspiration.

  11. I love the charcoal version of Mastery. There is so much visual texture in those flowers. The accompanying fabrics are also fabulous. This will be a great challenge.

  12. The lovely bright colors, the variety of prints and the entries in past challenges. All of these are inspirations.

  13. I love the colorful floral fabric for this year’s challenge. I’ll probably buy some of that but won’t enter the challenge. I’m not good with deadlines. The thread selections are just right.

  14. What inspires me the most are all the beautiful colors in the challenge fabric. So many different ways you can pick fabrics for it and all will be beautiful! Love seeing the finished projects, too.

  15. What a great choice of fabric…..different than most of the Hoffman Challenge fabrics! Love this one.

  16. The colors and coordination of fabric and thread are beautiful. I am not creative enough, nor talented enough, to enter the challenge, but I would love this to make something beautiful for one of my extended families. I am awed by the talent of the fabric designers.

  17. Both the fabric and the thread are inspiring but my heart skips a beat just looking at that thread..

  18. The threads are wonderful colors – would love to quilt with those! The Hoffman Challenge is, well, challenging! These fabric and thread artists are out of my league, but I’ll enjoy seeing the entries.

  19. I love Hoffman Fabrics and Aurifil threads. Their websites always inspire me. Crystalized Citrus, for instance. I need to attempt that syle! Blooms for Mastery, can you imagine a prettier quilt fabric? Not me.

  20. So beautiful! Thank you.
    The challenge of trying a new sewing item or pattern is inspiring to me. A novel kind of quilt!

  21. The best part would be the challange of working with all of those awesome fabrics. Some of the past winners were absolutely amazing. I would love to win that awesome box of thread.

  22. These threads are awesome! What challenges me are new patterns and ways to sew that pattern in a new way.

  23. The Hoffman fabrics always inspire me. Need to get back to getting entries done. I miss entering this Challenge and didn’t get my last year’s entry finished in time. Love the choice of colorways too………

  24. Hoffman fabrics are so inspiring, they make my creative juices start flowing just seeing a picture of them.

  25. The fantastic floral fabric is the most inspiring thing in this competition and choosing from the awesome aurifil threads will be great fun.
    perry94022 at hotmail dot com

  26. The most inspiring aspect of the challenge to me is opportunity to use the beautiful fabrics and threads!

  27. What a beautiful combination we have going on here! Hoffman and Aurifil – perfect partners 🙂 I can’t wait to actually see these fabrics!! And the threads will complete the ensemble perfectly – Thank you for the chance to win this collection!!

  28. The prints that Hoffman chooses for their challenge are thought provoking, and gorgeous colors. The intensity of the colors is what inspired me.

  29. The colours in these fabrics are amazing – I’m head over heels for that beautiful floral. It’s really captured the still life feeling of the old masters! I just want to sew with it now 🙂

  30. I love seeing the pieces others make from the challenge fabric. I haven’t entered yet, but hope to one year. There are so many ideas for each collection. Thanks for sharing this.

  31. I love that the Hoffman Fabric Challenge puts everyone on equal footing to grow and stretch creatively!! I also love that the only real limit is goir imagination!

  32. Thank you so much for the history lesson on the start of the Hoffman Challenge. I have always loved the fabric selected for the challenge and have never tried to make something for the Challenge. When I get to see one of the exhibits at a quilt show, I am in awe of the creativity of the participants.

  33. I love the Hoffman Challenge exhibit every year. Seeing so many creative and very different creations is inspiring. I’m amazed at what people do with these beautiful raw materials of fabric and thread.

  34. I can’t begin to tell you how much I adore the color version of ‘Blooms’. The color and rich texture is luscious. The abstract designs with it are a perfect contrast.

  35. I love to see the many very creative ways makers can use the same fabric(s) to create totally different works. Sometimes it’s hard to even tell that related fabrics were used!

  36. I love the creative use of color. Seeing raw fabric collections always overwhelms me because there are so many color pallets available and I love seeing how the colors come out in these creations.

  37. I am most inspired by how to use the challenge fabric to the best advantage. It is lovely fabric.

  38. I think what inspires me most about this is the challenge to creativity – making you think extremely outside of the box!

  39. I am inspired by how the quilters use the fabric and thread together to their full potential! They are so creative and talented!

  40. where do I get the entry form so I can enter my quilts. I keep asking and no one is answering me.

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