Friday, June 3, 2011

Challenge works in progress

Good thing I'm organized in my sewing room because I'm obviously not staying organized over here in reporting on my challenge progress. I do have three quilts done and just out of the washer and in need of good pictures, so that's to come. But here's what I'm working on at the moment.
Appliqued elephants: This one is called trip to Bali in the book since she does hers up in batiks. My first one is for a boy and I used homespuns. And there's just something about taking pictures that gets you in the mood to sew, so this top is actually all completed and waiting for a back. (I have decided there is no way I'm using all the leftover homespuns to make the back. Just wouldn't be prudent. So if you're interested in a ton of 1/8th yard pieces that have barely been cut out of, let me know.)

As an aside, like my design wall? It's a blanket from IKEA that I use as a green screen for videos. Only, it turned out to be far more useful playing flannelgrams with my quilt pieces. Very helpful for keeping the randomness in a scrap quilt.

Finishing up that top gave me room to start another one and since there are so many parts and pieces to this particular pattern, it makes it easy to complete stages. So I started my girl version, which is coming from a couple of fat quarter packs I snagged at Joann.

The elephants are all appliqued (machine, of course), just waiting for the stabilizer to get ripped off. The trip around the world blocks are kind of done. I actually have three sewn together now, so there is progress on that front. And I have a pile of small pieces coming together for the tilted brick border (which you don't see in the picture of the first one, actually.

Doing a pattern a second time is so much easier. You don't make the same mistakes (rip, rip, rip on the first one) and you don't have to stop to read the instructions all the time (to figure out why you had to go rip, rip, rip). This one is going together really quickly as a result.

In between these two, I got the other quilts quilted and bound. (When you're piecing, it's easy to move from one project to the next or jump around between projects. Quilting requires a complete break from everything until you finish what you're doing. No wonder I don't get to it.)

My husband found my quilting method quite ridiculous. But you have to put the weight of the quilt somewhere, right?

That particular quilt is almost, but not quite there. I still have to quilt the borders, then decide how to do the binding. It's a scalloped border (my first!) and I really, really, really don't want to have to hand-finish it. So how to cut so I can sew from the back first? I think I have a plan. This top and back are so pretty that I hate to use it for an experiment, really. But ... that's the point (or part of it) of this challenge. Got my bias binding all ready to go now. Just need a break in the piecing so I can quilt the borders and then it's time to commit to the scallop cutting!

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