Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Challenge Reveal

I made it! I finally got my challenge quilt finished, with about a day to spare. I worked on nothing but the quilt for almost a week.

Why do I do this to myself? I know I'm not alone in this either. I had a whole year to get this done - well, not really, due to the broken arm and the Spring thumb injury. But still, I stalled. I'd like to say next year will be better, but we'll see how that works out. (We've already gotten our "assignment" for next year . . . more on that another time . . . )

If you haven't noticed on my side bar, I've taken the Process Pledge. So, I'll discuss my process some here. Here is the quilt top with the borders I showed on my last post. Guess what? I didn't like this! I love these borders, but I thought it was too busy for this piece. It kind of took over from the letters, which I wanted to feature. Plus, it really wasn't going to work with buttons all over it. It was just too much. Fortunately, I had only sewn on one border.

So, what to do next? I pondered that for a day or so. I decided an inner border would work well to seperate the words from the border, and I was hoping the lime green batik would work. I think it adds a nice little zip!

Then, what do to for the outer border? I was running out of my fabrics. I only bought a 1/2 yard of the light batik that I used for the letters (I have no idea what I was thinking!) and one yard of the background, that I thought would be more than sufficient (it was just barely enough!).

Then I remember Melody of Fibermania's Process Pledge tutorial on her Fused Piecing. Voila! That would do the trick! Thank you, Melody! You saved my bacon. To piece in these tiny strips that finish @ 1/4 inch, I would lose 1/2 inch in the seam allowance. So, by fusing these strips, I saved time and fabric. Yippeee!

Here is the first border. This was just what I was thinking of. In fact, it was Just Right. So, I kept going.

Here are all the borders on. Now I just had to quilt it, and then sew on a bunch of buttons. (technical term: 'bunch')

So, for the back I used something from the stash that I had a lot of, and proceeded to quilt. I kept the quilting simple. Just some squiggling around the words, and straight lines in the border that echo the fused strips. I knew the buttons would secure the border enough that only minimal quilting was required.

Then, to help stabilize the quilt, I added some interfacing on the border areas on the back of the quilt. So many of the quilts I've seen with buttons on them get saggy. I was hoping the interfacing would help with that. And I think it worked pretty well.

After I sewed on the 'bunch' of buttons, I added a second back to hide all the ugly knots from the buttons and the interfacing. I quilted around the inner border to secure it in place, then basted the edges and sewed on the binding. The binding fabric matches the fabric that I'll be making my studio curtains from. It just worked out that the colors go together, so this quilt will hang in my quilt studio. It went really well . . . I was terrified that I would run into difficulties, but it was slick. So, big Happy Dance! It was done and I even had time leftover to make my pot luck dish and get a good night's sleep!

Ta Dah! Here it is at the Challenge Quilt Reveal party. I didn't end up with as many buttons on the quilt as I thought I would. The big button in the lower right hand corner is my tongue-in-cheek poke at myself. It says "Quilters don't do buttons". *grin*

Many of the buttons on here are special to me, like the buttons from the very first piece of clothing I made for myself after I got my very first sewing machine back in 1975, buttons from projects for my children, buttons to represent my Mom, where I grew up, etc. I did some stacked buttons, and some fancy ways to put the buttons on, all kinds of stuff.

Oh, and I ended up with a 3rd Place ribbon in the Pieced catagory. That was better than I was expecting!

I thought you might like to see the other Challenge quilts. We didn't have a very big turn-out this year; there are only 13 quilts. And I missed getting a photo of the pieced pillow that won Viewer's Choice - rats! The quilts range from tablerunners and wall-hangings to bed-sized quilts. (the envelopes were for the voting ballots) Here they are, in no particular order:

Now that the challenge quilt is done, I've taken some time to recouperate. I'm catching up on some stuff around the house, and cleaning up the studio. Next up is some things I've gotten behind on.

Have a creative day!


  1. It is a much better border than the first one. We have to try something and audition to know though. I admire you for sewing on all of those buttons.

  2. Hi, you have done so much work on this quilt and wow it looks great and I do like the inside border and the new outside border ~ great work!
    Thanks for showing all the other pictures as well ... it was quite an event.
    Very best wishes,

  3. Thank you for sharing about the process. I love the finished quilt, so fun and pretty with all those buttons on display! Congratulations on the prize, too.

  4. Love the border decision and the buttons are fantastic. I heart buttons. Congratulations on your prize.

  5. I love your finished quilt - and you were right to do the borders the way you did (even if it was extra work). Thanks for sharing the other quilts, and that jacket, wow. A lot of people out there are very talented.

  6. Such a fun piece! And how very, very interesting to read about this process. I just love how we all think, don't think, or re-think!!!! I must say, the quilt show and the variety was an eye-opener.But as for eyes open, peeking cats rule!

  7. Oh I love your border change! Very cool...I love the lime green. This is a really fun quilt. I like how you used special buttons. We all have those special buttons and they sit in a drawer or box. You can enjoy yours now! Bravo woman!! It was fun to see the other quilts too.

  8. woohoo, congrats! love your letters and that big question mark is awesome.

  9. Oh, Sharon, this is amazing!! You definitely got it right with the border! I love buttons and the way they can evoke so many memories.

  10. 第一次來這裡 愛上你的部落格 感謝你的分享...............................................................

  11. I love your final border, it's just perfect - you're right, the other one overpowered the words. This is an amazing quilt and I LOVE it! Great job!
    Thanks for sharing the other quilts too, they're all wonderful - but I like yours best!

  12. WOW...WOW...girl!!! I'm crazy over this one...yes indeed it should have been a winner!! Sooooo cute!!!!!

  13. Thank you for writing about the process. It really make the blogg interessting.You are very creativ and I love the quilt. It looks great!

  14. Oh it's wonderful, I love that quilt. And interesting to read about how you put it together.

  15. ditto on the progress comments. I like how the quilt turned out, but I also like seeing how it didn't turn out!

  16. Congrats on the finish. Thanks for sharing the challenge projects.

  17. I'm way behind the times but just had to comment on your challenge quilt. I love it - and what a great way to keep and display those buttons that have meaning for you. This is terrific! The green frame was inspired and that second border treatment is a winner for sure. Good on you!


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