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.
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!).
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 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!
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.
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!
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: