Friday, July 30, 2010
I did it! Challenge Quilt Three: Pink Flags
This was the Challenge Quilt for the Family Reunion I just attended. Two years ago, the asian floral fabric was chosen as the challenge fabric. All the quilters took a piece with promises to return with a finished item made with both the fabric and a certain template - the Flip Flop Block by Waterfall Quilts (scroll down to see the many Flip Flop Block patterns).
This is the first year I've actually finished in time to bring it to the next reunion! I also brought my newly finished quilts from the previous challenges - Herb Garden (2005) and Hills and Valleys (1998!). This one is quite a bit larger than the others at 31 x 41". It has two green fabrics as the background for the pink pinwheel shapes. I chose to use the challenge fabric for the border because although it's pretty, the pattern really isn't my style. Once I combined it with these more modern, graphic Amy Butler fabrics (here are some of their current fabrics), I liked the resulting mix of styles.
The thing that made this project the most "challenging" was the Flip Flop Block - it is all curved seams. My sewing level still in the beginner realm - I've never sewn curved seams. I know this is the point where I usually say something like, "it's rather easy once you get going" but Nope. It's not easy. It's hard. They say you can just "ease it in". I couldn't! I ended up pinning it within an inch of it's life and muscling it in. I had my shoulders up to my ears and every muscle in my body tensed. My mom sat behind me and took out all my mistakes so I could redo them. I think every seam had to come out at least once. I've never had such a stressful sewing experience. It's a good thing these were nice big pieces because I certainly didn't want to do any more of them.
Maybe the struggle of getting it together was why I chose this as my first try at machine quilting. After all that, I couldn't stand to not get it done. And maybe it was partly that I didn't care if I messed it up by that point. It's a good thing I loved machine quilting! I still had some mistakes that had to be taken out and redone, but it had a sense of ease to it that was a lot of fun. The enjoyment of quilting it redeemed the earlier stress of the project.
The final stitches on this binding were sewn in the car, in the final miles approaching the reunion. Soon I'll share the photos of the other challenge pieces!