My biggest project ever started last night, and I didn't know it until this afternoon.
Baby quilts made with simple squares and those log cabin blocks I made last month have been the extent of my quilting experience - so basically, not much experience at all. I love the idea of quilting - I just wasn't sure I had the patience to do anything more than basic blocks.
Enter English paper piecing. There's a great tutorial I found, that explains the basics really well - for hexagons, but the principle is the same with any shape. EPP has intrigued me for a while, and also intimidated me a little - so many little pieces! So time consuming! So much - ugh - hand stitching. I detest hand sewing, and avoid it if at all possible. (I love machinery, electricity, convenience...the "old days" aren't for this girl.)
About two weeks ago I found this tutorial and template, and I thought "those are so PRETTY! Maybe I want to try that..." So I printed the templates, and cut them out (hexagons and diamonds both) and shoved them in a sandwich bag. And then I forgot about them. Last night, I was roaming around the internet looking at stuff - and found the Buttons & Butterflies tutorial. It looked so easy.
Guess what? It IS easy. And fun - and yes, every single stitch on here has been done with my pretty little hands. (They're not actually very pretty.)
I started with the pink and black, intending to make placemats or little pillows or something. This afternoon, I realized that I have so many pretty charm squares, I just couldn't pick my favorites to use - I needed a bigger project. A challenge project.
There is no reason I can't make a quilt. A real one. A king-size quilt.
I've been avoiding it, because there is no way on this earth that my little Brother can handle something that big, and - did I mention I hate hand sewing? - I am NOT hand quilting that. No way. (I may be able to persuade myself to hand bind it, though.)
There are long-arm quilters out there for a reason, I'm sure.
This is my 2014 Challenge Project (and hopefully it'll be done this year). I am going to use all my charm squares, if I need to. I will dive into my stash and pull out every usable scrap (and trust me, there is no end in sight of those). This quilt will be big and bright and crazy-colorful! And it's going to be the Best Quilt Ever, because I made it myself (with the help of a professional quilter, when the top is done). I might even be brave and add some diamonds in there, once I get the hang of the hexagons!