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the great strip swap challenge

By Saturday, November 6, 2010 , , ,

At our last guild meeting everyone was instructed to bring 2.5" strips of fabric for a big swap. I brought my newest pillows to show for share and tell in a huge bag. So, we threw all the strips into the bag and mixed them all up. Then we had fun passing the bag around the room - each of us pulling out one strip at a time until they were all chosen. There were lots of oooohs and some looks of concentration. Like, how the heck am I going to make these fabrics work together in a quilt.

The goal of this challenge was to use the strips you pulled to make a small quilt. And to use each one, trying to use up most of what you got. Sure there was a little bit of trading after all the strips were chosen, but that aside it was still going to be a challenge.

I got super excited about our great strip swap challenge that the very next morning, in the dark before running out the door to catch the train I dug out my colored pencils. Then I colored all the way to work. And all the way home and that night too and maybe even some the next day. All planning out what I was going to do with my strips in a graph paper note book.

This was plan number 3. First I started to big and then it just didn't work and then I found the design I liked. Next I chopped all the strips into 2.5" squares and cut up a bunch of white squares to fill it all out. {Kacie had the brilliant suggestion to sew the strips in pairs first then cut them. Sure that would have been a time saver, but I'd already chopped them all up. Darn!}
I sewed up the little squares into 4x4 blocks using a new skill that I'd seen at one of the guild meetings - chain piecing. And it was sweet. I could get a block done in under 30 minutes. Then with careful pressing, paying attention to the direction I was pressing I locked up all the little corners. Every day after work I was eager to sew and by Wednesday I had a quilt top all done!

Today I visited my favorite fabric shop, Harts, to get some backing and binding. Now it's in the wash and I'm just waiting {impatiently} for it to finish. I'm even excited to quilt it up and sew the binding down so I can hand sew it to the back during the week.

What's this?! Do I hear the washer has stopped?! Must go move the laundry and get to finishing up this quilt.

Happy sewing!

Other little bits of my life...


  1. that looks soooo good megan!! how fun!! what is the finished dimensions? how are you going to bind it? and what are you putting on the back? inquiring minds want to know!

  2. Good questions! Looks like lots of work, but you made it seem so simple. With all the creative skills you have, had you ever thought about painting or drawing?

  3. This little quilt will finish up to be about 32"x32". It's been so much fun through the whole process of putting it together. Every day I can't wait to work on it. Over the weekend I got it backed (in a bright orange and pink dot flannel), quilted (Lukas helped me design the quilting), and the binding stitched to the front (gray-blue with white dots).

    @Auntie Regie - I did take a water color class back in high school. Right now though I'm sticking with some creative sewing. And my newest creative task - relearning to knit. I just saw a super cute knitting pattern for mittens, but need to build up some serious skills first.