A Trip Around the World

How do you like that post title?  Are you thinking travel?  Or Quilt?  While I’d love to be on a real trip around the world, this trip is quilt related only.

Thimbleanna: Trip Around the World

I’ve been a huge fan of Jan at Be*mused for many years.  She was one of the first blogs I ever read and she has a quiet sophistication that I love.  Years ago, I was pinning so many of her projects on my pinterest boards, I even joked that I should have a board dedicated to all things Be*mused!  So, when she posted about an online Trip Around the World Challenge a few weeks ago, the pictures of her beautiful start made me sit up and take notice.

After reading about this challenge, there were several red flags for me.  First of all, I really didn’t need another start.  I just started Phebe and I’m going to start the Aunt’s Quilt in the fall.  I don’t usually join challenges for fear of not being able to keep up (still a very real danger, but, oh well.)  I’ve never really liked mystery type challenges either — I like to be a little more in control of my project.  And the biggest red flag — this quilt is all hand-pieced.  I’ve never really understood the point of hand-piecing in this sewing machine world — except, maybe for intricate or curved little pieces.  Why on earth would you ever hand piece a quilt that would be so easy to machine piece???  You’d be crazy to do something like that, right?

But.  If Jan was doing it, maybe there’s something to it?  So, I timidly requested to join the group, and after a bit of wavering, I jumped in.  And, oh.my.gosh, I’ve been having so much fun!

Thimbleanna: Trip Around the World

The hardest part has been choosing the fabrics.  I love most all fabric and color combinations, and I really have no idea how these fell out of the mix.  I’m really trying to get more of a blue/green vibe going on, but, as Jan pointed out in her post, this quilt sort of has a mind of it’s own.  I’m sure I’ll try to work harder on the blue/green — I hope I don’t ruin it by fighting with the quilt.

There are guidelines for this quilt, and it’s interesting to me how they can be interpreted differently.  I’ve read and re-read several parts, wondering how to proceed.  And in reading over Jan’s post again this morning, I’ve realized that she and I interpreted the instruction to “eyeball the seamline” differently.  For, some reason, that didn’t jump out at me as a “rule” but rather a suggestion.  Jan had mentioned to me that if you cut your fabrics on the grainline, you can follow a thread as you stitch.  I painstakingly cut out my first six rounds on the grain — by pulling a thread through the fat quarter (how time-consuming!), but when it came time to stitch and have my eyes follow the thread — not happening!  My eyesight just isn’t that good.  So, I’ve been drawing 1/4″ seams on every other round.  Ooops!  What should I do now?  Try and eyeball?  Might not be pretty!  It’s funny that I didn’t connect the dots between the instructions and Jan’s comment about following the grain (even having read Jan’s post) before now.

Thimbleanna: Trip Around the World

And there was mention of not pressing the seams as you go.  That’s driving me crazy!  Is that a “rule”?  I need to read over the guidelines LOL.  I’ve been finger pressing like crazy, just to get my big square to behave.  Like Jan pointed out, I love how you can pinwheel the seams — revealing a little 4-patch of sorts at each intersection.

For the next month, we’ll be working on rounds 10 through 18.  The rounds are really starting to take some time now, so I’m a little worried that I might not make the deadline.  I’ll try my best though, and enjoy every minute of the stitching.  It helps that I’ve found a fun little sewing buddy.  Do you like my new little Better Buddy sewing case?  I’ve been wanting one of these for a long time and I finally got one.  It’s perfect for this little project.  I throw the quilt and my better buddy in my bag and it’s a great take-along project!  (The sides are magnetized, so they hold pins and needles — even that whole box of pins.  I love that I can just toss my needle in there and not worry about finding it the next time.)

Thimbleanna: Better Buddy Case

Ok. Back to stitching. There’s a new round to be discovered!


29 Thoughts on “A Trip Around the World

  1. Oh, my. That quilt is gorgeous. You do amazing work!

  2. love the little sewing container. I had thought Phebe was the quilt I wanted to make in Di Ford’s book but now I’m not sure, I have been looking it over more. I do like the Aunt’s quilt but haven’t looked for the pattern. The Australian’s have such wonderful applique. I have to get my applique mojo back, I just haven’t felt like working on my applique Floral Fantasy in such awhile. I will need to stick it in the camper in August just in case as we will be gone for two months and maybe I will feel like working on that quilt then.

  3. Whoa! This is going to be fun to watch … :-)

  4. I’ve seen pictures of this challenge pop up everywhere and admired each and every one. Of course I too was very tempted to join in, but my plate is rather full at the moment, so I’m being good and I will live vicariously through you! I love your new sewing étui, it’s just perfect for this project, isn’t it!

  5. Wow. that is very striking! I give you big props for hand stitching instead of breaking that rule and using a machine. I have not a clue how to hand stitch so I’ll just watch and admire your work. :)

  6. I would have to mark my seam allowance, and I would have to press my seams. I was watching a Craftsy class with Camille Roskelly yesterday ……… I love her, she uses a STEAM iron to press her seams!!

  7. glad to see i’m not the only sucker who has projects she SHOULD be working on but can’t help herself to join in on a sew-a-long….i’m working on Nested Churn Dash by quilt jane. ;p oy! save me from myself….save me! ;p

  8. First, I’m just bowled over by your piece!! Isn’t it fun? I’m so glad that you joined the group. We needed more North American representation!
    When I said I follow the grainline, I’m not literally stitching along one thread. More, I am ‘eyeballing’ it, using the grainline (which you can see better on the wrong side than the right) as a visual guide. Does this mean I’m actually loosening up a little? (*claps & jumps up and down*)
    And while I’m not pressing the whole thing, you might have found me tapping the pinwheel seams with the tip of a warm iron. What can I say ~ old habits die hard. Plus, really, do some of those beautiful block shots on FB look like they were just smoothed out by hand for their photo shoot? I think not…
    Thanks for the nice mentions. Now I’m officially to blame if this starts to drive you crazy. Signed: ‘She who is buried under a mountain of 2″ audition squares’

  9. It’s looking gorgeous Anna!

  10. This looks like such a fun quilt and QAL to be part of. I love the fabrics you’ve used so far and will enjoy seeing what colours the quilt decides it wants next.

  11. I can’t even bear to think about something that YOU find tricky. But hand piecing sounds great to me. I do not like machine sewing. My machine is not my friend.

    Your chipmunk is VERY CUTE. How could you grudge him some dinner?? I had no idea they were so small. I imagined them sort of otter-sized.

  12. Hand-stitching it? Not pressing seams as you go? No exact seam line to follow? I couldn’t do it. I know I’m too much of a control freak to even try. Good luck, Anna. I’ll cheer you on from the sidelines! :oD

  13. It looks lovely! I don’t think you should worry about starting something new…..you always seem to finish it, whilst me!!! That’s a completely different story…..I never seem to manage to finish anything!

  14. Love your quilt. But you know I love hand piecing. I was sort of hoping you were starting one of those Baltimore album quilts from your market pictures to give me for my birthday…:)

  15. Oooooo I love this!! And I’m so happy you’ve chosen a hand piecing project. It will be great for all that away from home time. Before you know it you’ll be addicted to it. Like knitting! Great fabric choices too, as always. I can’t wait to see more. Thanks for sharing!

  16. brigita on June 16, 2014 at 7:36 pm said:

    dear anna banana,
    i’m sorry to inform you but there is mutiny in the ranks. next time you embark on a project you’ll need to clue us in so we can join you from the beginning and you can make us all look terrible while finishing yours as we start another project we won’t finish. fun color choices, i can’t wait to see the next round(s).
    okay… off to save the world.
    put some fabric up here so we can buy it, will ya?
    :waves madly

  17. WOWSER !!! That is amazing! Oh I don’t think I could possibly not press….you are so brave! Love it????

  18. I mean love it!!!!! Don’t know where those ?? Came from…LOL!

  19. That’s beautiful! I love the colours, they work so well together :)

  20. It is looking great so far!! I hope that you can keep enjoying it and keeping up with the challenge, I look forward to seeing more! xx

  21. Anna, that hand pieced square is absolutely gorgeous. I just don’t even know where I’d start with something like that. Amazing work. Well done. x

  22. Mary ann on June 17, 2014 at 11:57 pm said:

    Wow, another project that I just can’t imagine doing. I have plenty of hand stitching with my crazy hexagons (which I haven’t touched in a month). And in one of those gruesome signs yesterday I got a set of Steam Punk templates in the mail…why did I order them? When did I order them? I already have a set haunting me on the sewing table…lol.
    Hole all is as well as it can be with a crazy new reality.

  23. So glad you’ve joined the fun! It looks fab! Mine are ready to cut and I’m cheating and using a template….’cos I can!! I have a Buddy just like that one – love it.

  24. Wow Anna, that’s a gorgeous little quilt! I’m doing some paper-pieced hexagons right now but can’t imagine stitching them without the help of the paper!
    Although I do like the speed of piecing on the machine it is nice to have a little hand-stitching project I can pick up whenever I have a moment :)


  25. What?!! OMG!!! Hand pieced!!!!! I agree with you totally… why would you hand piece when you have modern technology?!!!! LOL

    Your stitching looks amazing btw! Well done, I look forward to see more… in the meantime, try not to go mental ROFL!!

  26. Have a great trip!
    Your project looks great. Wow that’s a lot of sewing gurrll.
    Jan’s blog is a great inspiration. She really has style.

  27. I love your version! I know what you mean though, the rounds are starting to take me a longer and longer time! I hope I can keep up with the challenge too.

  28. Love your version of the TATW…. :) i was tempted by didn’t dive in on this one…lol…

  29. That is really special…looking forward to watching it grow :o)

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