I have a friend who doesn't like to make the same block over and over again, but as quilters, it's hard for us to get away from doing that unless we want to fill our homes with samplers. Still, I think most of us get bored making the same block again and again, don't we? Over time, I've found ways to sort of fool myself and cope with the tedious repetition.
The pieced border I'm making for the applique basket quilt is one of those projects that are designed to induce boredom--29 fiddly little pieces in each block, and I need to make 36 of them. ARGH!
I find that the best way to tackle a project like this--a project that is repetitive and one that will take a long, long time to complete--is to make a manageable number of blocks at a time. That way, I get a little semi-instant gratification every so often.
By making several blocks at a time, I've managed to finish and attach two of the floral borders to the applique quilt. Want to see part of one of them?
I think it's coming along nicely, and I'm certainly glad I didn't first cut all my pieces, and then sew all of the blocks A to blocks B, yada, yada, yada. Of course, I still have 18 blocks left to piece, so I'm only half way there and it took the best part of the weekend to get this far.
When I start a project that I know will be this long, I'll start by cutting what seems like a reasonable number of pieces--I don't really count them except maybe a few of the main pieces; for the smaller pieces, though, I'll cut a strip and then subcut it into squares and get started. (When I get closer to the number of blocks I need, THEN I'll count how many pieces I'm cutting.)
In the photo below, you can see mostly a lot of piles of cut pieces with a few of the individual sections already put together. That's another little thing I'll do--work on subsections once I've gotten bored with cutting fabric.
Here are some of those subsections I've put together--these are the center of the flower:
Next you'll see a photo where the petals have been added to the centers. And when I have a block like these floral chain blocks where there aren't any parts to really line up, I find the blocks go together best if I trim each subsection after sewing them like this--that's why the rotary cutter is in the photos.
Sometimes with a piecing job like this, I think it would be quicker to just do more applique instead, but I think it's looking good so far with the pieced flowers. This week after work, I've been cutting more pieces and making more subsections, and I'm nearly to the point where I can sew enough blocks together and then join them to make the third side of this border.
What do you find works best for you when you take on a long project like this?