Project Quilting 14.6: Conquer a Fear

This week's Project Quilting challenge theme was Conquer a Fear, inviting participants to "confront something you fear. Your project must be about growing through exploring the unknown."

Over the past 8 years, Project Quilting has provided a safe space for me to explore and play with new design ideas and techniques that were totally new to me. As a result, I tend to be pretty fearless when it comes to trying new techniques to create my 1-week projects which has included improv piecing, foundation piecing, wholecloth quilting, applique (raw edge fusible and bias tape), trapunto, curved piecing with lame fabric, incorporating unconventional materials (computer parts, UNO cards, office supplies, and plastic trash!), mark making on fabric, and 3-D fiber art! 

So all that is left for me to fear is time, more specifically running out of time! There is so much I want to do and try---and I feel like I am always up against the timer, especially the past few months. So with less than 24 hours until the final deadline of the season, I set out to create an hourglass timer!  

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
--Gandalf, Lord of the Rings, Written by J.R.R. Tolkien

Time flew by quickly as I was so immersed in figuring out the engineering, that I never paused to take any process photos. I'll do my best to describe my approach. Starting with an hourglass paper template, I topstitched around it through a quilt sandwich comprised of 5 layers: backing fabric, batting, heavyweight stabilizer, this fabulous design fabric swatch from FabMo, and a single-use plastic bag. After my first pass of stitching, the center throat space was nearly 1/2" across. I figured I would echo stitch inside to create a narrower throat, but wasn't sure how much space to leave, so I conducted a little experiment using some beads. Thank goodness for this test, as the beads I had originally planned to use were too big to easily travel between the two halves! So I went down to the smallest bead size and even they required a little intervention to pass! The raw edges were finished with Tulip puffy paint and left to air dry while we went out for date night (dinner and two awesome laser shows at the DeAnza Planetarium). 

Thankfully I only had a few steps left to finish my hourglass timer. Scraps of navy blue fabric were used to create double-fold binding tape to finish and close the top and bottom. Once the bottom half was bound, I added the remaining beads and finished the top half. Here are most of the supplies used for this project... 

Inadvertently, my wish for time to stand still came true using my timer as the beads do not freely fall! A gentle pinch to the throatspace easily alleviates the bottlenecking of beads. 
"Time's Up!", Finishes 6" x 12.5"

After finishing the last of the stitching in record time, I had a bit of time to spare. In next to no time, I quickly discovered a few alternate uses for my new finish: bikini top, hair bow, bow tie, and glasses!

Project Quilting Season 14 has flown by way too fast! Many thanks to Kim Lapacek (Host-extraordinaire) and Trish Frankland (Challenge Mistress), for all the good times this season. Until next time...happy quilting all!


  1. lol! You're amazing! This piece is great too!

    1. Aww...I certainly enjoy these 1-week challenges along with having fun to play with new ideas!

  2. What a great creative project. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you! These challenges are the perfect opportunity to explore new design possibilities!

  3. I love that you made an actual hourglass and it's such a good reminder to be in the present moment. Even with 24 only hours to go, it's amazing to see what you were able to create!

    1. Thanks Yvonne---most of my challenges are assembled 24 hours before the deadline...I definitely work best under pressure! Thank you for being a fabulous sponsor of Project Quilting this season! You rock as did your challenge entries!!


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