Tuesday, January 23, 2018

What's Your Approach?

Question: How do you eat an elephant?

(internet image)

Answer: One bite at a time.

We've all heard this saying before.
We know it's an effective way to tackle big complicated projects.
It's taking the approach of small bites or goals
to eventually accomplish the task.

The problem I see with eating one elephant
at a time is that the elephant can become a boring meal,
stale, and never be finished.

I've always taken the approach in quilt making
to eat multiple elephants at a time.

Working on a variety of projects simultaneously,
 keeps me from getting tired of that one thing.
There are times when one project just 
tastes better than another.

I've been enjoying 3 elephants recently,
one old, one new, and one 
that I've wanted to hang out with for a long time.

I'm continuing to embroider and learn new stitches
from Sue Spargo's book Creative Stitching

It's her free pattern Instastitch.

I've been sewing churn dash blocks
as part of a block swap coordinated by Barb
This is another great way to eat an elephant.
Team up with others and work together
on the same goal.

Here are the blocks I'll be exchanging for
66 different ones.

The third project is one that's 
been waiting for me since 2009.

It was a free download from 
Becky Goldsmih and Linda Jenkins of
Piece O' Cake Designs.

I have tried to find the link, but
haven't had any luck.

It's a simple red and green applique
stitched on 18" backgrounds.  It's copied from an antique
quilt Linda found.

I'm taking the one bite approach
to this quilt.  Well, rather a two bite meal.
My plan is to do two blocks a month and
get the 12 blocks appliqued by August.
Leaving me plenty of time to finish before Christmas.
I think this way will keep me motivated doing the same
block 12 times and then have a
wonderful quilt for the holidays.

So what is the best way to eat an elephant?
One elephant, one bite at a time or
an elephant buffet?

I think it's up to you.

Until Next Time-


  1. It's a great question, but truly it depends on my mood. Some days I need the whole buffet and other days I'm happy with one. So glad I don't have to commit. LOL

  2. Multiple projects for me though, when I am getting close to the finish, I like to concentrate on one and get it done. Quilt projects with repeat block design don't appeal to me as much as many different designs such as an applique quilt. If the design is repeated throughout, I like using different fabrics for each block.

  3. I LOVE your Christmas project! It really is very pretty and will be a stunning quilt. I am so very much an elephant buffet kind of girl. I rarely ever make a quilt from start to finish without working on other projects in-between. That of course, is why I have such a long UFO list.

  4. This is a great Christmas quilt. Sure hope you find the link as I would love to do it. Terry

  5. Definitely multiple elephants! Variety keeps it interesting. I love your new appliqué project and your embroidery stitches are lovely.

  6. I am the daughter of a "one elephant at a time" quilter, but I missed that gene. I definitely take the buffet approach, and I am afraid it is a rather large buffet!
    Your 3 projects offer you good variety of technique so nothing becomes too tedious.

  7. I have a bunch of little squirrelly weasels running around...really running amok! Hee!! I am hoping for elephants...

  8. One elephant at a time is a good way for me ! Because I don't want to go fast and fail my work... But, I admit I have 2 or 3 little projects close to my elephant !! :)
    Your swap blocks are beautiful ! Congrats Kyle !

  9. I have about a mile long buffet because I also get bored with working on just one project. Maybe that is the reason I still have so many UFOs.

  10. I get such a kick out of your posts. Your analogies are spot on! I am a "grazer" too. Having to "choke down" one big project at once is too much for me to fathom. Of course I do at times shove too many "bites" in at once when on a deadline. I love all your little bites and am looking forward to watching you as you chew along. I really love that applique!

  11. In the beginning, I always finished a project before starting another. However, in surveying my UFO's recently, I think I'd better plan a big banquet and invite all my quilting friends for elephant steaks! ---"Love"

  12. Usually I am working on several things at once but this time just one, a baby quilt, because I am in a hurry to start quilting / nothing in the hoop right now ! :)

    Your embroidery stitching is just amazing! And who doesn't love a red and green quilt ! :) By the way the method in order to comment changed ( not sure if it was you or Blogger that did this but I had to verify a google account, set up a new password, get a text verification from Google on my phone blah blah blah in order to do what I able to do much easier the last time that I visited, LOL! :)

  13. I think elephant cooked three different ways is a great idea!

  14. Great post, Kyle! I'm a multiple elephant girl......then I get distracted!

  15. Great group of elephants you’ve got there! I really love your red and green applique project. If I didn’t have such a large herd of my own elephants I might of had to adopt that one too!

  16. The buffet approach it is, though there are more than a few waiting in the refrigerator, seems I've bitten off more than I can chew in one meal, lol!

  17. I so enjoyed reading through your post today! Had to link to it in my latest post too as it resonated so thoroughly with me! Love that last applique quilt in the queue. Can't wait to see all your projects come to fruition!

  18. Lovely quilt Found for Christmas is going to be!
    Working on a few projects at the time is working well for me too.

  19. I can't decide which way I work best. Sometimes I have a lot of projects on the go at once and other times I put my head down and work at one until it is finished.
    Lovely to see what you are working on.

  20. I'm definitely an 'elephant buffet' kind of person. When the mood strikes to start something new it almost always happens and I love having lots of projects in the works. Glad to see you are participating in Barb's swap :) The red/green applique is going to be a beauty. Great planning on your part to get it done for the holidays!

  21. Kyle maravillosa mesa Buffet!!
    Me encanta tu edredón aplique.
    Tengo una mesa buffet ta larga que no veo el fin

  22. LOL, food for thought!

    Yes, but seriously, I don't know if it's possible in the internet age to stick with just one project. No need to go out, the buffet is right here at home, 24/7. Balance, that's the trick!

  23. Definitely going the elephant buffet way. I may even have a rhinoceros or two on a back burner...

  24. Not sure what you would label me...like many, I have way to much on the cutting table...but I find, depending on my mood, it is that buffet that is fun to choose from. Although with the start of the new year, I am trying to focus on wrapping up a few really old UFO’s.
    I like your goal of having the applique ready to go for the holidays...those kind of “deadlines” are good!

  25. I do get bored easily, so I have to work on more than one project at the same time. It is so much easier to work on a traditional quilt like Ringo Lake when it is being fed in between something that requires more thinking and planning.

    Plus there are so many beautiful ideas out there, it is hard to choose just one to focus on.

  26. Elephant Buffet! Love that. I actually have an Elephant quilt that I've been planning for years and haven't even started yet - lol
    Your swap blocks look perfect!

  27. p.s. lovely applique - hip hip hooray for applique

  28. Love the snippets of embroidery, so beautiful.
    Red and greens have such fun secondary patterns, good one year plan!
    Wow, 66 blocks is a lot!
    Enjoy all of your fun projects and any new ones that pop up.

  29. I love your elephants! I work on several elephants at a time. Some days, I feel like a bite from a new elephant and other days I am able to eat a bite from an old elephant. Progress is made, but sometimes difficult to see!

  30. I never eat a whole elephant from start to finish. I like nibbling hors d'oeurves made of a variety of different animals. Eventually I finish eating all the animals one nibble at a time. Good luck eating yours.

  31. Honestly Kyle you do create the most brilliant posts! I am definitely buffet style :D I really like the way you have decided to tackle Found for Christmas. I always love the look of these one block quilts but have never tackled one as I thought I would just become bored, once again you're changing my outlook - many thanks!

  32. I like your approach (rationale?) for quilting projects! Have fun with your projects this year; I see you've been bitten by the appliqué bug, too!

  33. It's buffet style for me! I like having the option(s) depending on what I feel like. Sometimes I think it gets me even more distracted than I need to be, but that's half the fun.

  34. I think one bite is the way--it will never get finished if you don't taste it--lol!