Friday, April 11, 2014

Scrappy String Bars

It all began with some leftover strings and a couple of grab bags from Homestead Hearth last year. I cut a lot of the fabrics into Tumbler shapes but always had some leftovers so my string stash began to  grow.
 I remembered my book Liberated String Quilts by Gwen Marston and found a quilt I wanted to make.
Gwen does not use a foundation for the string quilts so I just began sewing strips together.
 First in pairs of two, and I decided on an approximate length of 7+" so I could cut them down to 6 1/2" for my strips.
 The strings seemed to grow.
 Many were too short so I put them in this cute Moda tin to be another quilt later.
Here are larger sets. I just chose fabrics that I liked together - pretty random, though!
 I put them on the design wall to get the lengths similar as I continued to add sections together.
Next I auditioned some borders and chose red in the end with a narrow green border.
 I went ahead and sewed both borders together, knowing it would give an 'old-fashioned look' to the quilt because they both extend to the sides together.
 A close-up of the fabrics and quilting.
Here is the finished quilt! It will be a wallhanging and is quilted with random clams, similar to the Baptist Fan.
 I pieced the backing, as I frequently do, and even pieced the sleeve at the top.
Another close-up. I still have plenty of strings to make another quilt but I guess this made my stash shrink a little bit! Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Words to Live By

I have another of my "Words to Live By" blocks completed. This is going to be a really large quilt. Again, this was a summer block of the week last year but for me it takes a full year (or more) to complete a quilt like this. If you go to the link you will see that there are 672, yes, 672, half square triangles for the center block and borders and I did buy the finishing kit for that. So, I just did a test on the triangle method - see below - to see if they were accurate for 2" finished squares . . .
and my test showed that they were!! Yeah! I've not been as happy with some other paper triangles that I have used but these seemed just right!
 This week I have prepared the corner border blocks which are 8" finished, a little smaller than the center blocks.
 I changed the wording on this block to more reflect what I felt about words.
 Then getting this one with your own name sized to be just right was a little challenge, since the font size was not available on my computer.
And the last block - Respect! You trace these words with a lightbox which might seem simple enough, but when you are 'looking' through medium-dark fabrics with dots, etc, on them, it is not always easy to see through. I did iron freezer paper on the back when I traced to keep the fabric stable and it helped, yet did not seem to block the light.
Okay, now more stitching to do, but I enjoy the preparation as well!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

PHQ Donation Quilt Block

Every year our guild makes a donation quilt and gives a large portion of the proceeds to Camp Rainbow in Augusta, Ga. I was given this block to do at Hickory Knob in January. So, now it is in the mail with my part completed - hand appliqué with needle turn and freezer paper on the top was my technique. I do not remember the name of the quilt but I'm sure it will be lovely.
This is the quilt that will be won by someone this fall. It is a Piece O'Cake pattern and we did a silver background to celebrate 25 years of our guild!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Going in Circles - Finished!

 Another completed UFO!! This quilt is about 24" x 24" so even the binding was easily completed quickly. I tried to follow Carol Taylor's instructions for the machine quilting - on my domestic sewing machine. However, I ran into problems (operator error) as I had some excess fabric which kept getting moved ahead and did not quilt out. Needless to say, after sewing so much, I was not taking the quilting out so I continued on......with some little 'tucks' on the front. Maybe I'll try another quilt like this again and use my long arm template for circular quilting (that I do not own yet).
 Here is a close-up! I love the fabrics and colors and am delighted with the overall look!
 I must conquer piecing curves!!
I just really like fun backs on quilts and this one makes me smile! Just a leftover piece from another quilt.
And a close-up! I am being inspired by Rosemary Young with all her quilt finishes these last few months! Stitch when you can!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Going in Circles

I got started on one of my UFO finishes yesterday. This was a class I took from Carol Taylor last year.
This is what my project looked like when I left my class. It's funny, when you open the box after a year and see all the fabrics and instructions from a class, your mind can go blank. I had to reread everything and here is what I ended up with at the close of the day. I still CANNOT sew curves without getting 'excess fabric' that needs to go somewhere. Hopefully it will 'quilt out'!! Maybe I'll look for a youtube video on that.
No quilting yet but I will do as Carol Taylor did - lots of circles continuing around the block. I am happy with the fabrics and colors.