Monday, April 27, 2009

String Quilt

I've been admiring String Quilts since I first saw some on line earlier this year. Then at the March Idea Saturday at Sunflower Quilts, those that wanted to participate were asked to make 1 10" String block. which would be used in lap quilts for a local retirement home that specalizes in Alzheimer's residents. I made my block out of left overs from Chris's quilt - and I was hooked! I couldn't wait to make a quilt of my own.

I really didn't think I had enough scraps to make a scrap quilt so I decided to use some Fat Quarters I love. I cut 12 Fat Quarters from Blank Textiles Inspiration line into random strips from 1" to 2" wide.

My original plan was to make a 60" x 70" quilt. So using 10" blocks I'd need 42 squares. I cut out 42 muslin building blocks (I didn't paper-piece because I didn't want to remove that much paper backing!!) and all my white center strips and got started. After cutting out all those strips I thought I'd have enough strings to make 2 quilts, but once I started sewing I quickly realized that I didn't even have enough to complete my original plan! So the revised quilt is now 25 blocks and 50" x 50". And of all the strips I started with, I only have 2 or 3 left... guess they'll go into a pile for a future scrap String Quilt.
This is quilt #2 waiting to be quilted on a long-arm machine... maybe some day soon I'll have a long-arm machine of my own!! Next week I'm taking Chris to see the machine I LOVE - wish me luck!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Quilt Festival - Spring 2009

Earlier this week I stumbled upon Amy's blog just in time to participate in her First Annual Bloggers Quilt Festival. I loved the idea - a chance to show off your favorite quilt!

As much as I love the recent quilts I've completed, I knew they wouldn't be the one I wanted to show off. Rather, I would enter the first quilt I completed.

My freshman or sophmore year of college the university student center offered a quilt class and even though I'd been invloved in crafts and sewing all my life, I'd never tried quilting. So I signed up for the class. Well, the class was one day a week for 4 weeks, and in that time we completed a small wallhanging with the Ohio Star block - because EVERYTHING was hand-pieced!! The teacher told us that we would NEVER be happy with our work if we used a sewing machine to piece together the blocks. By the end of the class I knew I loved quilting, but I did not have the patience to ever handpiece my blocks!!

I was able to find a used sewing machine in the newspaper (this was pre-internet days) for $35 and I was off and running!

I love looking at this quilt and seeing how my skills and knowledge have grown in the last 15 years of on-again, off-again quilting! Just look at that binding on the corners... I was so afraid of mitered corners that I didn't even try.

I had this quilt packed away in a chest before this week. Thanks Amy for giving me the inspiration to pull it out and take a walk down memory lane!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

WIP Completed!!

It took a little longer than I planned (isn't that they way it always happens?) but I finished up 2 more quilts. The plan was to have these finished up before the end of March, but when I finally found time to sit down at the sewing machine to stitch on the binding I just didn't like the way it was coming out. So it was either continue on and have them both completed in one evening, or stop, rip out stitches, and finish off the binding by hand. As much as I dislike hand stitching binding, I figured I'd never be truly happy with the results if I continued with the machine stitching.

It took a couple of evenings to get them both done. And I am so happy with the results! I may even have found a new affection for handstitching.

So here they are...

These are #3 and #4 quilted on a long-arm machine. I think my freehand loops are getting better. I still haven't worked up to trying stippling... maybe next time. And then I want to try pantographs. I really think I need my own long-arm machine! (If I could turn it into a side-business I know Chris would give the green-light for one!!)

And the little one took a 2.5 hour nap today (rare for the weekend) so I was able to finish piecing this Disapearing 9-Patch. Not sure if I'll use Mom's long-arm machine again or give it a try on my home machine.

So now I need to decide what quilt to start next... String quilt with Ovarian Cancer fabrics? ZaZa charm quilt? Texas A&M charm quilt? Stacked Coin? Zig-Zag? Weeds in God's Garden?