Monday, July 11, 2011

A Little Liberated Quilting

This may not be liberated quiltmaking in the truest Gwen Marston sense of the word (even though she did publish a book on string quilts), but it was certainly liberating for me, and it's probably as liberated as I'll ever get. Making a string quilt is truly mindless piecing at its best. Anything goes, and it's a perfect portable project. I can run my mouth all day at sewing group and I can't screw anything up!

For the pieced strips, I cut foundations from muslin or whatever fabric I had laying around that I didn't really have a use for, 4" x 8", and pieced scraps on them using a sew and flip technique. Then I sewed the pieced foundations end to end until I had a strip long enough for my quilt. The pieced strips were then alternated with solid strips and sewn together to create the top. The solid strips were cut 3-1/2" wide.

I needed 150 foundations for the pieced strips. Each vertical row required 11 foundations plus half of another to complete the row.

A queen sized quilt, 93" x 93", requires 12 solid strips and 13 pieced strips, plus borders. I added a 7" wide border on either side and a 7" wide border on the bottom. My son who is receiving this quilt is crazy about that burgundy batik and wanted the wider borders. The top of the quilt will probably be covered up with pillows, so I didn't really want a top border.

The quilt is on the longarm now, and I got about half of it quilted today. Tomorrow I'll try to get the other half done. The plan is to have it quilted and bound by the end of the week for delivery to my son. Lots of work left to do still.

The idea of working in a series appeals to me, and this was a fabulous scrap buster, so I have four more string quilts planned. When I get around to it, the next one will also be a vertical strippy, only the pieced strips will be all different widths.

A Finish for July

Finally, I'm blogging again. Last week my son and his bride were up for the week from South Carolina. The week before that I was getting ready for them to visit, the week before that I was gone to Vermont for Quilt Festival, and the week before that I was getting ready to go to Vermont. Now that I have an iPod and an iPad, sometimes I don't turn my computer on for days, so no blogging has got done.

I don't think I've done any sewing since the beginning of July. In fact I'm sure I haven't because I finished this little strippy on July 1, and that was the last thing I remember working on. It was one day too late for the June finish, but the One Project a Month Challenge is still serving its motivational purpose. I think I'll have another finish this month, maybe two.

I so enjoyed my son's visit. Even though the weather was really nice while they were here, we didn't do much of anything. Truthfully I think the kids were content to just laze around the house, playing on their phones or the laptop. We've discovered an app for the i devices called Words With Friends, like Scrabble, which kept us entertained all week.

The kids were accompanied by a 2-year old Jack Russell named Zeek and a 10-week old puppy named Cairo. Long drive for them from South Carolina, but they were well behaved. The puppy was adorable but required constant supervision because he chews on everything, and because he is a long ways from housebroken. By the end of the week, I was thinking that this is when I liked him best--when he was napping. The kids had the good sense to crate train both dogs, and oh! what a blessing that was.

The kids left Sunday to drive back down to South Carolina. I loved having them here, and I'll miss them, but I'm happy to have the house back to myself. I'll be cleaning most of the week, I suppose, but I'll get some sewing in too.