Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Scrappy String Quilt...

After seeing some fantastic string quilts in blogland, I was inspired to make one of my own.  I was so excited to share my quilt top... I photographed it before I ironed it!

I really love Denyse Schmidt's fabrics and on a particularly bad day I ran to JoAnne Fabrics for a little retail therapy... and paid full price. 

BUT, while I was there I qualified for a coupon that gave me 30% off my total instore purchase... a week later.  My day was looking better!  Great news, during the second visit the DSQ fabric was on sale, PLUS I got the 30% off.  I bought a few more quarter yards and a back for my quilt.  I picked the orange because I wouldn't usually pick orange... I am running with scissors here!

There are plenty of tutorials on the web on how to make a string quilt.  I made my blocks based on the tutorial found here by Ashley at Film in the Fridge.  I have pictured below how I constructed my blocks and quilt.

I pulled many strips from my scrap basket and I added my new DSQ fabrics.  I cut strips 1 to 2 inches in varying widths.  For the center of each block, I cut 1 " x WOF strips out of white Moda Bella Solid. 

I used pages from a phone book {it felt so good to recycle in this way!} and cut them 8" x 8".  Next I drew a diagonal line one 1/2" to the right of the center of the block.

 I used this line to line up my center strip.

I placed my next strip right side down on the white strip and use the pencil line as a guide for my fabric and quarter inch foot. I adjusted my stitch length to 1.5 to make tearing the foundation paper off easier.

And here we have it.

I pressed each time I sewed a strip.
Line up your next strip... sew... press.
I liked having a fabric with good contrast against the white to make the white pop.

Keep adding strips and soon you will have a block that looks like this...

Flip the block over and trim to the original size using your foundation as a guide.

Here we are... a perfect block. 

I loved how the red polka dot fabric looked and ran out to my LQS to get more!  So I guess this is my Not Totally Scrappy String Quilt. 

I made 80 blocks in total.   I sewed 4 blocks into one 2 x 2 block and then assembled those 4 x 5 in the quilt.   

I finished the top, removed the foundation paper, and I must say... I. LOVE. IT.

Rarely do I sit down and work a quilt from beginning to end.  It was nice to prove to myself that I could do it before my self diagnosed adult onset ADD kicked in. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Real Vintage...

Eva K {Mother Dear} has a nice woman that comes and cleans her house every other week. I have always thought this was funny because Mom lives alone and has a place for everything and every thing in it's place. 

A few months ago this nice woman brought my Mom more than a dozen quilt tops that were found in a trunk in the home of a relative that had passed away. The woman knew Mom liked quilts and she gave her the quilt tops, not knowing what to do with them.  Mom finished a couple of the quilts and gave them back.  {I wish I had pictures of those!}  Then  Mom let me look through the tops and choose a couple.  I finished one for myself, sending a check to my Mom for the woman.  The top I selected is a nice size for a table topper.

This top was hand pieced.  I am guessing the fabric is from the 30s, but I am no expert. 

I used a Moda Bella Solid for the binding and back, hoping it was sort of period appropriate.

I had Juna quilt it.  I know, some of you are cringing because I had this vintage top machine quilted, but after years in a trunk, this little quilt was just being begged to be used.

Isn't it sweet?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Finished Quilts...

I have managed to finish a few projects.  I know you've seen a couple of these as WIPS in the past, and now they are DONE!

Thursday night at my quilt small group, Juna {Super Quilter} gave me my Scrappity-Do-Dah quilt back all quilted and ready for binding.  Yesterday I finished the binding and today I took this picture.

Earlier in May, I finished my Chopsticks quilt.   I am ashamed to say I have had this little lovely folded up in a tote - and it shows in the picture.

Can you see the Juna's quilting?  She does all her quilting freehand!   I love the quilted circles on these pieced triangles.  Can you see it better here?

Also completed is my Summer 2011 Bow Tie Quilt Along.  Whew, just in time for summer 2012.
Again, this was folded and tucked away in the same bag!

Can you see the quilting?  Sew perfect!

Oh how I love this quilt!

I have spent the last week in my sewing room - therapy, some might say.  I can't wait to show you what I have in the works!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Another Book Finished...

On my trip home from Iowa, I began listening to another book, Crooked letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin.  I have been walking 5 miles every morning, allowing me to finish this book this morning.

Set in the small Mississippi town of Chabot, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter tells the story of two boys turned men—Larry Ott and Silas Jones. On the surface, there seems to be nothing linking the two … but a long history binds the two together in ways that even they don’t fully understand.

As for the title... M, I, crooked letter, crooked letter, I, crooked letter, crooked letter, I, humpback, humpback, I.--How southern children are taught to spell Mississippi.
Crooked Letter, Crooked started slow for me but then left me looking for opportunies to listen to more.  Good books certainly make me eager for my morning walk.

Monday, June 11, 2012

More Books...

I made another trip to Iowa, this time I was solo, visiting my sister.   I downloaded a couple books onto my IPod, plugged it into my Smart car and I was off.  (Note to self:  Seven hours in a Smart car is not the most comfortable trip.}

On my way out I listened to The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. 

This book begins with the story of a group of young English boys and their coming of age.  The book is narrated by Tony Webster, one of the boys.  In the second part of the book, Tony Webster is a retired divorced man in his mid-60s who, after receiving notice of an unexpected bequest, is pulled back into a "powerful recollection of strong emotions" from his past. This leads to a reassessment of the accuracy of his memories, a rueful realization of how much he'd gotten wrong, and a harsh re-evaluation of his passive approach to life.

In the first part of the book, I lost interest.  In fact, I almost didn't finish the book. But in the end, I enjoyed the book and it made me think.  We all have experiences in our life we reflect on... if you don't... lucky you.  A book like this makes me scrutinize choices I’ve made, people I’ve known, and secrets I’ve kept.  Perhaps it’s best not to dwell too much but certainly at any age you can learn from the past.
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