Thursday, June 21, 2018

Boxes of Strings--Variations on a Design

When I created the "Boxes of Strings" design, I was happy with my resulting quilt. Little did I know, however, that other quiltmakers would be interested in using the design as well.

I belong to the Quilting Board, a forum for quilters. When I posted the photo of my finished quilt and a tutorial about how I made it, another member asked if I would mind if forum members did a quilt-a-long with the design. I was thrilled! I knew I'd love to see variations, and this way, I wouldn't have to make several sample quilts myself.

The quilt-a-long thread begins HERE. The makers discussed and used various methods to create the blocks--it was fun to see several minds working on the project and coming up with the ways they chose to do it.

I asked them if I could show some of their progress (and finished quilts!) here, so you could see the results. Each photo links to the original on the Quilting Board.

 This beauty comes from Christine Y. in Hillsboro, OR. 
(Notice the feline Quilt Inspector is admiring Christine's work.)

Macybaby used her own technique to make these blocks--great for fabrics 
you'd rather not cut into strings.You can see how she did it HERE.

Tartan of Ontario, Canada, shows her in-progress version. She also used
an alternate way to put these blocks together. Check it out HERE.

Jane Reynolds of Orange County, CA, calls her version,
made from Kaffe Fassett fabrics, "KF Cubed."

Check out this version from Murphy 224--she calls it "Rainbow Boxes of Strings."
 What a great arrangement of color!

This wonderful example is from Gail Boothman of Smoky Lake, Alberta.

A link to the tutorial on the QB can be found HERE. A tutorial is also available HERE on the blog.

Thanks to all the quiltmakers who participated (and are still participating). I am truly honored that you used my design to create something beautiful of your own.

I'm linking with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Busybusy May

Long time, no post! May is usually consumed with finishing up the semester, and this year was no exception. Add to that a shift change from days to nights in the household, and May has felt a bit topsy-turvy.

I have been working on projects--it just seems that I haven't finished anything, so I'll have a bunch of finishes at once one of these days.

I have been continuing my two-rail fence leader and ender project. This one is number ten for the year. I call it my Easter egg quilt--not because any part of it is egg-shaped but because of the colors.

I quilted it in a stairstep pattern. I've done several of the rail fence donation quilts this way, and I have to admit, I'm a bit tired of sewing three inches, turning ninety degrees, sewing three inches, turning ninety degrees,... 

I've been looking ahead to what I will do with leaders and enders next year. Bonnie Hunter begins her challenge in July, but in looking at what I have that needs to be done, I have settled on 3.5" squares. I've cut many scraps to this size through the years, and I think it is time to use them. I'm planning to do four-patches--neutral and scrappy prints. Since many of my quilts are donated, this seems a good choice. When non-quilting people think of quilts, a simple patchwork of squares usually comes to mind. Sometimes, simple is best.

I'm also working on a new string design. I'm still refining it--this one has taken some experimentation.

I began completely scrappy,

but I felt like the red stars were lost in the busyness. I'm trying neutral strings now,

but, this one feels kind of blah. I may try adding a few neutral prints for interest, but I have to be careful not to get too busy again. My quilts are normally about as calm as a riot, so I'll have to rein in my natural inclination! :)

So my busybusy May is nearly over--I'm hoping for a calmer June.

I'm linking with Whatever Wednesday at Jo's Country Junction.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Lotsa Dots--A Mystery Quilt

You know me--I love mystery quilts!

A friend of mine on a quilting forum provides mysteries for quilters who enjoy mystery projects. I have made several of her quilts, and though I lagged behind on this one, I did get it finished.

Meet Lotsa Dots!

Lotsa Dots (84" x 84")

Lotsa Dots (detail)

Lotsa Dots (detail)

Lotsa Dots (backing and binding detail)

Most of the fabrics came from scraps and stash, though I did buy the sashing and backing fabrics for the project.

Below are pictures of a few of the other mysteries Judy has designed, and I have enjoyed making.

Lotsa Dots was a fun project--a very happy quilt! Thanks, Judy, for providing such a great mystery.

I'm linking with Fiber Tuesday 154 at The Quilting Room with Mel and Whatever Wednesday at Jo's Country Junction.

Friday, April 13, 2018

On Ringo Lake--Chocolate Lovers Edition

I finished my version of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt called On Ringo Lake. I call mine the Chocolate Lovers Edition, since my cornerstones and other pieces are made of fabric printed with chocolates and chocolate chips.

I changed Bonnie's aqua to green, but I stuck with her other suggested colors.

On Ringo Lake--Chocolate Lovers Edition (76" x 92")

On Ringo Lake (detail)

On Ringo Lake (chocolate detail)

On Ringo Lake (backing and binding detail)

Nearly everything came from my scraps/stash--even the backing fabric. I thought backing was a good use for the fabric since the print is so large. I ended up with about 8" of the piece left over (whew! that was close!).

The hardest part of this project for me was the assembly--on-point with sashing. The sashing had to be turned a particular way, and thinking on the diagonal is never something that comes easily for me. I was very careful--checking and re-checking directions--but I'm sure that something in there is turned the wrong way. Just call it a design variation. 😃

This quilt is HEAVY! I'm talking about weight, not necessarily thickness or warmth--all those seams add up to more weight than you would expect.

I simply meandered the quilting--some of the fabrics caused a bit of thread shredding, so I was very glad to finally finish quilting it.

I enjoyed this project. It is the third Bonnie Hunter quilt I have done during her annual mystery (I did Old Tobacco Road long after the actual mystery time). I look forward to see what she cooks up for next year!

Previous blog posts about the mystery can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. After Part 5, there were several rapid-fire clues and the reveal, but I didn't blog about those--I had to catch up!

I'm linking with Fiber Tuesday 153 at The Quilting Room with Mel and Whatever Wednesday at Jo's Country Junction.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Another Leader and Ender Donation Quilt

I tried a different layout with this one (#9 of the project). It is also only two colors which is something I rarely do. For me, the more different fabrics, the better!

Two-Rail Fence Donation Quilt (62" x 74")

Two-Rail Fence (detail)

Two-Rail Fence (backing and binding detail)

I do like the simple effect of only two colors. Sometimes it is good to push your own boundaries a bit!

Previous leader and ender donation quilts can be found HERE.

I am linking to Fiber Tuesday 152 at The Quilting Room with Mel and Jo's Country Junction: Whatever Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Batik Leader and Ender Rail Fence Donation Quilts

My personal leader/ender project has been fruitful this year. These are donation quilts #7 and #8!

Numbers 5 and  6 can be found HERE.

Numbers 3 and 4 are HERE.

Numbers 1 and 2 are HERE.

This time, I went with an uneven Rail Fence block to better show off the colors in the batiks I used. I did one in a stairstep layout and the other in a windmill layout.

#7 Batik and Black Rail Fence (stairstep layout)--66" x 74"

#7 Batik and Black Rail Fence (detail)

#7 Batik and Black Rail Fence (backing and binding detail)

#8 Batik and Black Rail Fence (windmill layout)--64" x 64"

#8 Batik and Black Rail Fence (detail)

#8 Batik and Black Rail Fence (backing and binding detail)

I'm not a big batik fan, and some of these fabrics are truly ugly! However, when you put them together, the overall effect is good.

I'm still putting together Rail Fence blocks as leaders and enders--more quilts to come!

I'm linking with Fiber Tuesday 148 at the Quilting Room with Mel.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Boxes Of Strings: An Original Design

Update: I have added the basic instructions for this quilt to my sidebar. Click on "Boxes of Strings Instructions."

When I was designing and making Stringing Beads, I thought "what if?"--always a dangerous thought for a quiltmaker!

The centerpiece of the Stringing Beads block is a trapezoid shape.

Stringing Beads trapezoid

What if I made it a triangle?

Boxes of Strings triangle

I used the same size paper foundation (4.5" x 8.5"), and I arranged the strings with medium/dark tone on one side and light on the other.

All blocks have the same color orientation.

It created a wonderful optical effect, I think--boxes and boxes and boxes!

Boxes of Strings 74" x 84"

A huge variety of fabrics add interest.

Boxes of Strings (detail)

Boxes of Strings (detail)

Boxes of Strings (detail)--Scooby Doo!

I used a solid backing and quilted around the diamonds and through the string blocks.

Boxes of Strings (backing and binding detail)

This was a lot of fun to create. The instructions are very like the Stringing Beads instructions found on the right sidebar of the blog. Just make a triangle template and arrange your colors, light and medium/dark, on either side of the triangle--all the blocks are the same. (In my case, the light strings are on the right side and medium/dark on the left of an upward-pointing triangle.)

Sometimes wonderful things come from those "What if?" moments!

I'm linking with Fiber Tuesday 147 at The Quilting Room with Mel and the UFO Challenge at Jo's Country Junction.