Sunday, July 29, 2018

Stars on Strings--An Original Design

This quilt began on graph paper. I have an EQ program, but I was defeated by triangles!

Stars on Strings--66" x 88"

I tried this more than once. My first experiment was to use regular, brightly-colored strings.

As you can see, the red stars are lost amidst the chaos!

I went to neutral strings which worked better to show off the stars.

Please forgive the camera strap in the corner!

 I stayed with this idea, though, for me, it was hard--I always want MORE COLOR!

The making wasn't too hard, though 60 degree triangles can be tricky to assemble. It was simple string piecing for the blocks.

8.5" paper foundation 60-degree triangle

4.25" red triangle (sorry the picture is so fuzzy)

Pieced triangle (ignore the partial to the right)

I didn't get a picture of the step of gluing the triangle to the foundation, but you can see its placement here. After the triangle was secured, I simply string pieced the three areas around it.

When I had finished the pieces, I assembled it in rows.

This is when the stars and hexagons show up--you have to keep the faith through the piecing; they will eventually be there!

The edges of a triangle quilt are uneven. I didn't want to trim off all the piecing work to make them straight, so I pieced some half-triangle for the ends.

Now you can look at the piece on the right!
I did these half-triangles with neutral centers, so as not to distract from the star pattern. I also used a narrow (1.5") coping strip (border) at the top and bottom of the quilt, so I could manage my triangle points better for binding. I didn't want to lose them. 😉

You can see both the half-triangle ends and the coping strip here.

I had intended to use a pieced backing, but with the weight of all the strings on the front, I was afraid it would be too much. Instead, I chose this backing fabric both because of the color and the pattern--the hexagons echo those on the front.

All in all, this was a successful experiment, though I must admit that I am heartily sick of neutral strings for now!

Now, please, bring on the color!

I'm linking with Jo's Country Junction String Challenge Fiber Tuesday 167 at The Quilting Room with Mel, and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Autumn Stars--Another Mystery Quilt

Okay--you can call me the crazy mystery lady! 

I love making mystery quilts. I have a friend who works them up for a forum to which I belong, and I love her designs. The forum thread from which this quilt is made begins HERE.

Autumn Stars 90" x 90"

Front (detail)

Corner (detail)

Back and binding (detail)

I'm done with summer--bring on the Autumn!

I'll be linking with Fiber Tuesday 166 at The Quilting Room with Mel.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Sampler Project

I have always enjoyed looking at sampler quilts, but I've never made one. I have decided to change that.

I chose Barbara Brackman's Civil War Sampler.

I may not make all fifty blocks, but I hope to complete enough for two quilts. I'm doing each block in two different color combinations, so I can divide them into two groups of different blocks.

I have a box of Civil War reproduction fabrics that I am using. I'm not very familiar with the fabrics, or the way they should be combined, but I'm enjoying the process.

Here are the blocks I have so far. (Note: Each photo shows two blocks from the same block pattern made with different fabrics.)

White House

Star of the West

Barbara Frietchie Star

Catch Me If You Can

Hovering Hawks

Port and Starboard

Strength in Union
Fox and Geese

Peace and Plenty
Yankee Puzzle



Calico Puzzle

I am making 12" blocks. These are larger than I normally do, but the cutting instructions for the blocks are clearer for the 12" size rather than the 8" size. The instructions are different from those I prefer, in that there are no unit sizes for the parts of the block. I usually rely heavily on those measurements to keep things uniform. I also have used some different techniques than the book shows--but, to each his (or her) own.

I'm enjoying this new experience and experimenting with some different fabric prints than I have used before--lots more to come! 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Strings and Furrows

Yet another string quilt! I do love them.

This one is a simple arrangement of string blocks and alternating white/beige HSTs that create furrows across the quilt.

I pieced the back from scrap 5" squares, and I used the trimmings from the back to make the binding.

I love the look of the scrappy binding, but with all those seams (thick!thick!thick!), it took me quite a while to hand sew it down to the back!

I love all the things you can find in a scrappy quilt.

A fox and a hedgehog

Scooby Doo!

Pastas and valentines

Vegetable names, sock monkeys, and ruby slippers

I'm still sewing lots of string blocks, so there will be more string quilts to come!

I'm linking with Jo's Country Junction String ChallengeFiber Tuesday 164 at The Quilting Room with Mel, and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Final Two Leaders and Ender Quilts

These are my last two Two-Rail Fence leader and ender quilts for my year-long project. I have enjoyed making and donating these. I've experimented with colors, fabrics, layouts, and quilting methods. And after making 11 of these, I'm done! 😅

 Easter Eggs (#10 for donation)--62" x 74"--all solids


Jimi Hendrix (#11 for donation)--64" x 68"--batiks and blenders

Next year's leader and ender project for me will be simple 3.5" square patchwork. I'll also check out Bonnie Hunter's L&E project (Here's the link to Jewel Box Stars, the new L&E project from Bonnie Hunter), but I have a large number of 3.5" squares in stash, and I'd like to use them. I plan to start with four-patches--we'll see what comes after that!

I'll be linking with Fiber Tuesday 163 at The Quilting Room with MelJo's Country Junction, and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

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, Whatever Wednesday at Jo's Country Junction and Fiber Tuesday 162 at The Quilting Room with Mel.

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.