Saturday, April 10, 2021

String pieced UFO is off the design wall

One of my Make Nine 2021 prompts is a UFO finish. This scrappy string quilt is a viable contender.

String pieced scrappy quilt top. 

There are leftover blocks from a quilt made in the 1990s adjacent to blocks made in 2021. I'm sure the fabrics span at least 3 decades. 

Although I can't put my hands on the book right now, the technique was from a book, "Easy Pieces: Creative Color Play with Two Simple Quilt Blocks," by Margaret J. Miller, a innovative quiltmaker ahead of her time. Additional blocks have joined this stack of blocks as this UFO [unfinished object] has surfaced and resurfaced over the years. 

Scrap Quilts: Color vs Value 
To me, scrap quilts are the best—innovative, serendipitous, and a brilliant use of seemingly unrelated bits working together for a magnificent outcome. Making them is a good exercise in the study of value. Value is the lightness or darkness of a hue. It's been said, "Color gets all the credit, but Value does all the work." Scrap quilts are living proof!

"Make Do" stash blocks
In 2017, my guild teammates and I presented a program on "making do"... illustrating ideas for using fabrics from the stash... using what you already have... or, "making do" as our foremothers did. From this program came a sampling of 5" string-pieced blocks.

Five-inch string pieced blocks using fabric scraps and leftovers.

Somewhere along the way, these two sets of blocks joined forces.

Center block units are 6" finished. The zig-zag border has 4.5" finished blocks.

At the end of March, I finished the top. Now I'm on the hunt for a backing. Then to baste (my least favorite step in the process).

Scrappy string quilt top.

An empty design wall?
The "top layer" of the design wall is empty. Peeling back the flannel top layer will unearth the layers beneath that are sporting other in-progress works.

Empty design wall? Only the top layer.

What long-time UFO will be revealed??? I'm sure I'll find something that I'd forgotten about... and it will again make its way to the needle and continue the journey to completion.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Happy Easter Bunnies with EPP

Happy Easter. Happy Spring. 

Three-quarter inch EPP hexies from the 100 Day Project.

These English paper pieced [EPP] bunny hexagons are for Day 64 of my 100 Day Project

And my 2021 Stitching Success Tracker is looking colorful for the first quarter of the year. 

Off to a great start! The first quarter 2021 of the Stitching Success Tracker.

The weather is getting more Spring-like and the days are growing longer. I'll be enjoying stitching handwork as well as a little more sunshine today.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Make Nine finish: a charity quilt in baby steps over 5 years

Sometimes a simple project takes years to complete. Life frequently steps in to disrupt the best of plans. 

Make Nine finish: charity quilt.

Baby step 1: This is a charity quilt whose blocks were started in 2016. Hey! Only 5 years ago. 

Make Nine finish. Completed charity quilt. Finished size 38.5" x 38.5".

Baby step 2: After discovering the pile of strip blocks and thinking "this quilt top needs to be finished," the alternate plain blocks were added in February of 2020. (Almost 4 years later.)

String quilt blocks for charity quilt.

Quilt top completed February 2020.

Baby steps 3 and 4: The quilting was done during a virtual guild workshop in the summer of last year. Then the scrappy binding was made and pinned to the quilted top in September.

Scrappy binding attached on the back to be machine stitched from the front.

Baby step 5: And, yesterday, March 27 of 2021... the binding got sewn down! (5 years in the making.)

Scrappy binding attached all by machine. 

Machine binding with 100 wt. thread
The binding was attached all by machine. This time, I tried a small zigzag stitch (stitching from the front of the quilt), with 100 wt. Invisafil soft poly thread in the bobbin. Invisafil is a thread from WonderFil Threads. Try it! It worked beautifully.

Can you see the bobbin thread? By choosing a thread color that matches the backing fabric... the stitching is practically invisible! 

Detail of binding from the back side. 100 wt. Invisafil thread in the bobbin. 

So, it might have taken 5 years to make this quilt, but it's finished! I'm checking off that project on my Make Nine 2021 list.

Documenting via digital camera
Thanks to my photo library that time stamps the photos I take. And a pat on the back to me and my iPad for documenting various stages of my work. Sometimes photos are taken for color and composition auditioning, sometimes it's for remembering a layout, or in this case, the on-going documentation of my work processes. 

It's good to take notes via camera!

Monday, March 22, 2021

The 100 Day Project: 50 days, 141 hexies

This is the halfway point of my 100 Day Project of 3/4-inch English paper pieced hexagons. 

141 three-quarter inch EPP hexagons. 50 days into The 100 Day Project.

There are 141 hexies. Each has a selective cut image. I have no project(s) planned for these. I'm just enjoying the hunt for fabric... and thread- or glue-basting each hexagon.

It's all about the process.

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