Wednesday, December 22, 2021

My last Make Nine finish for 2021: A string quilt UFO

This quilt spans two centuries.
It incorporates fabrics and quilt blocks from four decades—the 1990s, 2000s, '10s and '20s.
It's a string scrap quilt and my last finish for Make Nine 2021, the UFO project.

Scrappy string quilt. Make Nine 2021.

"She had a deep scrap basket."

This string quilt top was finished in April of this year, 2021. The blocks are a combination of left-over blocks from a 1990s quilt, demo blocks from a quilt guild program in 2017, and the remaining blocks are a stash buster with fabrics spanning four decades—including this one. This is what they mean when they say, "she had a deep scrap basket."

String quilt top completed in April 2021.

Free-motion quilting on a domestic sewing machine

With a recent sewing machine upgrade—to a Janome M7—this was a perfect project in which to "kick the tires" and put the machine through its paces. The 13.5" bed made maneuvering the quilt sandwich a breeze. This project prompted me to clear off the card table to the left of my machine and the drawing board at the back of the machine so I had plenty of space to rest the quilt and build a quilting nest.

Machine quilting on my domestic sewing machine.

Scrap quilts are so forgiving! 

You can hide a lot of flaws when quilting a scrap quilt. The variety of fabric prints and colors will camoflauge any wobbly quilting and inconsistencies. At my whim, I did free-motion swirly/loopy designs in the "light" diamonds... and zig-zags and straight line motifs in the "dark" diamonds. All different designs or a "variety on a theme." The different motifs tested the capabilities of the machine and the operator (me).

A sampling of free-motion quilting patterns appear in the blocks.

I practiced rulerwork and ditch quilting on each side of the narrow inside border. I like the ruler foot that comes with the M7.

Rulerwork and ditch quilting the inside border.

The faux piped binding was comprised of a newly-purchased DecoStitch Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics and a Canvas blender from Northcott. The binding was attached completely by machine.

Faux piped binding. Applied all by machine.

I decided to add a meandering doodle in the narrow border. This was a last minute decision, but thought the border was too wide to go without any quilting.

Faux piped binding and free-motion doodle in the inside border.

I took my time sewing on the binding (taking 3 hours) but I got that bobbin thread close to the ditch on the back.

Stitching line for the binding (shown from the back).

I used the royal blue 108" Canvas wide backing [Northcott] for the backing fabric. The the texture from the free-motion quilting patterns shows quite nicely on this tonal wide back.

Free-motion quilting seen from the back of the quilt. 

Quilt Stats

Cotton and poly threads used for free-motion machine quilting.

Here are the quilt stats for the string quilt:

  • top threads: 50 wt, 40 wt. variegated cotton threads [by Wonderfil Threads, Superior Thread, YLI]
  • 50 wt 2-ply cotton thread [Aurifil] for the rulerwork ditch quilting
  • bobbin thread: Glide trilobal poly thread [by Fil-Tec]
  • 19.5 hours free-motion quilting and rulerwork
  • 3 hours to attach the faux piped binding completely by machine
  • finished December 19, 2021
  • finished size: 59" x 83"

All Together Now

It's about time these orphan quilt blocks found their way to a finished quilt! They're All Together Now.

"All Together Now" finished size 59" x 83"

And all 9 of my Make Nine 2021 projects are complete!

Make Nine 2021 worksheet.

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