Sunday, July 26, 2009

String Quilt Top - A Work in Patience

. . I would say a work in progress, but it's really mainly done. I will be adding a three inch sashing in white on all sides. This photo only has 72 squares, as I took the opportunity provided by the break in the seemingly omnipresent clouds yesterday to snap a photo. I added another row last night to make it a wee bit bigger.

The quilt top currently measures approximately 52" across by 65" down, and I'm thinking I will add 3" inches on all sides. I'm planning a very plain backing, although I can't resist just a wee bit of piecing. My plan is to piece the back, and then put them aside for awhile so I can work on other projects. (Like 4(!!!!) small baby gifts I want to put together for recently-born or soon-to- be-born babies. I'm hard at work tonight on some piecing for some cute bibs).

Advice on how to quilt this thing once it's all sandwiched up? Ashley at Film in the Fridge, who made the beautiful Kaleidoscope quilt and brilliant accompanying tutorial that guided this one did a meandering free motion, but I don't think my machine could handle such a big quilt (it's a bit stubby!). I was considering something like this - thoughts?
I used the "eyeball" method for laying out my squares, that is, I didn't measure where the white strip should go, I just tried to line it up as best as I could. I didn't use pins at all except to try to hold my seams together when attaching rows together. I say this not as a suggestion on what to do . .just a confession. In the recent quilting class I took, the instructor said "oh, you can pin, but you'll just have to take them out as you go" . . I kinda took that to heart! (Call me lazy!)

I didn't have a hard time getting the paper off at all - I just bent each and every row of paper back before tearing it .. my stitch length was so small it really was as though the paper was perforated . I used regular copy paper and a few scraps of newspaper when I ran out . . both worked fine.

I used 1.25" strips instead of 1" for the white as Ashley did - - looking at hers, and looking at mine, I wish I had followed her suggestions as I like how her white pattern is slightly less prominent. Lesson learned. For next time . .these are addictive. My string bin will remain close at hand for me to chuck potential strings into as I sew other things.

On another, much less exciting note, I go back to work, full time after a year of maternity leave, in just two weeks. I expect the time alloted to sewing to dwindle extensively. I'm very concerned about how little sleep I've been getting and how that will affect my work performance (maybe I'll just adapt, but I must admit that often when I'm sewing at night my eyes go a bit out of focus and I know it's time to pack it in for the night . . I am thinking earlier nights will have to become the norm with my youngest daughter being such an early bird). After staying up until 11:45 sewing last night, topping up the baby with milk, reading for a few minutes (a nightly ritual) and tossing and turning with visions of string quilts dancing in my head, I fell asleep at 12:30am with baby m waking at 5:30. It was my husband's turn to "sleep in" so up I got. (The quotations denote that a sleep in at this house=a 7:30am rising).


Good thing this is the face I get to look at so early in the am.


- Donna

18 comments:

Georgia said...

I love that quilt - very inspiring! I think the straight(ish) line type of quilting would work really well.
7:30 sounds like a sleep-in to me too! I just remind myself that in a few years time we will struggle to get them out of bed at all!

danielle said...

your quilt is looking amazing, and i dont think the difference in the white strips looks too prominent- maybe my eyes are outta focus with tiredness too, but i had to scrolls back up and take another look to even see it!!

i think it is just a beautiful quilt. thanks for sharing. if and when i ever finish my log cabin quilt i am definately going to tackle this one : )

Good luck going back to work : (

Reece's said...

I wake to such cuteness myself at about 5:45-6 a.m. every morning and I smile as I walk in thinking: she is so lucky she is cute....!

Georgia said...

Have you seen this quilt (with the same kind of quilting that you are thinking of)? - http://www.flickr.com/photos/campfollowerbagsandquilts/3560834357/

Isa said...

It turned out great!
Maybe following the white line and quilt in quarters could be nice.

Kristy said...

Beautiful Donna! I really like how the white shows in your piecing. Can't wait to see it when it's finished =)

Sara said...

It's a work of art!

As is the case with your quilts, you create beautiful children as well!

Wouldn't it be pretty to quilt it in concentric squares, but following the white and going inward? Know what I mean, Jelly Bean?

RosaMaría said...

great job!!!!!

Kelly O. said...

this is looking incredible! I think the "line" quilting would really be lovely--simple, so as not to make it more busy.

Sarah said...

That is a really gorgeous quilt!! Love the colorfulness!

Donna said...

Thanks gals.

I get so happy when I look at the top . . I have my doubts I'll be able to leave it alone for long.

Sara - Maybe a drawing of what you mean? I'm not so good with the mental imaging.

Imagine Fabric said...

Your quilt is amazing. I love how you use various different fabric designers and the end result is stunning. I admire your patience. Jo at ImagineFabric.com

jaybird said...

good luck going back to work... i'm sure you'll find some balance and time to sew!

Amy said...

Spectacular quilt! I made ONE of these blocks and decided this technique was NOT for me - but I wish it was because it's so pretty.

Lina said...

This looks fab Donna - I think a string quilt is next on my list too - I have so many scraps I want to get rid of. I like the idea of straight line quilting, but it looks like it would take quite a bit of time and cotton!!! Not sure what'd I do, may be small squares?

Capital Mom said...

Your quilt looks amazing. And what a great picture of the two of you.

Christina said...

How do you do it? I have my hands full, but I don't know how I would leave the little guy for work. Plus, I really like not working. haha I would definitely be sacrificing sleep to get some crafting in. I love the quilt and want to make one for myself more than ever now.

Janice said...

ooo It looks beautiful! I just started mine and I did 8 blocks today. I have several of the same fabrics, including some of those vintage pillowcase stripes!
I am also doing 7" squares, so I have to figure out just how big I want to make it. I do like the idea of the white sashing around the outside, so I can't wait to see how that turns out and how your quilting turns out (I also normally do free motion meandering).