Sunday, July 19, 2015

More UnFinished Objects

I spent some time basting the purple hourglass quilt and sketching out designs for the quilting. I usually sketch some on paper and then place a clear acetate (like they use for overhead projectors) directly on the quilt and draw the design at the proper scale.

I tried several designs and picked a couple that I like. I started machine-quilting the quilt, but then I got sidetracked (SQUIRREL!). While looking in the cupboard under the ironing board for acetate, I found a couple of unfinished projects that I pulled out. I decided I was more in the mood for piecing than quilting, so I spent the past week working on unfinished piecing projects instead of quilting. The first one is directly related to the Quilt of Valor that I recently finished. I had 11 9-patch star blocks left over, and a couple of experimental blocks that utilized the same grid spacing to mix with the star blocks. After putting them up on my design wall, I decided that it needed to be another quilt, not a wallhanging. So I needed to make 24 more star blocks and 23 more setting blocks to make a whole quilt.

Here it is, up on the design wall. The blocks aren't sewn together yet and I haven't finished cutting the borders, but I made good progress and got all the remaining blocks pieced and pressed.

The other unfinished project that I have brought out and begun to work on again is a set of 1/4-log cabin blocks. It's a string-piecing project made of scraps from other projects. If you sew a lot, you make scraps. My scraps get tossed into a plastic bin under the sewing table like this one:

I have 3 of these bins. I love string quilts, but obviously I haven't been keeping up with my scraps. A lot of my scrap quilts have been traditional patterns like Spiderweb and Rocky Road to Kansas that use strings but also have a background fabric. Using a background fabric gives the eye somewhere to rest and emphasizes the geometry of the pattern, but it means you use quite a bit of background (usually 2-4 yards), and not so many strings. The 1/4-log cabin pattern will have no background, only a border of blue setting triangles to give the quilt a nice edge and draw it all together. All the better to use up more strings.

I thought that maybe I could use up one of my 3 scrap bins, but after pulling out a lot of strings and ironing them and contemplating how much fabric yardage you can cram into a very small space, I now think (ahem, KNOW) that is an unrealistic goal. However, there will be lots of string quilts in my future, with very little background fabric.

I also sewed the last 3 'crap' blocks into a quilt top and pieced a backing for it. No spoilers, though, I'll post a picture of it later.

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