Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


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Patriotic Finish

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This quilt seemed to take a long time to finish, but I think it was mainly because I had to wait for some background fabric to arrive in the middle of assembling the top.  It was also tricky to lay out.  At one point I sewed a couple of blocks in wrong and had to fix them, so I asked the Twilters to look at it before I sandwiched it, just to be sure.  Sometimes you’re just too close to a project.

IMG_2223pdI found this design at Sew Excited Quilts when Jackie was working with her strings.  She worked out all of these great layouts, and when I saw the one with the stars, I knew it was what I wanted for this Quilt of Valor.  I calculate that my quilt  56″ x 81″) has 1120 pieces of fabric in it!  This has, finally, made a bit of a dent in my strings.

IMG_2225pMy stash has reached the point where I no longer have large backing pieces in every color, so I purchased this backing fabric on sale from Fabric Shack.  I look the water color-like print!

IMG_2224pI used white Bottom Line to stitch in the ditch and for all the stippling.  I used a heavy Coats and Clark variegated thread for the stars and the hearts.  I have mixed feelings about the way the stars turned out on the white areas.  I really like tone-on-tone quilting, where the shadows do the work, but I also like pretty thread.  These do add interest.  What do you think?

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I’m linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.


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Another String Finish

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Lately, it seems as though all I do is show you finishes.  One day soon, I hope to have some more interesting content, but I haven’t had much energy lately, and it seems like all I can do to post occasionally about what I’m making.  So many of you are more inspirational!  I’ll try to get back there.

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I had fun setting and quilting my favorite string blocks in a new way.  The gray is Kona Ash.  The thread is Coats and Clarks, an older spool that was the perfect colors.  It worked out well that I have this to add to my Etsy shop, because a few days ago I sold the aqua and gray chevron quilt that I had there.  It went to Denmark, which seems fun.  My quilts have been so many places I haven’t yet!

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I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.  The quilting could be more defined. (I think it’s better in person than in these photos.)  What if I had had the patience to use decorative stitches in the solid areas?  Hmmm.

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Hope you’ve had some good finishes lately.  I’m linking up with Finish It Up Friday, at Crazy Mom Quilts.

 


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Chevron Strings Finished

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Late last week I finished up my baby-sized string quilt.  Then one day I dashed out between the snow and the sleet to take a few pictures.

Sherbet Strings

The blocks are 9 inches, pieced on paper.  The sherbet colors are all strings from my bins, but the cream floral was yardage.  It was a good use for  an older piece of fabric, and I had just enough.

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This was inspired by the batik backing I had left over from Disappearing Pinwheels.

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I stitched between all the blocks with the walking foot.  Then I flipped it over and quilted all the dragonflies, using white Sulky rayon in the bobbin. (Well, I skipped the side-view dragonflies, because I found they didn’t look like anything identifiable from the front.)  The Sulky isn’t very heavy, so the design on the front is subtle, but I like it that way.  It’s there if you look for it.

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I used a green with a variegated stripe for the binding.  No new techniques this time, except for a different layout for the string blocks.

Hope you are enjoying the satisfaction of finishing things this week.

I’m linking up with TGIFF and Whoop Whoop Friday.  (Please DO NOT go over to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, because *I* want to win her great giveaway!)

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A Pair of Finishes

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This week I finished this pair of special order quilts.  Both are made with the same fabrics and Kona Snow.  They will head off in the mail today to brighten a pair of loveseats in the customer’s living room.  Currently there are antique quilts there, and these will be a fresher and more washable alterative.

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These quilts are great small sizes (40″ x 60″, 40″ x 65″), so they were quick and fun to put together and to quilt.  Well, this triangle one cost me a day, but that was due to my own math challenges.  Yes, to make HST blocks, you add 7/8″  to the finished size of your desired block.  I will remember that now!  I’m happy with the straight line quilting, especially now that it’s washed and crinkly.  I quilted in all the ditches, and then 1/2″ away on both sides with the walking foot and white Bottom Line thread.

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The string quilt wasn’t really strings, but 1 1/2″ strips cut from yardage.  I quilted it in the ditches with Bottom Line, and then added huge leaves with white Sulkey rayon thread.  I didn’t count, but I think there about 32 leaves all over the quilt.

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All and all, a fun project to brighten this oppressive winter.

Can’t wait to see what you’ve finished.

I’m linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.


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String Top Assembled

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Yesterday I got the string blocks sashed and assembled.  I’m really liking the small size of these quilts (40″ x 60″) for quick, fun construction.  I said I might use a few pins, but I didn’t use one!  The sashing was Kona Snow, cut to size, with cornerstones, and it stuck to the blocks like velcro.  I had no problems getting this together.

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The result was termed, “Bright and cheerful”, which is exactly the look this customer requested, so I’m on track.  Today I’ll sandwich both quilts and get started on the quilting.

Hope you’re making good progress.

I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

 


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String Blocks

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Yesterday I finished the forty little (7″) paper-pieced string blocks for the second commission top.  I pulled the paper off during the Men’s Downhill and team Figure Skating last night.

 

A question was raised about me pulling the paper off before they were sewn together, and without stay-stitching them around the edges.  I usually do string and log cabin blocks this way, unless I have a lot of bias or some other reason to think there will be a problem.  Stitching around all the edges is probably a good step for newer quilters, but it really adds a lot of time to the process, and I am far too impatient.  Again, sewing the blocks together with the paper still on is another option for fool-proof results, but I have real sensory issues with all that crinkliness, and then there’s paper in the seams to pick out.  I find that I can get good, accurate results by handling the blocks gently and using the occasional pin (radical, I know!  Not really a pinner, either).  I use thin paper (this was phone book pages) or sometimes no paper at all, if I’m doing vertical strips.  I press them well all along the way, trim carefully, and remove the paper gently, and I don’t have any trouble.  How do you deal with these kind of blocks?

 

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Here they are with the coordinating quilt top.  There will be Snow sashing between all these string blocks, so the result will be much lighter and will match the first quilt better.

 

I’m linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

 


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Sunday Stash Report: 1/12/14

Nothing in, and nothing out this week.  I’ve been working away at the Bright Strings quilt, and the back (all from stash as well) is almost finished, but it’s progressing at a snail’s pace.  I’ve had back spasms all week and can’t sit at the machine for very long at a time.  Hopefully it will get finished this week.

This week:  +0 yards,  -0

This year:  +0 yards,  -10 yards

Net stash used this years:  -10 yards

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In other news, I have a new ironing board.  My tall son leaned on the old one, bending the legs and producing a permanent slant.  I don’t know how obvious the problem appears here, but a.) Yuri kept rolling off, and b.) I kept cursing as the fabric and iron slid off.

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The new one is Bed Bath and Beyond’s “professional” model.  It was too expensive, but I used a coupon.  I wanted one quickly, and the main review complaint on the ones from Amazon was that they were arriving damaged, so I went with this.  It is 18″ wide, which I like, and it has it’s own electrical cord and outlet for plugging in the iron, so I am no longer fighting the cord as I iron.  It has a built in iron rest and cord guide.  The padding seems pretty thin and the cover is a rough, cream colored fabric, but I guess I know how to fix those things.  Since I haven’t been in the studio much, I haven’t really used it a lot, but so far, so good.

Hope you’re using your stash this year.

I’m linking up with Sunday Stash Report at Patchwork Times.