Thursday, October 6, 2016

It's From the Heart

Hello fellow string-quilt lovers !

I ran across this blog and was overwhelmed with all of the lovely eye-candy.  Of course, it happened as I was googling string quilts, and working on one of my own.

I've liked the looks of string quilts for quite a while, having been a steady quilter since around 1986 or so.  I had never attempted to make one myself, but recently was intrigued by the  technique of using a white strip diagonally down the center of each block.  I really liked how this one little step really tied a lot of different width fabrics into one cohesive design of squares on  point.

When I discovered that Missouri Star Quilt Company sold 10-inch papers to be used for string-piecing, I ordered some and added them to the 'someday' stack in my fabric credenza.

Well, that someday came this summer.  Having made several bright quilts, I decided that I liked the idea of a medium-toned quilt, so I went through my stash and pulled out as many pastel and richly medium fabrics as I thought would work together.  I cut them into stacks of strips measuring anywhere from 1 1/4 inch to 2 1/2 inches.

I started the blocks by using an Elmer's glue stick to lightly secure a 1-inch white strip diagonally down the center of each paper square. Then, with a laundry basket on the floor beside me, with strips draped around the edges of it, I started piecing the strips onto the paper on each side of the center white strip, and pressing them outwards toward the edges.  I tried not to be too choosy what went where, but sometimes I did get specific, especially trying not to repeat fabrics in a block.

I was going for a specific size of quilt.  I love to make what I call 'generous nap quilts', which generally measure around 60 x 80 inches.  I trimmed the blocks down to 9 1/2 inches each, and made 63 for a quilt with 7 blocks across, and 9 inches down.

I finished the quilt top in late July, only taking around a week to make the entire thing, but I had family coming for a visit, and having to give up my sewing room to provide sleeping accomodations, I folded up the top and pretty much forgot about it.

A couple of weeks ago, I ran across a 5-yard length of fabric that I had tucked away in a drawer after getting a fantastic buy on it at Walmart .   It was a beautiful rose print, and as soon as I saw it, it brought to mind that string-quilt top.  I knew that it would be just perfect as a backing for it.
So, I found the top, and spent a grueling day basting it within the confines of my small front bedroom.  That's a whole 'nother story, don't ya know, but suffice it to say, I was thrilled to be finished with that step.

Well, the machine-quilting went pretty quickly, probably being totally done over maybe 4 days.  First I quilted in the ditch along the seams of the white strips.  Then I ditch-quilted every single strip's seam, and if the strip was 2 inches wide, I quilted down the middle of it.

I bound the quilt int the same rose print, washed it, and thrilled to the wonderful texture that was wrought from the use of the 80/20 Pellon cotton./polyester batting,

By Sunday afternoon, the quilt was ready to be test-driven, with a good, long nap,.... and Lottie-dah and I gave it a FULL thumbs-UP !

I loved this quilt so much as soon as it was finished , that the first thing that came to my mind to call it was "Heart Strings".  That's just how it struck me as I petted all those lovely colors and prints, and the roses on the back.  I had to laugh out loud when I discovered that there was a contest with the same name, and many, many previously shared string-quilts.  Oh, well, the name CAME FROM MY HEART, and I just guess that great minds think alike !

Please feel free to stop by my blog every once in awhile. Specific stats on this quilt can be found there, including links to the paper squares and the batting.

And thanks for letting me share my quilt and my story.


Mystic Quilter said...

I love the soft colours in your quilt and the white in the centre really does add to the overall look.

Sheila said...

I LOVE string quilts and I absolutely love, love, LOVE your soft string quilt! Thank you for sharing.

Julierose said...

this turned out so beautifully--and that rose print backing is just so perfect for the colorways you chose on the string side. Great job...hugs, Julierose

JeanInMaine said...

I just love the look you created witht he skinny white strip down the middle. Thanks for sharing.

Frog Quilter said...

I love quilts that use up the smallest fabrics. String quilts and log cabins are key players. Your pastel string quilt is a winner! LOVE IT.

Patti said...

It's beautiful, I love it!! Have to dig through my pastels. Was it hard to remove the paper??

Lori said...

Beautiful! Congrats on a finish! I, too, have separated a pile of medium, pastel, floral strips hoping to combine them with white for a log cabin or string quilt. I love the look and can otherwise be clunkers with a strong contrast quilt.

Dolly said...

Patti, I had no trouble at all removing the papers. It was a long job, but I just sat in front of the television and stayed at it. Just wiggling the block broke the paper loose at the perforations and I was through before too very long......just one more chance to enjoy all the pretty fabrics.

Ann said...

A lovely quilt that you and Lottie-dah will enjoy for years. Thanks for sharing it.

Preeti Harris said...

Love love love this pastel beauty of a quilt. So pretty and so snuggly - just perfect.

Brenda said...

looks great! thanks for sharing it with us.

Patti Kilcullen said...

I love it!

Kathy Reed said...

What a beautiful quilt!! I'm loving yr scraps!! I'm making one after Christmas...did you just make a large block and cut in quarters?? I'm kinda quilting...I've done a lot but I stay simple...please let me know and enjoy yr beautiful quilt!!!

Snowcatcher said...

The colors!!! Oh, my, such heavenly colors! I've been saving up my strings but haven't had time yet to play. I hope when I do, they'll make as lovely a quilt as this!

Vivian said...

What a soft looking lovely quilt! Perfect backing too --- Score!!