SIZE: lap size; I need to measure it.
FABRIC: random fabric from my stash that I wanted to use up
DESIGN: wonky string quilt
QUILTING: free motion in a meandering design in the brown fabric areas
BINDING: brown polka dot + pieced in scraps; machine sewn to front and back
INSPIRED BY: Ashley’s (filminthefridge) colorful *Kaleidoscope* string quilt (tutorial here) + wanting to bust through a good chunk of my stash
FOR: Christmas gift for family
After tackling the sink full of dishes and even some of the laundry, I decided I could squeeze in just a little more quilting before JMW and Mal return tomorrow. But before I started yet another project (what I really wanted to do), I realized it was high time to work on the string quilt that has been begging to be finished.
The quilt was supposed to be a Christmas gift last year but with my quilting hiatus, that obviously didn’t happen. (Hey, now I can give it as a Christmas gift this year! I’ve never been this prepared for Christmas. It isn’t even June yet!). I think this quilt sat incomplete for so long because I wasn’t happy with my binding method. Now that I’ve straightened that out, I was ready to sit and bind this lap quilt.
Strangely enough, I started and completed this quilt a year ago, exactly to the day. Isn’t that crazy? Here’s a time line of this quilt…
- May 15, 2009: started blocks
- May 17, 2009: completed top
- January 2010: pieced back, basted, quilted
- May 15, 2010: bound quilt = completed quilt
This is one of those quilts that you need to *admire* from afar. Up close, it is not pretty (I was reminded of this today when I was taking the pictures). The individual blocks are not attractive. And the fabrics do not go together. But for whatever reason, looking at the quilt from a distance, it just works. You can read about my thought process and why and how this quilt came together here and here.
I wasn’t sure how to quilt this quilt and in the end, I decided to do free motion quilting in the brown areas (the brown diagonal lines and the brown pieces in the middle of the diamonds). This gave the quilt a lot of open un-quilted areas that are surprisingly soft after washing. You can kinda see the pattern this quilting created on the back of quilt (below).
The back… I don’t even know what to say about it. It is obviously pieced together using many leftover bits and pieces from making the quilt, plus a bonus leftover scrap strip from the back of my numbers quilt. It is so ugly — up close and from afar! I thought all of the scraps would look better together but they don’t and there isn’t much I can do about it now! Oh, and I did not do a good job basting the quilt because there are a couple of places where the fabric is messed up (kinda folded?) from where I didn’t have my sandwich pulled tight enough. Now that the quilt is washed, those problem areas aren’t as noticeable (thank goodness!).
I used a brown polka dot for the binding and pieced in little scraps.
I will say that I don’t know if I will make a string quilt again. Piecing together blocks that sit on the bias is not the easiest thing to do. I got a lot of pulling, stretching and irregularity of the blocks and fabric. There ended up being a little more wonkiness than I intended but at least that unintended wonkiness gets hidden in the quilt design.
It feels good to finally get this quilt done. And now that leaves me with just two WIPs which is really quite remarkable for me (I’m more apt to start many projects than I am to finish a project). I am really trying to be good and not have too many WIPs going on at once and so far I feel like I am succeeding with that goal.
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All photos of this quilt here.