Thursday, April 15, 2010

Double Pinwheel String Quilt


I finished the double pinwheel string quilt top this week!

Writing that sentence reminds me of the scene in the movie The Jerk when Steve Martin exclaims, "The new phone book is here! The new phone book is here!" Speaking of which, I could use a new phone book, seeing as I ripped out 32 pages of mine for this string quilt.


But I do feel kind of giddy that it's done. And while it would be inappropriate for me to run down the block making silly proclamations about what some would consider mundane, I am comfortable doing so here among my fellow quilters and sewers in the virtual neighborhood. I will also be participating in my first Sew & Tell Friday ~ Welcome, friends! Can't wait to see what has each one of you excited about accomplishing this week.

I wrote about beginning this quilt and the inspiration for it here. All in all, it was an enjoyable challenge to come up with a pattern based on a photo of a quilt I admired, especially since everything seemed to work out in the end. Creating the template for the inner (red) pinwheel was a bit tricky. I made no less than three different versions of it before I settled on one that was good enough and quit racking my brain. At the end of the day, it's a quilt, not a geometry quiz. Besides, that's what rotary cutters are for, right? If at first you don't succeed, trim to size!

A tutorial for this quilt, starting with "Part 1-Making the Template," goes up next week. This will be followed by "Part 2-Throw Away Part 1 and Make Another Template." Nah, just kidding about that last bit. It's easy, really. I just thought about it way too much. Hopefully, you won't have to.

Edited to add: Here are the links to the tutorial for this quilt: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. You can also click Tutorial link from the labels list on the sidebar.


The string piecing for the outer pinwheels was done on phone book yellow pages cut to 8.5 inches square and pieced on the diagonal, then cut in half on the opposite diagonal. The paper was removed later, of course. For the strings, I used 1 to 1.5 inch fabric strips, from modern to vintage and all points between. I made mine as a scrap-buster quilt, but I think it would also look nice in a specific theme, line of fabric, or color scheme for the strings. It seems very versatile.

I used a thrifted, solid blue, vintage fabric for the blocks and a red from stash, but ran out of both and had to buy additional fabric for the borders and sashing. Thankfully, Kona "Candy Blue" and "Rich Red" were an almost perfect match.

This will finish at about 80 inches square. It'll be vacationing at the longarm quilter's for a couple months, then I'll bind it when it comes home from there, all gussied up (the quilt; I don't get gussied up to do binding, though I might throw on a bit of Chap Stick).


I found a cute dotted/striped fabric for the binding. That should give it a fun bit of pop along the edge, hopefully without looking too much like the circus came to town.

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to visit amylouwho and all the participants in Sew & Tell Friday!

33 comments:

jilly said...

This was so much fun watching you stitch this together. What a terrific job you did. Love all the bright colors.

Blessings,
Jilly

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

I love this P! It's so bright and fun!

(I presonally would go crazy trying to make all the blocks line up but I'm not a very patient person)

You did a wonderful job of this quilt. I'm in LOVE with the backing too.

The Tripp Family said...

beautiful! I love it. I love the red & blue for a foundation, and love the fabric you've chosen as a binding. I have trouble with this kind of thing because I think I'd worry too much about all the strips being in the right order, etc. Yours looks great!

Sew It UP! said...

Welcome P! You know once you start Sew and Tell, you can never stop. :oD It's very addicting.

Simply beautiful!! It's very eye catching and looks complicated. I have just started paper piecing and love it. I might just have a try at this one, someday.... Thanks for sharing!

Dayna said...

This is spectacular! What a fantastic job! I'm getting inspired after a very long time off from quilting.

Nicole said...

This is the coolest quilt ever! So many things to look at!!! I don't get how the phone book pattern worked. I'll await your tutorial. :)

Mary said...

Welcome to Sew & Tell Friday! It's lots of fun. Your quilt looks AMAZING! Great job!

Kristen said...

I love this quilt that combines strings with pinwheels. I love both! I might have to try this one day!

Lauren said...

The quilt is great! I can't wait for the tutorial, although I will probably just have to save it until I have enough scraps saved up. Please please please show us all when you have finished!

SueWis said...

Hey I think your quilt finish is a *bit* more exciting than a new phone book!

Look at the points on your pinwheels. I am impressed! And I love love love the binding fabric. Nice job!

Leslie said...

this top is stunning...i was taken with it right away. i can't imagine how hard it might have been. it looks just beautiful. great finish

Michelle said...

Okay, P, this one just went on the quilting bucket list (which is getting so long that I will never finish all the quilts I want to do before I die). It is absolutely FANTABULOUS! (I had to make up a word just to show my joy. :-) ) I LOVE it! The narrow red sashing is just the perfect thing to draw your eye to the red pinwheel centers. It gives the quilt a sense of movement. I'll be eagerly awaiting the tutorial!

Dresden Quilter said...

The quilt is so incredible and gorgeous! I can't wait for the tutorial.

Sarah said...

Wow! This is great! I love string quilts.

beth said...

Your quilt is gorgeous and I LOVE that fabric for binding. An excellent choice!!

Vicki said...

I love it. Phone book paper, that's a great idea!

tara said...

Oh wow! How dramatic. Fantastic quilt.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Great job! Such a cheerful string quilt.

ktquilts said...

Awesome quilt!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

Blessings,
KT

Karen said...

Fantastic quilt! Thanks for joining in the fun at Amy's. It certianly looks like a great stash busting quilt. Love your colour choices. Blue and red are such wonderful classic and stylish colours.

Jenn said...

Gorgeous! You definitely have some talent...and patience! :)

Sarah Craig said...

What a spectacular quilt!! I love the double pins - I wish I had time to do one like this, but it will probably be a while before I have that much spare time..... so I will just enjoy yours from afar! Congratulations on this fabulous quilt!

manuela said...

What a great quilt, it has so much ZZZing! The phone book paper is a great idea and too funny - piles of them have been standing at my neighbors' doors for a week now without takers. I should get some!

Carol T said...

Wow, this is an amazing quilt!!!

JKP said...

I love this. I love the light blue contrast with the red!

Heather said...

Absolutely gorgeous! And believe me, I completely understand your excitement over getting it finished. Congratulations! :o)

Fresh Poppy Sisters said...

BEAUTIFUL! I am LOVING blues/aquas with reds lately, it is such a fab combination. That binding is great, love finding a perfect binding.

Lesly said...

Wonderful finish! The quilt is very striking!

Jan said...

Gorgeous! I love how all those very different fabrics just seem to all fit together and make one beautiful quilt! The binding fabric is perfect, too!

Rene' said...

This quilt is just amazing!!! I love the reds and blues. Can't wait for the tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

Stephanie said...

What an amazing string quilt!!!

I am Just One Mom said...

What a blessing blog posts are to me! I love pinwheels and yours is quite a vision. Your tutorial is excellent and I appreciate your effort to share it with blogland.

Connie said...

This is really beautiful!
Quilting by the River