Friday, November 20, 2020

String Diamonds Finish

The last time I talked about the String Diamonds quilt (post here), I was in the process of piecing it on foundations of telephone book paper.  I got them all done, trimmed, and papers removed.  They made such a pretty stack.

I played with the layout a bit on the design wall, as you do, and then gathered the pieces back up into stacks of labeled rows and put them aside while I made the wedding quilt.

When the wedding quilt was at the longarmer, I started putting the String Diamonds top together.  I quickly realized that where the narrow points came together, it was going to take some friendly coercion to get those seams to lie flat. 

I was reminded of a day in the 1970s when I heard a noise coming from my mother's sewing room, and I entered to find her standing over the ironing board wielding a thingamabob she'd had to purchase for the tailoring class she was taking.  

(Dritz point presser and pounding block)

Now being of the "spare the rod..." generation, my mom was no stranger to whacking things into submission, but what in the world did that polyester double-knit ever do to her?

That's when she explained that she was using her wood block to get a seam in her blazer to lie flat (I think it was a pocket detail), as she'd been taught in class.  Ah, so this was really a legit thing!

Back to my String Diamonds top, I probably still have my mom's old point presser and pounding block somewhere packed away, but I was too lazy to go looking.  So I grabbed the closest thing from the pegboard above the workbench a few feet away.  It worked, but...

It also dented my ironing board.  So after the first few blows, I grabbed a piece of scrap wood and put it between the underside of the quilt top and the ironing board.  That, and a hot steam iron, worked like a charm!

I've really been trying to use my stash as much as I can and avoid the stores.  I actually don't mind having some limitations; it gives me an opportunity to think more creatively and often leads to some interesting choices.  

Take, for instance, the backing I used on the String Diamonds.  I had a big old bunch of it (a thrift store find, I think...either that or among the things a friend gave me when she was helping her mother destash).  I thought I might use it for the back of a girl's quilt at some point.

Well, I'm a girl, and why not? I thought to myself as I was looking for backing options for String Diamonds.  It may be an older fabric, but it's fun looking and playful.  I'm all for that.

I quilted this one in a simple meander with multicolor thread.  That's something else I seemed to have plenty of, so why not use it.

This is my new TV-watching throw for winter.  Currently, we're watching The Crown (love!), but before that we binged The Queen's Gambit on Netflix (also very much enjoyed).  I highly recommend both.  As well, there's been The Voice on network TV.  There are some wonderful singers this season, as always.  Interesting how they've managed to make the show work within pandemic-required restrictions.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Wedding Quilt

 I was waiting for a mid-October wedding to take place before I showed you the quilt I was making for it.  And now I've waited another month...for good measure? 

(Neighbor's tree on Sept. 30)

Well, better late than never, as they say.  Although the latter briefly passed through my mind, as apathetic as I appear to be toward writing anything down lately.

(Same tree on Oct. 10)

The inspiration for this quilt came from an image I ran across on Pinterest, unfortunately with no origin story, website, or reference as to its maker, so I don't know who to thank for it.  If you recognize it, let me know so I can give proper credit.

(Inspiration Quilt, Maker Unknown)

I did a little doodling on graph paper to get the numbers worked out, and then set about cutting out a lot of squares from background fabric and multiple batik fat quarters, and then making roughly a bazillion half-square triangles.

I ran out of room on the design wall as I was laying out the pieces, which should have been a good clue that I might have a size issue.  

There is a certain size I try not to exceed if I'm going to quilt something myself, which was my intention with this wedding quilt.

But I forged ahead anyway, sewed it all together, and then put the quilt top on the living room floor.  And that is when reality hit, ushering in a plot twist:  Contact my local longarm quilter and see if there was any possibility she could quilt this wedding quilt for me within two weeks.

I fully expected the answer to be a kind no, but to my surprise she said she could do it!  Thank you, Sandy, for saving the day!

The happy couple, my brother and his new bride, say they love it and that it now occupies a special spot on the back of the sofa.  I hope they enjoy snuggling together with it in the months and years ahead!