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.


  1. This quilt is absolutely gorgeous! And fun! Your backing fabric is perfect for it. So nice you are keeping this one for yourself. We are also watching The Crown and The Queen’s Gambit. :D

  2. Congratulations on your fabulous finish!!!

  3. Love your new finish! That blue fabric really sets off the string diamonds wonderfully.

  4. Whack away - I love it! That's really what needs to be done with all those points coming together. And your completed quilt is just lovely. I do like the background fabric. And your use of what you have on hand. I miss shopping (insert sad, sad face), but one day I can again. Your tv/netflix watching is right up my alley! Although we haven't started The Crown yet this year. I think this weekend will be it though :)

  5. A great post. All those seams meeting at one tiny point, very challenging so I understand the need to beat them into submission...yes, whatever it takes, :). Gorgeous quilt, btw. We also finished The Queen's Gambit which we loved and are now into The Crown. Finding Diana's story line a bit sad. Happy Stitching from me!

  6. You do what you have to do to make it work! Good job! Beautiful quilt, love the backing too.

  7. Very pretty spider web quilt! I love the backing, too!!! I've been wanting to make that quilt pattern--maybe next year's resolution list...

  8. I like the way the not-horizontal strings make elongated diamonds. I recall a quilt show vendor who sold wooden hammers and blocks for subduing those intersections.

  9. Your background does such a fantastic job showing off the strings! And I love the backing fabric too. What a great finish.:)


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