Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Back to the purple strings

It seems like just maybe one month ago, but it was actually in June when I pieced these purple strings! They were set aside, waiting for me purchase the setting strips fabric... which I did on this last trip to Marden's. Thank goodness for running shopping lists because list in hand, I was able to actually remember what fabrics I needed to work on quilts in progress rather than just shopping willy nilly. Fabrics all washed and sent through the dryer, so time to sew, right?

Two photo of my progress so far... I had thought I would go with a bright-ish blue/teal solid-ish fabric, but none was to be found. But, I wanted to get back to this project. So, I settled on the mottled purple/blue fabric and I think it looks just fine! I really like how the dark purple sets off the scrappy strips. Sometimes I stand in front of bolts and bolts at the fabric store and say outloud to myself... "just make a decision, any decision; any decision is better than no decision". It almost always works... of course, there are times when a store just doesn't have any choice in a particular colorway... BUT - if I can be flexible, I flex. I can't even begin to tell you how many unfinished tops I would have instead of completely finished quilts if I held out for the "perfect" fabric. And, once the quilt is done I always think it is perfect anyway! So, the purple came home with me and for the Marden's price of $2.99 per yard, I won't complain - because I bought a fair bit of it in order to cut my strips full length.

This is a scrap quilt of my own making, with no directions per say, but made as a result of lots of inspiring photos around Bloggerland. So, in order to figure out the finished size and when to stop sewing, I simply put a finished quilt out on floor in the size I am aiming for (this particular quilt works nicely because it has a white backing). Then, I lay segments out on the finished quilt. I decided that I wanted my finished string segments to be 80" so then I put a little piece of painters tape where that measurement falls. Measuring from the top of the quilt to 80" down. I purposely leave a little extra give on my strips which will be trimmed off once everything is peiced together. The rest of the length is left available for top and bottom border measurements, which is the white you see at the bottom of the photos. By the time the borders are added the string quilt should be a little wider than the quilt I am laying it out on - which is what I wanted. Of course, I suppose you could always just measure out 80" each segment, but it is easier for me to lay it out on the floor and I like to see a defined area being filled up as I progress on the quilt!

After some consideration, I cut the alternate strips at 4.5" so I could get a fair amount of strips with less yardage then cutting the strips the same width as the strings. I like it. Because, the entire point of this quilt is to use fabric I have on hand it makes sense that the scrappy parts are wider and use more yardage than the fabric I bought in order to finish it up. Never mind the fact that for the 1st cut I was a bit distracted and cut 3.5" on accident. THAT is why I buy extra fabric when I have a particular project in mind.

Oh, and in case you are wondering... some of the units are pieced together in rows and some are not - which is why one strip is so much shorter than the others - that one still needs some strings attached to bring it to full length before I can join it to the setting fabric. But, at least I am once again making progress on my purple strings!

Just you wait and see what fun fabric I picked out for the narrow inner border! Too much fun - so I am motivated to get this top done... because I really want to use that fabric!


joyce said...

The purple looks great. Even if it is not what you were planning it's perfect.

Darcie said...

I think that your purple is perfect! It really brings out the colors of the other fabrics...much like black always does...but without the harshness.

I love your hint for sewing up and laying out a quilt!!! How simple...but yet so genius!!! Thanks for sharing that. One could even use a batting of the desired size too, I suppose...instead of constantly measuring.

Hugs to you and Growing Boy! ;-)

Doodlebug Gail said...

That looks lovely - no Growing boy in your photo today? I like the photos where he's playing with something or sitting on your quilt or 'helping' with your sewing. Take care.

Elaine Adair said...

Great use of scraps! Very pretty also.

And just where is Little Man?

Elaine Adair said...

Me again -- I did not notice this was just ONE quilt! My word, look how different it would look with light background, instead of the purple.

Susan said...

I love the purple - what a great buy on the fabric! I also like it with white in between - or off white. Just a beautiful finish coming up, and those strips will be so much fun for the quilter! Is that going to be you, or are you sending it out?

andsewitis Holly said...

I like your choice of mottled blue/purple. I say the same thing to myself "make a decision" - ha! Glad I'm not the only one :) Looking forward to seeing the inner border fabric you chose.

Laurie said...

I just LOVE the setting strip fabric you chose. I really does make the strings "POP"! Good job once again Evelyn!

Lindah said...

Your sashing choice plays nicely with your strips!

Linda H

Mary said...

I recently finished one of the HeartStrings Coins top using a purple as sashing - mine was a deeper color than yours but I agree that the purple works great with these.

Laura said...

The purple works great, it really does set off all the other colors. I can't wait to see your next border.

cher said...

I love to cut my strips full length too! your Boston trip sounded great-so much fun for both of you.