Friday, March 17, 2006

Making progress

Last night I finished pressing all my strings. These two baskets full look so much better than the tangled mess they were before! Turns out there aren't as many as I thought there were. Lots of the mess turned out to not be strings after all - more like oddball shaped pieces that I'd separated by colors at one time and put in ziploc bags. That was when I thought I was going to make string spool blocks - with the thread as the string - and needed strips and pieces only 4" long. So I culled a lot of those - I just didn't feel like dealing with little odd shaped pieces smaller than 3". I know I could have made crumb blocks, but as it is I have enough fabric for 3 lifetimes at least. I stamped on my feelings of guilt and tossed those in the garbage. Also tossed were lots and lots of very narrow strings where the widest part of the strip was less than 1/2". Whatever possessed me to save those to begin with I'll never know!


I managed to piece two more blocks on Wednesday night, and I'm already playing with ideas. I like the graphic design when I put them this way on the design wall. I'm thinking of doing a double sashed quilt - with a small 1" sashing inside each four block set. What do you think of solid black sashing with cheddar setting squares? Then maybe the larger sashing in a bold red? When I'm at the retreat next week I can cut some strips to play with on the design wall.

I also have these baskets of 2" squares to deal with. There's a funny story about these squares - at least it's funny to me because it's so typical of my quilting. In 1992 I got to go to the Houston Quilt Festival with the Daisy Kingdom entorage. I took a scrap class from Dara Duffy Williamson. We were to bring "a large varied collection of fabrics". I just couldn't decide what to take, so I cut an 8" square from every piece in my stash to take. My suitcase weighted a ton! In the one day class I made a total of 4, six-inch blocks. The lady next to me didn't read the class sheets and had brought a total of 4 fabrics so I shared my loot with her, but still brought most of it home untouched. Fast forward about 5-6 years. I took an "Illuminations" class from the Watercolor ladies- Pat Magaret and Donna Slusser. I needed 2" squares of lots of fabrics, so I cut my remaining 8" squares into 2" squares. Illumination turned out to not be "my thing", so all I accomplished was putting some squares onto a design wall. In the meantime I had 15 pizza boxes full of 2" squares sorted by color and value. Fast forward to the present and Bonnie's leaders and enders. I dumped all the squares into two baskets and have been stitching them together as a leaders and enders project ever since. I have no idea what I'll do with these - I imagine as I continue to stitch them together they'll tell me what they want to be. In the meantime I'm having fun visiting my stash in tiny increments.


After work today we're heading to the beach with our kids for the weekend. I'll miss everyone while I'm gone, but hopefully I'll have some completed appliqué blocks to show you on Sunday night!

17 comments:

Bonnie said...

The string blocks just sing! What size are you trimming the blocks to? I have spent the past couple of mornings while the visiting kids have slept in just trimming down part of a laundry basket of accumulated scraps and trimmings...I emptied the basket today! YAY! It was a quiet activity since I didn't want to run the longarm and wake them up.

Bonnie

The Calico Cat said...

a question and a comments:

what did you mean by: double sashed quilt (I so have no clue what this is!) (I like the string blocks, but "that is not my thing.")

2 inch squares - worst case scenario: postage stamp quilt....

Laurie Ann said...

I like the idea of the black with cheddar for inner sashing, but not so sure about the red outer sashing. You'll have to do up a sample and show us! I is hard to throw away those scraps, but you were brave. I am thinking of throwing away a bunch of flannel strings because even thought I like the string quilts I don't know if I want to do the same with flannel. I must be brave! I didn't like water color quilting either.

Laura said...

Your blocks are looking great, have fun at the beach!

Vicky said...

I love your string quilt. I saw one in a quilt shop last weekend and it sang to me. Definitely on my to-do list - way up at the top!

Could you direct me to where I could find out about 'leaders and enders'? Sounds interesting.

Hugs

Samantha said...

the string blocks look wonderful! Glad you are having fun!

Finn said...

The string blocks look great Patti, and I love your scraps!! Never can have too many 2" squares, altho it does SEEM like it, at time..*VBS* Just keep stitchin'....hugs, Finn

JudyL said...

Your sashing ideas sound great.

Hope you all have a great time at the beach!

Judy L.

Linda_J said...

Sometimes it does make more sense to just purge the parts you absolutely do not want to deal with--stuff you are sick of and don't want to cut up any more than it already is, whatever.

Have a good mini-vacation!

Quilts And Pieces said...

I agree - you certainly will find something to do with 2" squares. I LOVE the idea of black sashing and cheddar cornerstones!

Cher said...

have fun at the beach! I love your string blocks! I am sure you will find a way of setting them with sashings so they look even better Patti.

Sandra said...

Your string blocks are fantastic! I look forward to seeing the sashing. Great job on all those leaders/enders - in no time at all you'll have enough for a quilt of some kind :-) I'm VERY impressed with your organisational skills - the crates look great!

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

Wow, your scraps are super duper organized! The string squares are coming along great - who knows - you might even have so much fun making them and remembering all those fabrics you might make more than 1 - so then you could play with more than 1 setting option! But, I like your ideas so far!

Cheers!

Evelyn

Jan Mac said...

I love the string blocks you've made so far. I love this design for using up strips of fabric and you're going to have a fabulous quilt when it's finished.

Patty said...

You have done wonderful with all those strings ! I like how the blocks have come out.

Passionate Quilter said...

great job in dealing with the never ending saga of what to do with all our scraps. And good for you for just pitching the ones you'll never use. Looks like you are super organized, one thing I am trying to do--talk about a never ending saga! LOL

Cathi said...

String blocks are looking great! I have a huge chest full of scraps that I want to do something with soon, you are inspiring me to get organized!