Sunday, March 18, 2007

Strips and Strings

No new pictures in today's post because I was so busy sewing yesterday that I forgot to take any! Everyone made great progress on quilts for Hotel Hope. I finished the string blocks for my string quilt and sewed it all together - and discovered I need to put very wide borders on it or sew more blocks. (I put up an old picture of the project so you'll know what I'm talking about.) Our Hotel Hope quilts need to measure at least 63" x 87" and mine is about 15" short in each direction. I don't think it can handle borders that big so I'm going to be doing some more blocks. I also brought home two tops with batting and backing that others finished - I'll do a large meander on the longarm and then return them to the makers for binding.

I'm sewing my string blocks on old phonebook pages as recommended by Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville. The other 6 quilters who were at the Hotel Hope sew-in were fascinated by what I was doing, as none of them had ever made any string blocks. By mid-afternoon they all decided they wanted to try but most of them claimed the didn't have many strings at home. One new member in particular has no scraps as she's just gotten back into quilting. I told her to grab a handful or two from my box as it still seemed clear full and I had another tote full also. She did just that, and then a couple others asked if they could take some. I said sure, why not. In the meantime one of them had been cutting lots of strings from donation fabric we were given - making them wonky uneven widths because they liked the looks of mine. She tossed all the strips into my box so everyone grabbed more. After another 30 minutes or so a couple others came over and asked for strings. The box was getting noticeably emptier but I said sure - as I figured there were still lots. Well, by the time they were all done they'd emptied the smaller tote and almost emptied my box! I said "Whoa! I need some to finish my quilt! So they each brought back a handful or two, but still I went home with probably 25% of the strings I came with. It was so much fun watching them all get so excited about the strings! I can hardly wait to see what they come up with. I have a feeling there will be several string quilts in our initial Hotel Hope donation. And now my box is once again full because I dumped in a tote full of 7/8" strips and one of 1 1/4" strips.

Wednesday afternoon I'm leaving for quilt retreat with my PINS friends - I can hardly wait. This is a group of us that met on the Internet, and we get together for a retreat twice a year. If you'd like to read about our other retreats go to this post and this post and this post. We are once again in the basement of my favorite quilt shop Momma Made It for our spring retreat. This will be a huge test of my will power. I'm going to allow myself a small amount for shopping - after all, we'll be there four days and I'm certainly not a saint! I'm going to try to do way better than I've done in past years, however. I'm taking mainly scraps to work on - my strings, my 2" squares, my crumbs and two sizes of strips for sewing mile-a-minute blocks. I'm also taking all my orphan blocks plus a lot of other oddball leftovers as I thought it would be fun to design a "kitchen sink" quilt as all the classroom walls are covered design walls. Of course I'm taking hand quilting and hand appliqué also - just in case I get tired of sitting at my machine. I'll take lots of pictures and give a full report when I get home.

1. Breakfast with all our kids and our new granddaughter
2. A brilliant daughter who fixed my computer problem that stopped me from downloading pictures.
3. At least a half dozen small totes and boxes now empty that used to be full of cut scraps.
4. Beautiful spring sunshine
5. Laundry that is almost caught up!



Anonymous said...

do you want me to send you some strings!!!!
I could help you out and refill that bin if you would like!

quiltpixie said...

as long as you kept 2 strings all shall be well as I swear they reproduce in the dark! :-)

cher said...

way to share the wealth of strings! I am sure you have launched a string quilt fad and won't they all be such fun to see done? I like your plan of what to take to retreat. oh, and congrats on a loan paid off and a retirement date set!

Libby said...

What fun to have the ladies learn a new technique and be sent on their way armed with fabrics to carry it out. I can only imagine how fun it must have been for you and surely something they will not soon forget.

Dawn said...

Oh how fun! I really do like your string quilt! It is wonderful! Hope you have a great time with the PINS friends!

Vicky said...

I love those string quilts. I wish the ladies here would get together to do some but they all work on their own projects.

Nancy said...

I had to laugh when I read that everyone dipped into your strings so much you didn't have enough left for your project! Like others who've commented, I'd be happy to send you some more. LOL!

Su Bee said...

3 days in the basement of a quilt store??? Girlfriend - you have waaaaaay more self control than I! Have a blast!

Judy said...

Excellant story Patti! The ladies won't soon forget the generosity, and the charity will benefit the most of all!

I look at buying now as just things that I need to add to the process to finish the quilts I make out of 90% scraps and stash!

Pam said...

The string quilt looks great - I love the way the inside sashing is narrower that the outside sashing around the four blocks. I love the postage stamp quilt as well. Have a great time on your retreat. So wonderful to have a group to get away with so often.

Do you cut most of your scraps up into strips or just some of it? With my reorganizing I have two very large scap drawers but I need to do some organizing of them now - LOL

Sweet P said...

I guess it is true what I've heard . . . strings are addictive.

Have fun on your retreat!

swooze said...

I like your quilt. Funny that you had to recall your strings!

Mary said...

I love it! I just don't get how my strings are multiplying so fast but I did lots of cutting for the Pinapple quilt which unlike your string quilt which needs to grow - mine is stopping early. Keith likes the blocks but not sure he likes it enough to have it on the bed so I'm making my blocks into a sofa quilt for me!

Nicole and Phil said...

this is looking terrific! I love the sashing and squares for this! It is amazing to see the heart strings "lift" when you all the sashings!
Weel done!

YankeeQuilter said...

Your retreat sounds like so much fun! Enjoy.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Love the strings with the black borders, doesn't it male them jump! tracey