Scrappy Solids String Quilt

 Solids Scrappy String Quilt by quiltytherapy #stringquilt #solidsquilt #scrapquilt #babyquilt
Last winter I had the wonderful idea to make 100 8 inch string blocks with my solid scraps.  Totally feasible and a great way to use up my cloth grocery bag bursting at the seams of scraps.  In reality I made 42 and am happy with that.  That large bag stuffed with solid scraps.  Still overflowing, but slightly more manageable.
That bag of scraps has so many colors and shades hiding in it.  By block 35 I was getting worried the blocks started to look too much alike.  I was gravitating towards certain colors.  This is supposed to be random and scrappy.  42 was the right number to stop at and make a baby quilt to have on hand.
With a string quilt, turn your stitch length way down.  No, a little lower.  When you rip the paper off it can loosen stitches and even pull some.  UGH, it did happen with this quilt.  My hope after washing and drying the quilt is that everything will shrink a bit and those stitches will tighten.
For quilting, I wanted something a bit dense to help adjust for some errors.  Straight lines criss cross over the quilt gives texture and hides most flaws in the crinkles.  At the retreat I machine bound this quilt but wasn’t happy with the overall look.  Last week I ripped out the stitches and hand sewed the binding to the back.  Now I’m much more pleased with the finished quilt.
I tend to wash quilts by themselves to help avoid colors running onto other items.  With this quilt I tossed it in with some towels and fleece blankets.  I really wanted this to tumble in the dryer.  Look at that crinkle?
The backing was pulled from my box of destash fabrics.  There was just enough to make the back between the two.  This older WIP used up scraps and some fabrics on the back I was ready to part with.
After trimming the quilt of all the little strings, I like this quilt more.  During the retreat there were some not so nice words while quilting.  What do you think?

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Quilting is more fun than Housework

Scraptastic Tuesday

Winter 2017 Sewing Retreat

It was an amazing weekend full of laughs and of course some sewing thrown in.  These are my people, they get me. Many of us had been commenting how much we were looking forward to the weekend.  It did not disappoint.
In addition to our own projects, we played games and shared laughs.  So many laughs.  We played two tense rounds of Left, Right, Center for fat quarters.  Quilters are ruthless despite what some may think.  Game one was intense and Lisa walked away the winner.  Game two things got serious.  Fat quarters were quickly getting throw into center.  One of my rolls included a C going directly into my wine glass on the floor.  Of course it did.
I was out of fat quarters but some were still floating around me.   Within a couple of rolls I was back in and suddenly I won.  I won!  So many lovely fat quarters for me to enjoy.  I almost cried I was so happy and surprised.
This weekend was really a chance for me to get through some WIPs that have been lingering.  I wanted to cross some stuff off my self-inflicted to do list.
Solids String Quilt
Good thing no one took video or recorded our conversations this weekend.  Lots of cursing and general dislike for the process with this quilt.  I will dig more into it later this week.  It was the first project I tackled and felt good to get this scrappy quilt done and bound on the first night.  Scrappy string quilts are on trend right now.
Botanica Bee Quilt
Talk about an old WIP.  Back in 2011 the guild held a bee.  I picked large log cabins using this lovely Botanica fabric.  Most of the fabric I had left was destashed last year, but I kept a couple of pieces in case I ever finished this.
My big goal for the weekend was to try free motion quilting for the first time.  Without Darcie and Rachael pushing me out of comfort zone, I wouldn’t have tried it.  Being true to my word from our goals meeting in January, I decided this was the quilt.  It’s smaller and not on the bias like the string quilt.  I wanted to tackle this first thing Saturday morning.
Holy camoly.  I was a sweaty nervous mess to take my first few stitches.  After a few hiccups I got the hang of moving the quilt around and the speed of my machine that worked the best.   More practice is necessary but the overall process went well.  I have another WIP almost ready to keep up my practice.
Note:  my arms, shoulders and back were SORE from it.  Something I didn’t expect.
V&Co HST Quilt
Quilt by committee is a wonderful benefit of retreat weekend.  I had all of these HSTs but really unsure the layout I wanted.  As I started to lay it out, others jumped in with suggestions.  This wonderful layout was the winning choice.
Blush Charm Quilt
Let’s go back in time again to another overnight sewing adventure from 2011.  IMQG traveled to one a member’s house for a night of sewing and games.  I started a charm quilt with lots of white from the Moda Blush line.  It’s been a bag ever since in my WIP cabinet.  No more.  The top and back are both done.  It’s ready to be basted and quilted.
A couple of people brought their scrap bins for everyone to dig around in.  We were like vultures if I’m being honest.  It was fun to pull out scraps from their projects and envision them in your stash.  Lisa even ironed and color sorted her scraps.  Too much work for me but her scraps were to enticing like that.  I snagged a few to help round out upcoming projects.
There are about 3-4 more projects I wanted to tackle this weekend.  They are newer ideas and I chose instead to focus on older items.  Look for upcoming series…Busting through old WIPs.
So many wonderful projects were worked on by everyone.  It’s invigorating to be around other like minded people for a weekend and accomplishing so much.  We sprawled our projects across the banister to get a better look at what we had done.  I am lucky to know many wonderful and talented sewists.
Does your guild host a retreat?  Have you ever gone away to just sew and hang out with friends?  I definitely recommend it.

Winter 2017 Sewing Retreat Prep

You guys, I’m going to be sewing all weekend with my IMQG girls.  AHHH!  One of my friends noted, “It’s like Christmas Eve. But better because I don’t have to deal with making anyone else happy!!!!!”  Exactly.  

Sorry that I have been a little more quiet on here this month.  There is secret sewing going on that I can’t reveal.  It’s a big project that is taking more than I anticipated.
This weekend is going to be glorious because I’m only taking scrap or personal projects.  No commissions, just fun time to sew.  Well chat, drink, and then sew.  Best part is spotty wifi, so we all get a chance to disconnect.  I have lots of tutorials and inspiration stored to Pocket.
Here are some projects I’m thinking about taking for the weekend.
Shabby Chic Granny Squares
Scrappy Irish Chain
Yes another one.  I loved the one I made last year and want to work on another.
Solid Diagonal Strip Quilt
This has been a project in the works for a while.  I just need to sew the back and quilt it.
Diagonal Strip Quilt
I have a V&Co jelly roll that I have been hoarding.  This would be a great project following this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew.
HST V&Co quilt
HSTs are cut, pressed, and ready.  Now I just need to decide a layout idea.  I’m thinking something like this.  Maybe a bit scrappier.  Thoughts?
Scrappy Love
I have been pulling out pink, red and purple scraps lately to create something.  I’m toying with the idea of a big LOVE project.  Maybe baby sized, but using some scraps and stash.
Older WIPS
In all transparency there are some OLD works in progress that I should take and finish this weekend.  They are stuffed away in baskets and cabinets so they don’t sit there reminding me.  “Hey, we aren’t finished yet.”  Maybe it’s time to finish the one from our overnight sew in from five years ago.
Whatever I bring it all needs to fit into my giant IKEA bag.

My Charming Plus Finished Quilts

If you’re having a bad day or need to see some amazing colors, take a look at the #charmingplusquilt and #charmingplusqal tags.  Those that participated created delightful versions of the quilt.  Go check it out when you have a chance.

Scrappy Version

Can I be bias for a minute?  This is one of my favorite versions of this quilt so far.  These are my colors.  Go look in my closet, most of my clothes are in range of this palette.  Best part is that I had forgotten about this scrap stash I found hiding in a box.  It’s the perfect baby size and is available for a new home.  It’s available on Etsy.

I pondered what to back this quilt in and remembered there was an Amy Butler gray print in my destash box.  It was the perfect size and really compliments the front.

Kona Navy makes for a binding that coordinates well with all the colors.  Quick and easy straight line quilting and machine binding.

Bundle Version

At first I was scared to dig into this bundle and put it to use.  However, it feels good to have finished something with the bundle and know it’s waiting for a new home.  This quilt is currently available on Etsy as well.

The backing on this version was a bit tougher to select.  I almost went with the golden yellow, but couldn’t find the right shade.   Crimson Tate had this Follie print in stock and enough to piece a back.

In my stash was less than a fat quarter of the black and gray dots.  Seriously, when I was adding the binding the last bit had just enough to make a seam.  Cut that one close :).

Overall

Having made this quilt a number of times I’m digging the 3″ square size for blocks.  I have some 1.5″ squares in my scraps.  Wonder what they would look like in this quilt?  Or mixed together with larger squares?  Guess that means I will be making more in the future.