The weather was perfect for growing strawberries this year. The berries were large, deep red throughout, and full of flavour. From this flat of strawberries, we had a couple of large feasts of berries and I was able to make 30 jars of jam. Yum!
My quilt guild is hosting another UFO challenge. We have to take our UFO’s to the guild meeting next week and show them in their current state and then register them for the challenge. This past weekend I went through a bin of my UFO’s to decide which UFO’s I would focus on for the challenge.
One of the UFO’s in the bin was a wool project in a Ziploc bag. The bag appeared to contain everything I would need to complete the project–all the wool, thread, needles, marking pencil, templates, pattern, pins, pin cushion, and what was that? My good scissors? Yes, there were my long lost Gingher scissors. It appears that my scissors had been added to the project bag some time ago to make this project ready to “grab and go”. However, it seems that I never grabbed this project to work on it in years. I have been looking for my Gingher scissors for years – since the fall of 2009 to be exact. I never gave up searching for them as I would periodically take a box off the shelf and go through the contents thinking that the scissors may have fallen into it at some point by mistake. But lo and behold, there were my scissors–lanyard still attached (The lanyard was attached to make the scissors harder to misplace. Maybe I need to add something larger than a breadbox to the handles next time.)
The wool project is a wool Dogwood pennyrug kit. The Pacific Dogwood was adopted in 1956 as British Columbia’s floral emblem. The Pacific Dogwood is a tree that grows six to eight meters high and flowers in April and May.
I think the reason that I never finished this wool project was that the thought of tracing around the templates onto the wool was a bit of a fiddly idea to me and not as portable as I would have liked for a “grab and go” project. Fast forward some years to today. I have renewed interest in this project since watching some Quilt Roadies videos on YouTube. Anna, aka Woolie Mammoth, is a fan of working with wool and she has compiled a few videos on working with wool, including how she prepares her wool projects for working on as she travels.
Anna uses a product called, SF101 which is a fusible interfacing product made by Pellon that she irons to the back of her base fabric. SF101 not only provides stability for stitching her project, but Anna says it allows her to “travel” with her thread on the back of her project without breaking the thread and having to start again somewhere else with a new knot. SF101 prevents the threads from the back of the project from showing through to the front of her project.
Anna also uses a product called, Soft Fuse which is a fusible that can be ironed to the back of her wool pieces to attach them to her background–no pins!
Anna says that she starts stitching on the smaller pieces. She uses a whip stitch on the smaller pieces and then she goes back and does a buttonhole stitch on the larger pieces. Once Anna is finished doing the whip stitching and buttonhole stitching she goes back and adds any fancy texturing stitches that she wants to further embellish her project with.
With a goal of May 2019 through my guild’s UFO challenge, and these tips from Anna I have renewed energy to pick up this old project and complete it.
While doing my string quilt demo at our local quilt show, I was asked a number of questions by the public as they passed by. One woman in particular stopped and had a number of questions–my little featherweight – Charlotte – had caught her attention. After speaking to me for quite some time she told me that her husband worked for the local paper and he had told her to get some pictures of people looking at the quilts in the quilt show. She said she had so enjoyed our conversation that she made a decision to take my picture instead. And here you have it! This was a nice surprise to see it actually made the paper. This was a nice little bit of promotion for our guild’s show.
This is my latest finished flimsy. These blocks were pieced on a broadcloth (not 100% cotton) foundation. I piece blocks until I have enough for a project or two and then decide on the layout.
A fabric foundation makes the blocks heavier. In order to reduce the final weight of the quilt, I decided to add some unpieced fabric to the design. Once the blocks were pieced into squares, I placed a light grey Kona solid square on top of them and drew a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner across the block. Then I sewed 1/4″ from the drawn line on both sides of the line. By cutting on the line after stitching, I ended up with two string pieced half square triangles. (Say that a few times quickly!)
I played with layouts and after searching the internet for inspiration, I came up with this layout. The Quilted Twins blog is a great source of inspiration and free patterns. I ended up with a layout inspired by the quilt that Becky designed called, Stringles. I have inverted my “mountains” and I have not included the half triangle bits on the end of the rows or at the bottom of the quilt. I think my “mountains” look more like they are floating on the grey background.
Mountain Strings finishes as a flimsy at 59.5″ x 65″ which makes a nice lap size quilt.
This flimsy was finished Sept 30, 2013. I was in need of some sample quilts for a demo I was doing for our guild’s quilt show and so I decided now was the time to quilt this.
I quilted this one with the Circle Lord Swirls design as I think it makes one of the most durable quilts. The stitching lines are close enough together to provide dense enough quilting to make the quilt durable for multiple washes without such dense quilting as to make it stiff like a board.
Because the blocks were pieced on a muslin foundation, the blocks are heavy. I know a lot of quilters will leave out the batting on a quilt like this because of the weight. However, I like the cuddle factor that a batting adds to a quilt. I used Hobbs Thermore batting in this quilt which was perfect. Because the batting is 100% polyester and it is super thin, it added minimal extra weight to the quilt. I found Thermore to be easy to quilt – very unlike some other 100% polyester battings. I found a short video on YouTube that describes Thermore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAAw4DJ-W3o
A while ago I told my kids to let me know what quilt tops they liked and would eventually like to have as finished quilts. This was a top that my son picked out so I have named it, Matt’s Strings. One day when I have finished using it as a demo quilt, I will gift it to him as he put his name on it.
This quilt finishes at 54.5″ x 63.5″.