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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Irish Chain Quilt - 2010




Ben's Irish Chain quilt.  Unfortunately, my pictures were not as good as I'd like.
     My last post featured a quilt I made for my god daughter's high school graduation this year.  In 2010, I made a quilt for my god son's high school graduation.  He requested a quilt in the colors of his high school (red and white) and his mom's family is of Irish descent.  So, a red and white Irish Chain quilt seemed perfect!


The red used was not a solid.  I found a scrap showing the subtle dots in black and white and dark red. 

Each corner had either a star or an extra 9 patch block, which I heavily stippled. I used a homespun red and white check for the border, and accented with the black and white dots.

I did the quilting in red, with an all over meandering design.

A close up of the quilting.

I printed the Irish Blessing prayer and put it on a label on the back of the quilt.


An out of focus close up of the heavy stippling in the corner block. 


     In designing these quilts, I tried to reflect the recipients' personalities and interests.  Ben is an accounting major in college, so his quilt was precise and straightforward, with a controlled color palette. 

Ben's Irish Chain quilt.





     Ruth is an artist, so her quilt was wildly colored and unpredictable. 
Ruth's Scrappy Around the World quilt.


    Both were made with lots of love.



   I am working on a number of projects, and hope to finish some up during my upcoming summer vacation.    After I finished my scrappy string quilt,  I wanted to see how a very controlled string quilt would work out.

My Scrappy String Quilt. 
    Here is one of many identical blocks for a more controlled string quilt.   I can't wait to see how this looks finished.  It is quite different from the scrappy version, although put together just the same.

 
Cats, and ducks, and hens and pigs. 

     Have a wonderful and safe Independence Day holiday.

Take care,
Gretchen 
   

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Scrappy Around the World Quilt!


 
Ruthie's Scrappy Around the World Quilt.


     When I first began to follow quilt blogs this year, the scrappy around the world quilts were all the rage.   I liked what I was seeing, and decided to give it a try.  I finished this a while ago, but this quilt was a high school graduation present for my godchild, Ruth, so I had to wait to post this.  Congratulations, Ruthie!



The quilt is large - 72 x 96
     
The back of the quilt.  The print fabric is from IKEA.


A close up of the back, with the loopy quilting on the interior panel.  I used a bright multi colored cotton quilting thread for all of the quilting.


A close up of the stippling in the border strip.  I used leftover strips from the blocks to create this border.

A close up of the quilting on the interior panel.  I wasn't sure about the multi colored thread, but I love how it complements the colors of the quilt.





I actually tucked in all (or most) of the thread ends. 






A portion of the back showing all three different quilting styles.  I used a walking foot at 1 inch intervals to quilt the rows in the bright blue border


I also used left-over strips for the binding.  This photo shows how the quilt crinkled up nicely after washing.

      The various scrappy around the world quilts I saw on the blogs were of all sorts of fabrics.  I decided to go with all solids, as I had a large variety of solids left over from various projects.  I used nearly all in my stash, with the exceptions of brown shades, which just didn't seem to go. 

Some of my stash before taking out the rotary cutter.
After the cutting  - the strips are 2 1/2 inches, which made for 12 inch finished squares.

I laid the strips out all over the house to pick combinations for each 6 color square.



Here are the six color combos, before sewing together to make the strips.  There are some great tutorials on the internet showing how to construct these very easy blocks.


Here are the six color combos sewn together, before cutting into strips

Here is a sample of the strips picked apart at the various seams to create a block.



Laying out some of the finished blocks to see what it would look like.



All the blocks put together, with one strip of the border.  I love the bright blue and I had a lot of it.


Getting the quilt pinned for quilting.  I find these binder clips work great in holding portions of the quilt sandwich taut for pinning.

Taking over the dining room table to quilt.

A close up showing a quilted and a non-quilted portion of the top


       This was a really fun quilt to put together.  I think this would be a great one to make as a baby quilt, or with a more controlled color palette.    I am working on a pair of quilts that will be gifts, as well.  I can't wait to finish them, and share them!

Take care,
Gretchen

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The scrappy string quilt is finished!



The finished quilt on a beautiful day.

     A few rainy days off, and I made great progress in finishing up the scrappy string quilt. The top had been completed for some time, and I finally got around to quilting it all together.


I love the wild mix of colors and prints.

     I ended up quilting it pretty heavily, using the squares within the red lines as a template.    I wasn't too concerned over whether the lines were straight, which is a good thing, since none are.   The block itself was about 11 inches, and was a bit too  large area to quilt easily,  and I found myself wishing for a long arm machine!

A close up of the quilted blocks.




A close up of the meandering quilting.





     I wanted the red lines to stand out, and so I used my walking foot to stitch in the ditch on each side of the red strips. I used red thread on the top, and white on the back, and was happy that very few spots of red show through on the back.


My walking foot in action.
 
      I have seen several quilts on line where the backing fabric was from IKEA, but unfortunately, there is no IKEA in this area. Luckily, my sister lives near an IKEA and got me some. I patched the IKEA yardage together with some other leftover backing, and used two blocks that were left over for the back!
 
 

The back of the quilt.

     The photo below really shows the dense quilting, the lack of straight lines, and the success of my red and white thread effort! 

 

         Since this project had been an attempt to use up some of my years of scraps,  

My former scrap basket contents!

 I decided to use left over binding pieces for this scrappy quilt.    I never seem to actually plan how much binding to make, and usually have too much, which I guess is better than making too little.  



My basket of binding leftovers.  I ended up using  up the black dot, the green with red dots and a little bit of the solid yellow for this quilt.


A view of part of the finishing binding with the black dots. 

     I love how this quilt turned out!  It is really soft and crinkly with all that quilting, and contains so many reminders of earlier quilts.   The string piecing was pretty easy to do, and a great way to use up all those scraps.  I may try one with a limited number of fabrics and see how that turns out.  Maybe a baby quilt!   
 
     Next week I will reveal a new quilt that has been under wraps, since it is a gift.    Until then, take care. 
 
Gretchen