Monday, March 28, 2011

Red Strings Progress

I have made quite a bit of progress on the Red Strings Quilt. Since Saturday morning, I've quilted just a tad over 1/4 of the quilt. Yes, hand quilting. And, it's been fun.

I thought perhaps I should share the story of the Red Strings Quilt. This is how lots of my quilts get made, just random things happen and before I know it, I have a quilt. :)

I was browsing through my Google Reader about 4 years ago. I ran across a blog post by someone in my area. She was actually about 20 miles from me. Considering the Greater Houston area is comprised of about 10,000 sq. miles, we were practically neighbors.

Anyway, on her blog she mentioned that she had LOTS of red strings that she wanted to get rid of, if anyone was interested. I was infatuated with strings at that time and contacted her. I drove out to her house and picked up the strings. There really were LOTS of them.

I brought them home, looked through them and put them away. I was too busy to start yet another quilt. Sigh.

So in December 2008, I pulled out those strings and started playing with them. I made a few blocks and put them away. Pulled them out again a while later and made more. I got the blocks put together sometime in Feb/March 2009 and stored the top.

Now, if you've read my blog for very long, you know I'm a fan of Bonnie's Scrap User System. I've shared the link dozens of times here. I loved her idea of cutting up fabrics you no longer love and using them in a pieced back. So that's what I Jan. 2010.

At some point I pin basted the quilt and got some feedback on how to quilt it. Many people encouraged me to machine quilt it. It really did make sense. The top is string pieced onto muslin. And the back is pieced, so there were lots of seams everywhere. I never machine quilt. I don't know how, I don't like it, it's not me, but I decided to listen to the advice. I started machine quilting it.

ICK. It looked horrid. I don't know what I'm doing. It wasn't fun. I hated it.

Now, understand. I'm not saying machine quilting is bad, it's just not for me. And, yes, if I wanted to, I could take some classes and practice and become proficient at it, but I don't want to. I ENJOY hand quilting and get carried away with it. It's peaceful and comforting to me.

I took that nasty mess of a quilt with 6 blocks machine quilted and stuffed it in a cabinet. This week, while looking through my cabinet, I discovered my Red Strings Quilt again. I pulled it out and began the process of ripping out the stitches. And, I began hand quilting it.

I'll be honest, I was afraid I would regret it, but it hasn't been difficult at all. I am quilting through the center of the strings, avoiding the seams on the front of the quilt. And, I was smart and started using a new quilting needle. That made a huge difference. And, the backing fabric is 10 inch squares so I don't run into those seams very often.

It's been fun working on this quilt and I'm getting excited about quilting again. And, you know that's been worth the long process that it's taken to get this quilt quilted.

Happy Quilting!!!!!


Diane said...

It needed to stew! You had to be ready! Now it is ready and so are you. Can't wait to see it.

free indeed said...

I love string quilts too. I've made two so far and I have more strings to use saving ideas for 'different' settings. I like your hand stitching lines...simple yet it is all it needs.

Rhonda said...

Yeah! Glad to see you quilting and blogging about it! I like the reds! Something about red just livens up the day or room!

Perry said...

Wow, this is going to be a beautiful quilt when you finish it. I have several quilts that will eventually get finished. Sometimes they just have to wait their turn.

Kekibird said...

Oh it's beautiful! And I'm jealous of your hand quilting. It's something I want to learn to do. I'm the opposite, machine quilting works for me and looks good. but the idea of hand stitching it is very appealing. I love the idea of all the work that goes into it.