Friday, May 13, 2016

A Strings UFO - finished

The next victim of my UFO rampage is a "strings" quilt. 

I originally started these blocks in 2006.   The pattern was provided by an Quilting forum member, Becky in Suriname.  At that time, I made 40 blocks and then put the project away.  The reason?  I haven't a clue.  Maybe I got bored with the block construction.  It certainly is mindless sewing .. and if you need to do sewing of that sort, this is the block to do!

In any case, I definitely needed to make more blocks.
this is a block "set"

The block is 6"x9", certainly an oddball size.  The reason why it's *that* size is because I remember going through my stash and pulling all the thinner, plain cottons and polycottons.  A 6x9 block was the biggest I could cut out of one of the pieces, so that became the size of the foundation fabric.  For this pattern, it really does NOT matter what size your block is ... just that all the blocks are the same size.

I'm using the sew-n-flip technique ... the black diagonal strip is laid down first then all the other strips are sewn onto it.  As long as you have the right length for where the strip is being sewn, it's a great scrap buster method.  Of course, if you use a bigger block, you'll bust your scraps more rapidly than I am .. which seems to be at a snail's pace. :-)

This particular pattern calls for 8 blocks in a row ... 4 sets of 2 blocks each and you need to make sure that the black diagonals oppose each other!   Then a total of 8 rows creates the major part of the quilt. 

When it came to sewing the blocks (and then the rows) together, theoretically, all those black strips in the middle are *supposed* to meet up and form perfect diamond. 

 Yeah, like that really happens.  It became obvious that I wasn't being OCD-careful in the placement of the central black strip because, in several cases, those black strips most definitely did NOT meet up nicely.  There are quite a few intersections where there are jagged seams.    And I really am not going to be concerned about it. 

 This is not an heirloom quilt.  This is a quilt be used, hopefully for a long time, and as long as it gives warmth and comfort and a degree of love to the recipient, then I am going to be pleased.  Life is just too short to be too focused on creating a perfect masterpiece every time.

 Besides, I have a messload of other UFOs to get to work on!
2 rows sewn together
There were 40 blocks already sewn when I picked the bag out of the UFO bin; that's 5 rows.  I needed to sew 3 more rows; 3 rows x 8 blocks/row = 24 rows.  I started sewing the additional 24 blocks on 5/11/16.  After all the blocks were sewn and stitched together, I sewed on a narrow black border, to give your eyes a rest from the busy-ness of the interior. 

A piano key border was next.  This one was extra wide, at 6", but I had quite a few strips of pre-cuts that were 6" wide .. so that's why the piano key border is that width.  I varied the size of the individual segments to give some variety and finished off the corners with another sew-n-flip square.  I finished the piano key border on 5/13/2016.

Now at this point, the top is 59"x83" (almost a twin size).  There really isn't a strict standard measurement for quilt sizes but the reference sheet that I've always used states that a twin is 65"x95".   If I put a 3" black border around the whole thing, that will bring the top to 65"x89", which is close enough for me.  Having another solid strip of fabric on the outer edge of the piano key strip will also serve the purpose of holding all the seam ends together, since I didn't backstitch them.  So, I guess I have about another half hour of work left to do.  :-)

And ya know?  My stash of scraps does not seem diminished in any way.  How can I have possibly used up 15 million scraps and not see any appreciable decrease?  It truly is one of the Great Mysteries of the Universe.

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