Thursday, April 19, 2012

Look What I Did!

I moved a few blocks in and out and around until I came up with this arrangement for my scrappy string blocks:

Basically I was happy with it at this point. Except for the big wide solid black strings in a couple of the blocks. Notably in the upper center. Ruby Blue has some embroidery stitches in her repertoire. I thought I'd have a go at embellishing a strip while learning something new on my new machine.

This first block (which is from the bottom row, left corner) didn't go well. It took me four attempts to almost fill the strip with these little houses. I used a polyester variegated thread on top and just my regular cotton thread in the bobbin. I also made the mistake of leaving the even-feed system engaged, which is not recommended for certain stitches.

After I cooled down from that frustrating experience I picked another stitch, loaded Ruby with polyester thread in both the bobbin and on top, disengaged the even-feed, and produced these butterflies on another block:

I also chalked in a line to keep my chorus line of butterflies centered on the strip. In case you didn't notice, the houses are going downhill.

I think that touch of color through the solid black strip balances the color in the other black strips in the center of the quilt nicely.

On that wave of that success I decided to see what I could do to mask the imperfections of the block with the houses. This time I resorted to hand embroidery. A split stitch tree with lazy daisy leaves...

And then I had to add a couple of birds flying off into the distance.

Now I think I can start sewing the blocks together! :- )


  1. I like your design arrangement and I like your embroideries..machine and hand made. I have to add that I think string quilting asks us to totally let go of our judgments of what we have done. And that is not an easy thing for any quilter to do! I can remember many, many years ago when I saw my very first photo of a string quilt being super critical of every single thing about it. Now, I just look at them and love the freedom and free play and I think I absolutely love all of that about yours!

  2. Very cool how the black strip encouraged such creative additions to your quilt!

  3. It looks amazing! Love all the details you put in it too. Makes me want to jump into my pile of strings all over again!

  4. Love the idea of the embroidery stitches. Sort of breaks it up.

    This is going to be a lovely quilt.

  5. Lovely additions to what is going to be a wonderful string quilt.


  6. This is a wonderful quilt.You found a terrific solution to the thick black strips. It will take someone a year to look at each string and find all the surprises!

  7. fabulous! I love your design process and your problem-solving on the black strips. how big is this?


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