Accidental (Quilt Top) Tourist

My quote from yesterday: "I think I accidentally made a quilt top today." The short story: I did something to my right leg on Saturday - seems like a minor quadriceps strain - and since Jeff was out of state all weekend, I opted to stay home and stay off my leg to let it rest.

Idle minds...

...find the equilter scrap bag and say, OOOOH I WONDER WHAT TROUBLE I COULD GET INTO -- LOOK! COLORS!

Thirty minutes later, I had the entire bag of scrap strips (maybe 3-4 pounds out of the original 5-pound bag?) spread out over the table. I'd been looking at photos of string quilts anyway, and I knew that's what these strips should be used for. One thing tends to lead to another, and when I next looked up, I had them all sorted out by color. (Also, I had Tenzing's undivided attention.)

I wanted to do a string quilt, but realistically, it's hard to make them not look alike. It requires planning -- and a lot of strips! -- to deviate from the standard, which looks like this:

Ack,I promised I'd leave this alone till the weekend, but since completely streamlining the process I can make one block in about 10-15 minutes and it's addictive watching it grow.String quilt updated

image 'String Quilt Updated' by The Treacys

So, I thought ... what if I put the strips together by color? and didn't do triangles? In what seemed like no time at all, I had

Playtime leads to squares!  Or, it will as soon as I trim these down to 8.5' square.

Blog entry:
This quilt's page:


and I thought, hey, my leg's aching and why don't I just keep at it? Which led to

I'm not going to be able to make too many more sets from the equilter scrap bag.

Blog entry:
This quilt's page: done

['Almost done']

and me realizing that at a finished size of 8" each, I was pretty close to making an entire quilt top. Also, my Sunday had disappeared into the quiet whirr of my sewing machine.

Here's what they look like up close.  After cutting the strips to roughly 8 3/4", I sew them together like this:

Find a set of fabric strips that go together, and then sew them together into something slightly larger than an 8.5' squares. This set is from the pile I referred to as the 'light & bright multicolor,' meaning they were too variegated to go into a specific color pile, and they were light & bright instead of dark & intense.  (That's another block.)

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This quilt's page: ... tease?

['Strip ... tease?']

and then I trim up the blocks to 8.5" square:

Make sure all parts are extending outside the 8.5' lines. For extra credit, make sure the seams are roughly vertical. Trim all four sides.
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This quilt's page: on the 8.5'

[' Crosshairs on the 8.5" ']

The end result looks neat and clean and totally intentional. This block wasn't a specific color; it's from the "multicolored, light" pile:

This fabric's been sitting in an equilter scrap bag for a while. (I bought a 5-pound bag of strips like these for dirt cheap.) It's not 'waste' fabric any more. It pleases me.

Blog entry:
This quilt's page: bad, for 'waste' fabric

['Not bad, for "waste" fabric']

I'll get better photos tonight, once I've trimmed the squares up and set them atop some white fabric. That should make the colors pop, which they assuredly do not do when they're set atop my dark-green kitchen floor. Or, underneath Tenzing:

Tenzing gives the first few finished squares the Kitty Butt Seal of Approval. Behind him are the piles of fabric strips, sorted by color, that still haven't seen use yet. I'm starting to suspect they breed like rabbits.

Blog entry:
This quilt's page: to the chief inspector

['Off to the chief inspector']

I'm not wholly certain who is getting this one yet. I have a couple of people in mind. More info on that soon enough.

Link to this quilt: