The Big Reveal

>> Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's finally finished! I'm really pleased with the way this string quilt turned out.  I followed this paper-piecing method (which also happened to be the method used by a small group quilt-along I joined). While there are quicker ways to piece a string block, this method creates a pattern out of the red center strings that I don't think is possible from the quicker methods (perhaps I'm wrong?).

Although the blocks primarily use black and white fabrics, I threw in a few more red prints for some variation. I tried not to overthink the fabric choices within each block. Aside from not repeating the same fabrics within a block, I picked up a strip of fabric and attached it. If I sued a red print, I hewed to two per block and one per side, though I didn't necessarily use a red print (aside from the center solid).

The wind made it challenging to get a good picture of the back of the quilt, and this was the best my wonderful assistant (who wanted to be invisible) and I could get. Michelle helped me out by sending me some black and white blocks that made their way to the back of the quilt. Originally I envisioned using string blocks on the back of the quilt, much like I created the column of blocks here, and using a completely different pattern on the front. Once I started making the string blocks, however, I opted to continue making them and using them on the front. When it comes to quilt design, I change my mind all the time. It's the one area of my life in which I fully and truly embrace going with the flow and ditch planning.

The free-motion stippling on the quilt almost killed me. It certainly killed a lot of thread, some of which stayed in the quilt and much of which got ripped out. The red solid is "Christmas Red" from Moda, and it's a cheery, bright red. I used it for the binding as well, which I think helps frame the quilt. At 60" x 72" this is a large lap quilt, and I hope this quilt is well-used for many years in the future.

My sister loves red, black, and white and used this color combination for her wedding. In addition, she and her husband have a large black dog (who growls at me every time she sees me and, really, dislikes anyone who is not my sister or her husband). While this leaves me less than fond of Snoop, I figure the quilt will hide her fur fairly well.


Molly March 23, 2011 at 10:58 AM  

Truly amazing! I love the center stripe of red and the little shots throughout. Your sister and her husband are very lucky :)

Tammy Vasser March 23, 2011 at 11:18 AM  

LOVE it! Black/White and red always catch my eye and this one is a beauty! Great job!

Elsa March 23, 2011 at 11:20 AM  

what a beautiful quilt and the back is incredible too, 2 quilts in one!

Staci March 23, 2011 at 12:51 PM  

Your quilt is just wonderful! Yay for you! Both front and back!!

Unknown March 23, 2011 at 1:12 PM  

I love the pattern/design of both sides. With a pieced back you can always display that side when you're in the mood for something different.

~Michelle~ March 23, 2011 at 2:19 PM  

Wow, this looks great! String blocks are awesome! But I think I almost like the back better - I like the secondary pattern created on the harlequin fabric with your quilting, nice work!

Sewjournal March 23, 2011 at 5:04 PM  

Is it very naughty to say I really like the back better? It's so eye-catching. Well done.

free indeed March 23, 2011 at 5:38 PM  

That is a beauty! I love string quilts. I've made two large ones using telephone book paper and I left them rectangular to get a more elongated diamond. I also used the same fabric for a center strip to make the 'lattice'. Mine was all scrappy but I love the controlled effect of yours...stunning to say the least!

Karissa March 24, 2011 at 2:38 PM  

Very nice! And what a great gift, too. Bravo!

Abby and Stephanie March 25, 2011 at 7:15 AM  

Great quilt and I really love the diamond fabric on the back.

Danielle January 9, 2012 at 9:18 AM  

I am a bit late in my response, but I absolutely Love this quilt and as the new owner (i.e. the lucky infamous sister, I just want to say Thank You to my talented sister and that my friends continue to be amazed that my sister actually made this for me!! P.S. - it matches my colors perfectly and does hide my very nice dog, Snoops, fur well!

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