Friday, May 18, 2012

Madison's Graduation String Quilt Using Amy Butler Soul Blossoms



I had two graduation quilts to get completed this spring.  This is the second one I'm blogging about today.  My niece Madison, graduates high school this month and this is her quilt to take off to college with her.  Her favorite color scheme contains blues and periwinkles so when I showed her Amy Butler's Soul Blossom collection she said that would be perfect !

I am linking this quilt to Amy's Creative Side Spring 2012 Blogger's Quilt Festival.  

Amy's Creative Side



For the pattern I chose a string block technique.  It makes for a beautiful quilt that is full of detail and looks quite complicated when in fact it is pretty simple to put together. I learned a lot while making this quilt.  The technique was new to me and intimidating at first, but once I got going with it, it became easier and much fun to create each block to make it different from the others.  This quilt is very special to me because it is my first quilt to have this much piecing to it! I used fat quarters that I purchased off Etsy shops and cut each fat quarter in multiple widths of 1.5", 2", 2.5" and 3".
After I got them all cut I draped them over my stair railing next to my sewing table and would take off the railing for what I needed one block at a time....
Each block starts with a solid strip in a one inch width.  I kept all center strips the same color using a Kona cotton in periwinkle blue since that is Madison's favorite color.  For my paper piecing, I cut each paper block in a 15" square, then used the ruler markings on my cutting mat to mark a one inch wide path diagonally on each paper block.  I then used a craft glue stick to adhere each periwinkle strip to the paper.  I created each block one at a time.  You could do an assembly line technique if you wanted.
I sewed a strip to each side of the middle strip and then pressed them.  When sewing on the paper you MUST use a tight stitch so you can easily tear the paper off when the block is completed.  I then went back to the sewing machine and added a row to each side again and pressed with the iron again.  From that point on I could finger press the rest of the strips on the block.
As you work your way towards the corners, you trim the strips with scissors while sitting at the sewing machine.  I created a pile to my right and used the trimmings for future blocks as I progressed with the quilt.  After completing a block, I pressed it using lots of steam (click on the pictures to enlarge them)...
Then flipped it over onto my cutting mat and trimmed the excess fabric off the block.  Looking closely at the picture below you can see how the tight stitching perforates the paper and makes it easy to tear the paper strips off.....
I stacked my blocks as I got them trimmed and saved the paper tearing for sitting in front of the t.v. to catch up on my DVR'd shows !!!
After all blocks had the paper removed, I arranged them all on the floor in the order I wanted to sew them together and took one row at a time to the machine.  For the backing of the quilt I used mostly a solid periwinkle with a couple of pieces of coordinating prints to give it a modern look.  I cut my binding in 2.5" strips, stitched to the back and then stitched to the front.  That did not turn out too well for me.  I should have stitched to the front and hand stitched to the back!
Before binding it, I used safety pins to secure the three layers together, then used a free motion meandering technique to quilt it.  I wanted the quilt to really pucker so I kept my meandering tight.  It took much longer but in the end it was totally worth it to see all the wonderful puckering magic after I ran the quilt through the washer and dryer !


Katie went with me to Unity Village in Lee's Summit to get some good photos of this quilt before I get it off in the mail to Madison.  Here's the front......
and the back.........

draped over a park bench.........

A close up showing the hundreds of strips of fabric used in the quilt....

The back is just as pretty as the front........

Look at all the puckering !!!!!   Amazing, and it makes this quilt so warm and cozy to be nestled under!

All rolled up and ready to be put in the mail......
Scroll down to see who I have linked to this week including:
Amy's Creative Side

54 comments:

  1. Very pretty! Your neice is going to love it!

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  2. I'm in love with your fabric choices! This Amy Butler and the graduation one below in the greys. Great choice of quilt patterns, too.

    I am bowing before you for your talent in being able to quilt those puppies on a domestic machine. I cheat. I use a long arm. My neck just will not take me quilting on a domestic.

    Your quilts are gorgeous!!

    robin :-)

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  3. Looks so lovely! Great tutorial - I've been wanting to try this style quilt and I love the glue idea! Stopping in from sew many ways linky party. Amy from www.craftyshenanigans.blogspot.co.uk

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  4. That is SPECTACULAR!! Oh my word! I love love love it!! I know she will too :)

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  5. Great use of FQ's!!! The periwinkle is darling:)

    I see you have a Janome like me---aren't they terrific machines!

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  6. This quilt is fabulous! It looks so complicated but now that you've broken down the steps, I think I can do that! I'm sure your niece will love it.

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  7. What a beautiful quilt. I love the periwinkle pieced back as much as the front. Your niece is very lucky!

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  8. How beautiful! I just love any Amy Butler fabric. It's always so happy and cheerful, anything made with it makes me super happy :)

    I would love it if you would link up at Watch Out, Martha!’s first link up party: Martha Mondays, going on now through Wednesday! Hope to see you there!
    http://www.watchoutmartha.net/2012/05/martha-monday-link-up-party.html

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  9. That is just so gorgeous. I bet your daughter absolutely loves it, she will be the envy of the college.

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  10. That is a gorgeous quilt. You did an amazing job.

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  11. Very pretty quilt! I love the beautiful fabric.

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  12. Gorgeous! I looooove the soul blossoms fabrics. I'm sure your niece will enjoy this reminder of her family while at college

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  13. This is beautiful! I'm totally impressed!

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  14. Thanks for linking to TAke-A-Look Tuesday - you were featured today!!
    --Mandy, www.SugarBeeCrafts.com

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  15. Super pretty! She'll love it. I found you via Sew Many Ways.

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  16. This is absolutely gorgeous. I'm making a string quilt with Amy Butler scraps, foundation-piecing strips to very thin muslin squares. I love your idea of each block having the periwinkle color. Your niece is one lucky girl!

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  17. i adore
    the colors
    and pattern of this gorgeous quilt

    what a treasure
    for your niece to have

    thanks for sharing
    at Fridays Unfolded!

    alison

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  18. This is such a bright, fun quilt with the gorgeous fabric you have used. I LOVE it!!! Lucky, lucky niece...

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  19. Wow, this quilt is awesome! I love the colors! Really beautiful! Liz

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  20. I have a FQ pack of this line - what a wonderful quilt yours turned out to be. I might use your idea.

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  21. Beautiful and bright quilt! Love the fabric line - perfect for the fun design! Thank you for sharing!

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  22. I really love all Amy Butler fabric and have some Soul Blossom in my stash. This is a wonderful quilt and thank you for sharing the tutorial on how you made it. It looks great!

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  23. Your quilt is spectacular! I've made three quilts using Soul Blossoms. It's one of my all time favorites. Plus....I love Tommy Lee Jones! We have two things in common!!
    Simply Miss Luella

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  24. Really pretty string quilt! Love it.

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  25. I love Amy Butler and this quilt is gorgeous.

    Thank you so much for linking up with TGIFF!

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  26. Beautiful quilt! I'm sure Madison will love it. Glad you linked up with TGIFF!

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  27. great fabrics!

    margaret
    www.quiltsoflove.blogspot.com

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  28. Oh my goodness!!!! I love the fabrics and design of this quilt and would love to try it- thank you for the great tutorial.

    I was looking through your blog and your quilts and came to the post about your grandparents and was blown away by the beauty and love these two obviously have for eachother!! They are truly an inspiration- your pictures of them make me want to print one out and put on the fridge for how marriage can be years and years later!

    THank you for inspiring me today!

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  29. This is very bright and pretty with all those prints, well done.

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  30. This is so, so pretty! I love the colours. I'll have to remember Periwinkle Blue....

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  31. joli résultat pour toutes ces couleurs acidulées

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  32. I'm a fan of string quilts and this one is no exception. Beautiful! It's so bright and happy.

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  33. so beautiful!! lucky madison to have an aunty to make such a lovely gift. it's one of the prettiest string quilts i've ever seen. you've done a perfect job on the quilting, too. thanks for sharing and have a great day

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  34. oh, forgot to say i love your doggie!! we've talked about getting one...so cute, but have to wait for hubby to retire, so maybe one of these days

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  35. What a beautiful quilt, I love the way strings look so different depending on the fabrics! Your niece will love it!

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  36. It had to be hard to part with this beautiful quilt. I love it!

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  37. I'm in love with the design of this quilt and also the fabrics and colourway which just make it. I'm always drawn to strong colour and this is simply perfect.

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  38. looks great! i love string quilts

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  39. This quilt is a work of art! It is BEAUTIFUL - I love the colors and the pattern!!! My grandaughter asked me to make her a quilt for her 20th birthday last March. I have never made a quilt and have no idea where to start. I make draperies, and use to make children's clothes - would this be impossible for a beginner? Obviouslly I haven't made the quilt - yet but will have to do it; especially since she asked me again last week if I could do it for Christmas. In thinking about doing a quilt, I thought maybe just cut large blocks of several patterns of fabric instead of piecing such small pieces but that really wouldn't look good. Got any suggestions for a pattern? I would LOVE to make your pattern but afraid it would take me years to complete.

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  40. Billie.......If you've never made a quilt before, this might be a lot to tackle as a first project. It is an easy process though once you get started. I think my instructions are detailed enough that you can follow them. Maybe practice with some scraps first !!! Good luck !

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    1. Can I purchase a pattern for the stringe quilt? If so where can I find it? How did you determine which fabric print to cut in the various size strips (was it just a matter of choice), then how did you know which pieces to sew together to get such a variety of color/print? I sent my daughter your web page showing Madison's quilt and she sent it to my grandaughter - they both LOVE it! Now I'm committed to making it. I would GREATLY appreciate any/all the help you can give me. Thanks!!

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  41. I forgot to mention: Yesterday I went on a research trip to a local shop that was listed online as carrying Amy Butler fabric (they didn't have Soul Blossom and that is what I want to use. So I will have to order it online.) One of my questions was what are "fat quarters"? I was told it is a half yard of fabric torn in half down the middle. Why would you use pieces this size? How do I figure out how much fabric to buy? How much of each print? I counted 15 different prints from the picture you had of the strips on the stair rail - is that correct? I want to make a queen size quilt which looks like it should be 90"x105" equaling 42 squares at 15" per square. Does that sound right? Is seam allowance included in the 15" to piece the squares together?

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  42. Billie.....Sounds like you will have a big project in your future !! I would suggest going to ETSY and typing in "String Quilt Pattern" and seeing if there is one for sale. I made mine up as I went along by following other quilt bloggers. I had no set requirements for strip fabric pattern choices. I just Amy Butler's Soul Blossom prints and cut them to my liking. Soul Blossom is an older line now. It may be hard to find all the prints in it. She has some newer lines that are just as pretty. I want to get the Cameo line and make another string quilt. I think it will be just as pretty. You were told correctly on what a fat quarter is. I love fat quarters and find them easy to work with. I would definitely use fat quarters for a string quilt. It will make cutting the strips much faster. Yes to 15 prints. My quilt was probably a twin size. Seam allowance is not included in the 15". I cut all my paper squares at 15". Remember to shorten your stitch. It's one of the most important steps! Good luck !

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    1. I am ready to start (I think). I did not know how many fat quarters to buy for a queen size quilt. So I have found and purchased 2 sets of fat quarters (11 prints of Joy and 11 prints of Blossom) to begin my project. I bought 6 1/2 yards of solid color cotton for the center strips and backing plus all the accessories - mat, rotary cutter, ruler, etc. and 17 1/2 yards of Pellon tear-away to use for 15" paper squares. Did you use Pellon tear-away or something else. I hated to spend that much on something that would be discarded, but didnt know what else to use..? I plan to make a couple blocks hoping I can figure how many more fat quarters I will need to buy. I also hope the Joy and Blossom will look okay together. Thank you for sharing your information!!

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  43. Billie....Wow...sounds like you've got a big project ahead! Joy and Blossom will look great mixed together. I used copy paper for my squares. I've never tried Pellon tear-away. Let me know how that works. I would love to see pictures when we get the quilt top completed.

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    1. It might be a year (or more) but I will send pictures. Thank you for your ideas and help!

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  44. That is a true work of art. Simply stunning! What a wonderful gift from the heart.

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  45. Your string quilt is gorgeous. Could you please tell me how much of the periwinkle (center line) fabric you would purchase for a twin quilt (for just the center lines on the front)? Thank you so much.
    Liz

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    1. If you're able to reply, my email is: lizbruns@yahoo.com
      Thanks so much!

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  46. Hi. Just thought I'd ask, as a new quilter, how many Fat Quarters did you have to use to make a queen size quilt?

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