Thursday, August 5, 2010

Do you do wonky?

This post was inspired by Deb Rowden's 'How do you work?'

This quilt came together one day when I was particularly frustrated about something. The girls were out of the house so I had no limits on space. I got out the sewing machine, dressmakers shears, and all my heavier scraps - upholstery fabric, denim, corduroy.

I must admit that it was therapeutic. I used a heavy fabric on the back and an old sheet sandwiched in the middle (it was ugly and I really wanted to get rid of it). I tried hand quilting this in baptist fans, but the fabric was thick and it was hard going. I started free machine quilting it until my machine gave up.

I will get around to finishing the quilting on this eventually. If I pin it carefully, I think I can quilt out some of the bumpiness.

I have some woven tape to bind it with (not sure how to attach it though - anyone know?).

I love reading about wonky quilts on other blogs and looking out for them on e-bay, but it's not something that comes naturally to me. Next time I think I will try something that combines wonkiness with precision like this string pieced lone star. I still get a kick out of my corners matching up.

This top (circa 1930) was hand pieced - that's more my style. It doesn't have a foundation fabric - would it have been hand pieced onto paper? I can't imagine so.

I don't know how to go about string piecing by hand. Any ideas anyone?


  1. Your quilt turned out beautiful! I really like the gentle curves you have achieved.

  2. I purchased some 1940s string-type blocks that were hand pieced on newsprint:

    I don't think it's necessary to use a foundation, but the problem with hand stitching is that generally you stitch these blocks first and then trim them to the finished shape. If you have hand stitched the pieces, you will be trimming off your knots.

    I also hand blanket stitched feedsack scraps onto a muslin base, pre-cut to the block size:

    I love your vintage quilt top.

  3. Thanks for your comments;

    Sujata Shah - I didn't notice the curves until you pointed them out. I like the contrast of the curve against the straight line quilting.

    Martha - I had forgotten the baseball quilt, but it was certainly on of the quilts that inspired me to look for a top to finish on e-bay. I didn't think that someone would hand piece through paper - I wouldn't use newsprint, that would be tough. Perhaps this was pieced onto paper then.

  4. I really like your relaxed style quilt! I've spent so many years working on precision that I think a free form style quilt will be hard for me...but I want to try it!
    I love the string pieced Lone Star. I have one in my collection of old tops, and it's hand pieced too. It's one of my favorites.
    If you want to string piece by hand without a foundation, I'd say have a template of the size and shape you want, and as you cut pieces and stitch compare it with the template? Rough edges could be trimmed if you are careful not to cut your knots?

  5. Ann - I would love to see it if you make one. I do know your string pieced lone star, with the red setting blocks - I love it.

  6. I can see how making it would have been therapeutic