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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lavender Strip Race Quilt

I finally finished this quilt for the Gateway Quilt Guild "Quilters' Embrace" program. It has not been my favorite, but the finished product has grown on me.

It was supposed to be one of those strip race quilts where you sew a bunch of 2-1/2 inch wide strips together end to end--either on the square or by cutting the ends at 45 degree angles--and then cut off 18 inches on one end, then put together the two ends of the super long strip and sew it into a long block two strips wide. Next, sew those two together to make a long block four strips wide. Keep doing that until the quilt is the desired length or width.

Well, grace has never been my middle name. Those instructions did not work for me. For one thing, do you have any idea what it is like to have a mile-long strip draped across your floor, running down the hallway and wending through all the bedrooms, and then trying to keep that thing from twisting and hanging up as you pull it through the machine? All the while I tried to keep the cat from playing with it and getting wound up in it, and discouraged the husband from stepping all over it. I got as far as the super long block two strips wide and decided to come up with a Plan B.

I did the math on the strips given to me by the guild. They weren't baby patterns even though I only received enough strips for a quilt that size. I added strips from my own stash, did some more math to figure out the length I wanted the finished quilt to be, and cut the strips accordingly. I PATCHED those little stinkers together to make it all work.

Fortunately, I had this lavender fabric I picked up at a 50% off red tag sale with no idea at the time how I would use it. It became the border, backing and binding.

I put this quilt on my quilt frame along with an infant size quilt, and pinned the two inside seams together with the intent of quilting them at the same time. That sounded efficient to me since they were both relatively narrow and I planned to use light pink thread for both. We won't discuss how long those quilts sat on the frame, but this photo was taken in the middle of May. I finally got busy and got both of them quilted in a loose meandering stitch Monday evening.

The baby quilt I trimmed and will give to friend Sharon to bind and finish. It will probably go to one of the new moms at church. The lavender quilt I trimmed and bound this afternoon.

Now, if I can just get my "Today's Army" veteran's quilt (which I finally found after it had been misplaced for about ten months) finished this month, I will have met my personal Quilters' Embrace goal for the year.

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