Finding the Next Project

Three weeks ago, I was working hard to finish the last of three projects I wanted to take with me on our beach vacation.

Two weeks ago, I was enjoying our beach vacation.

Last week, I kept thinking, “Oh, my. What next?”

When I’m ready to start on a new project, but have nothing specific in mind, I usually start with my books. I plop down on the floor in front of my bookshelf, and I start pulling out my sewing and quilting books. I love my physical craft books, and the act of flipping through the pages, making piles of possibilities, is very much a part of my creating process. This time around, the books that were left off the shelf at the end were Denyse Schmidt Quilts (an old favorite that I use more for inspiration than for actual projects), Fresh Quilting by Malka Dubrawsky (a newer book from which I’ve made a small scarf project for my sister), and String Quilt Revival by Virginia Baker and Barbara Sanders (a book close to my heart, as I acquired it for the publishing company I worked for, working closely with the two wonderful authors who happen to be sisters).

Next, I scooted across the floor to sit in front of my fabric stash. The print fabrics are roughly organized by color, so I went through the stacks, mixing and matching from the piles a few noteworthy combinations but nothing significant enough for a quilt. Then I pulled out my stack of solids. I keep them separate because I think of them differently than I do my prints. Unlike many modern quilts, my quilts usually start with prints, and solids are a bit of an afterthought. But this time I was struck by my collection of green solids.

(As those of you who try to photograph or print greens know, they’re tricky to re-create. This photo mutes the darker shades a bit.)

The combination of greens made me laugh—I liked the variety in addition to the fact that many were so close in tone. These greens got me thinking back to the book String Quilt Revival. I had made a quilt from that book already, and I was surprised by how dark it turned out (more on that in another post). What if I tried a string quilt mixing these greens with only green and orange prints?

I decided to make up a few blocks using the Sack Beauty pattern in the book. In that quilt the authors used a white solid for the “star” portion and strips of feed sacks for the octagons that form once the triangle blocks are put together.

To start, I used the template from the book to cut out six shapes of three different green solids to form the stars. Next I cut some orange and green prints into strips (or strings) in a variety of widths ranging from 1 inch wide to 1.75 inches wide.

And finally, I put together my six test blocks (which in this case are triangles).

Oooh. I’m intrigued! I love the colorful octagons that are forming. I’m not sure yet how I’ll handle the green centers: If I’ll mix all the shade into multi-toned stars or try to keep likes together. But I’m excited to make more and see what happens!

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  1. Looks like it is off to a great start!

  1. My First String Quilt « Christine Doyle
  2. String Quilt #2 « Christine Doyle

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