Thursday, July 09, 2009

String Hope

A bit more than two years ago, my friend Bonnie came to visit. Both of us made the letters and she made all the string blocks for her incredible quilt Love on a Shoestring Budget. (You can see it in progress here.) I have wanted a quilt like it ever since. So this is my hopeful version:

This pic should enlarge when you click on it. It amazes me how much better these blocks look in photos than in person. It's so jumbly when I just look at it.

I've been sticking to Bonnie's philosophy of fabric aka the Garbage Can Method. Her quilts are so joyous and unrestrained, probably because she doesn't over think it. So long as the fabric has a decent threadcount and you can't poke your finger through it, it goes into the quilt. That means mixing together repros, batiks, holiday, novelties, etc all together. Worry about value and contrast. And for me, really worry about using light-colored fabrics - far too many of my quilts are dark.

This is my first time fishing fabric out of the Garbage Can. Well, and sticking to it. (I made a few stringed diamonds once and hated them - but they look great in Bonnie's String Lone Star). I've always always always thought that neutrals and offwhites and beiges etc would change the look of my quilt. But these quilt blocks are bright even with the muted yucky fabrics.

Here's a HOPE with repros batiks and brights:

I included the ugly awful Florida Gators fabric that my new friend Jeri gave me. It's hideous and I don't even know what sport the team plays, but I had to throw it in. It reminds me of that nasty Steelers fabric that keeps working itself into Bonnie's scrap quilts.

Little bits of Halloween pop out:

I'll think of Siobhan when I see her duckling and goldfish conversation print:

Blocks in progress:


This is Pokey's quilt. It's all about the hope I cling to for her to have a long, happy, reasonably healthy life.

My sweet baby

I'm enjoying making blocks. There's fabric in here from friends new and old and "imaginary" (as my husband calls all my blogging friends whom I've never met in person). There are definitely bits from Cher, Sharon and Kathie B, amongst others.

So there's lots of fabric from other people and lots that aren't in "my" colors and yet the final product really does look like me. I'm amazed.

But now I have to decide if I've made enough blocks. I could make a wallhanging this size. Or I could keep making blocks and go for a lap quilt. Decisions, decisions.

In non-quilt news, I'm watching the Tour de France. I wasn't going to but Lance Armstrong is riding and it just made me nuts not to see it. And now he's tied for first place - woohoo! So weird to be rooting for the Kazakh team instead of U.S. and George Hincapie isn't riding with Lance. Eek.

30 comments:

Kristin L said...

It is such an energetic quilt. Since it's for/about Pokey, and there's so many fabrics to remind you of your friends, i think you have to go for lap sized so you can wrap yourself in hope!

be*mused jan said...

I think it's absolutley fabulous!! So full of joy.

ROZ said...

Yes! Out of the garbage and into the quilt! Very "Hopeful"

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anina said...

Beautiful quilt!

True Blue Nana said...

I love the string blocks and the way your arranged them, very Gwen. I also see that a couple of strings are pieced. I have never used the "garbage can" method. I definitely over-think my colors etc.

sewprimitive karen said...

Oh, Pokey, you have the most incredible cat eyes ever, esp. in that first photo.

Mary said...

What a riot of color and taxtures! I love it!

Marj said...

Your quilt story really pulls at my heartstrings, I have a soft spot for cats. Love all the colors and dream of getting liberated myself someday. Keep it going and make it lap size, so this winter you can cuddle up in it with the ones you love.

BUMBLE BEANS said...

WowzA! You been cranking them out! looking good! Love all that HOPE!!!!

Sarah said...

the gators play all sports, but they won the national championship for college football this year! woo hoo! i'm a gator fan, but my husband is one of those obnoxious gator fans mentioned above. : ) love the quilt!

Quiltdivajulie said...

LOVE your hope quilt ... good for you for sticking with the plan!

Beena said...

Love Pokey's hope quilt!

Tazzie said...

I love the quilt Tonya, and the sentiment behind it too. Just wonderful.
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Notjustnat said...

I love it Tonya, thanks for explaining (to me)about you and Bonnie. I keep wandered how you connect because sometimes when visited you and click on your address, Bonnie's came up. I love the string quilt and I am with Bonnie. Scraps mean scraps, anything goes as long as I can't poke my finger through it. Love HOPE QUILT

Janet said...

I like your choice of one word and for it to be "HOPE". You have inspired me to start planning a word banner/quilt with our church quilt group. More to come as I go through the channels of approval.

Mishkat said...

Both this, and the Love on a ShoeString quilt, are just beautiful! It's hard to believe this looks better in person.

Many purrs to Pokey!

Jennifer said...

Amazing-- both quilts; both women!

Dena said...

I think it is so difficult to step outside of our box. I'm reminded of a show I watched where the guest put all of her cut fabric into a brown paper bag so she couldn't see it while she reached into it to select a new piece. The method is a little out of my comfort zone since the rule is you have to use whatever you pull out... but her quilts looked amazing when she was finished. I haven't been brave enough too try this method out yet, but I plan to. lol!

Deborah said...

I love the paws in the photo. Rusty actually thinks it is his job to pose on my quilts. What a lovely gift for Pokey.

KnitOneQuiltTooKristin said...

It looks fantastic and is so perfect for Pokey. It's amazing what sorts of fabrics can look great together. I just got back from an evening with the Gee's Bend Quilters. What an amazing group of woment. I'll post about it soon I hope!

Sharon said...

Your quilt looks so good, and very YOU! I'm inordinately pleased to know that some of my fabric is in it! And I think it's cute that I'm "imaginary" - what a hoot!

It's hard to do that Garbage Can method. I've been doing it with my strings, and it's tough! I try to force myself, but sometimes I "cheat".

I'd say, go for a size you can actually cuddle up in. That would be wonderful. How about this for a name: Hope Strings Eternal?? (Sorry, I know it's punny, but it just struck me while I was looking at its photo.)

Kathie said...

LOVE this quilt!
ah hope
just love this word
and your blocks are awesome

Kathie

Clare said...

This is soooo you. Did you foundation piece the strings or just wing it?

Haven't been watching the Tour, but they are in the Pyrennes today so might just watch a bit later.

YankeeQuilter said...

That goldfish fabric is one of my all-time favortie conversation prints! Love the randomness of the strings....

I Love Baby Quilts! said...

I think you should make the quilt Pokey size and let Pokey lay on it on the floor. I've met Lance Armstrong many times - I live in Austin and his son went to the summer camp I ran. He was nice.

Hey, i'm having a contest/giveaway today for designer fabric lovers! Come on over and enter!

Lynda said...

I love all the fabrics you've put in this quilt, and I had to look very carefully to find the 'gators! (Bonnie said that if it's a fabric you hate, cut narrow strips, and if you still hate it, the strips weren't narrow enough!)

Cher said...

jumping in to say hooray for grabbing and stitching and loving the result. I brought strings to work on..but..been too distracted to sew here in Bend/Sisters. oh well...your blocks are looking fabulous T

jaybird said...

looks great... i love the mix of string blocks and words!

Anonymous said...

I was hoping you would quit cutting your hair so short are you a man. It is so unattractive. All those other quilters with short hair are lying to you and telling you it looks good. It doesn't you can't be that lazy since you spend so much time quilting spent about ten minutes on hair. It is so awful looking.