Tuesday, September 22, 2020

String Tulip Quilt Finished

Prejudices are rarely overcome by logic. 
Not being founded in reason, they cannot be destroyed by logic.
~Tryon Edwards


It was worth all the time it took to remove the border quilting. The spiral design didn't add anything to the quilt because it was hidden among the strong Xs and the tension was a mess. With the machine cleaned, the needle changed, and thread rethreaded it's sewing perfectly {except for my own bobbles.} 

Four crossed tulips center the medallion with string blocks forming Xs as a border
String Tulips on Green baby quilt

Quilting began with a few free-motion arcs on the tulips then SID around the inside and outside borders. After that it was time to stipple the green center. Other designs were considered {for a couple of milliseconds} but there are already lots of strong lines in the piecing and I find stippling easy and effective. 

Quilting on the tulip and stippling on the green background
Detail of string tulip quilting

The third step was quilting the string border and this is where issues arose. The strings are so strong that no quilting shows. I thought FMQ spirals might work but had tension issues that took most of last week to resolve. After taking that out I decided to scribble back and forth in the basic direction of the strings. When I reached the opposite block corner I simply switched directions onto the next block. I went around the inner row of string blocks first then made a second pass of the outer row. Better views are visible on the back. {Photos below.} 

The photo highlights the quilting on the colorful Xs of the border.
Detail of string X border

Usually I finish each quilt before signing it but a new idea occurred recently. If I carefully place my signature I can sign before quilting. It looks neater. I don't usually add a label. My dear mother used to write them because her handwriting was so lovely but I've found the ink fades over time as the quilts are washed. Painters sign in the lower right corner on the front of their work so why shouldn't we? 

Cursive thread writing using narrow zigzag and free motion stitching in the lower right corner of the quilt
Quilt signed and dated with cursive thread writing 

Obviously chartreuse is a favorite color of mine. I thought the green print on front had yellow crosses on it and couldn't find any fabric in my stash that matched/blended until I pulled these odd colors. There wasn't enough of the first so the second was added to finish the back. Of course, I could have looked at the selvedge but that would be too easy. ;-)

Two chartreuse prints make the back of this quilt
String Tulips on Green quilt back

{Over}thinking tripped me up again. In my mind there was enough of the darker chartreuse on the back to create the binding. Where did I get that crazy idea. Only a six-inch strip was left. Back to the stash. Several yellow-green prints came to light and this one worked best. Who'd have thought? 

This is why I prefer pulling fabric and setting them next to each other. There are wonderful surprises. Color theory is great in practice but we don't deal with color like painters. Unless we dye our own, we can't blend it. We use fabric; and printed fabrics in particular have their own ways of working. 

This photo gives details of the front, back and binding of the quilt
String Tulips on Green quilt folded

The outer border of the quilt is finished with half feathers. So easy and quick... which was appreciated even more after the inner border debacle.

Quilt Specifics
Size: 47" x 47"
Design: String tulips and string block border
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton
Thread: Superior Masterpiece 50/3 green cotton thread
Quilting: SID and FMQ
Approximate yardage: 6.5 yds

Previous posts:
1. Stringing along - the original idea
2. String Tulips - adjusting the original idea with applique
3. Working on the String Tulip quilt - starting quilting
4. Two Steps Forward and Three Steps Back - messing up the quilting


Did you read The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare as a child? It was recently available as an ebook and I took the time to reread it. On the death of her grandfather in the late 1600's, Kit sails from Barbados to Connecticut to live with her aunt and Puritan uncle. Her more relaxed background brings her into conflict with the rigid religion practiced in New England and it grows as she befriends a local Quaker shunned by most of the community. 

The book is praised for its theme of tolerance; however, given recent events it obviously ignores the issue of slavery. One sailor is proud his ship doesn't carry slave cargo. Kit sold {"let go" but didn't free so what else could it be?} her personal Black maid (slave.) Reading it this time made me wonder how Black children felt when it was assigned in grammar school. Fifth Chinese Daughter has worn better through the years. Still, this is a good story and a continuum on the road to the development of inclusion and tolerance... and I don't just mean the Puritans.

Enjoy the day, Ann


Quilting Babcia said...

A bold, bright and beautiful finish, I love it!

Pamela Arbour said...

I like how you used your strings and other fabrics. It looks so cozy.

Julierose said...

Lovely finish on this one--I love the "x" blocks in that surround for the tulips...
You are right about color theory--as far as printed fabric is concerned I've also found that to be true.
Nice finish Hugs, Julierose

Nann said...

The subtle background print for the tulip applique adds so much to this wonderful quilt, Ann. I like chartreuse, too, but it can be hard to work into projects....and I do not envy you having to rip out machine quilting.

LA Paylor said...

your first quote is exactly why I am always shaking my head over the cult followers. I like facts and reason logic is my friend. I can't make logical sense over people remaining loyal in the face of reason... and I now see it's not logical. It just is. I still don't know how to cope but understand a bit better.

patty a. said...

The quilt turned out fabulous! The red pops against the chartreuse and blue fabric. I am glad you were able to nurse your machine back to working properly so you could get this one finished.

Pamela said...

This is gorgeous! Very well done!

Sue B said...

I look forward to each and every blog entry as well as getting to see each and every quilt. You continue to just knock me out.

Angie in SoCal said...

I, too, don't use a label on the back of my quilts. Some look just so obtrusive that I think they add nothing to the quilt back. So I sign them on the front, bottom right, also. That's a good idea to sign before one quilts. I'll try that next time. Love this tulip quilt.

Paulette said...

That's gorgeous! Beautifully done!

Robin said...

This tulip quilt really makes a statement for it's small size. I know that unpicking is the worst but it was well worth it to have such a marvelous finish. It is really striking. I love the Witch of Blackbird Pond and have probably read it 10 times. I don't like Kit having slaves but it isn't about today's values, this novel is giving me a picture of our history. I recently found an ancestor, Margaret Stebbins Fox, who was from New London CT during the time of this book. New London is only 18 1/2 miles from Saybrook. She was a Puritan. This new information makes this book even more significant to me. I'll have to look into Fifth Chinese Daughter.

Cathy said...

Your colors and finished quilts are always so elegant.

Ann said...


Ann said...

Thanks, Pamela. Mixing stash and strings turned out well.

Ann said...

Thanks, Julierose. Those x-blocks started this whole quilt. I'm glad to know we agree about color theory for fabric. It just works differently.

Ann said...

Thanks, Nann. That fabric has been hanging out in my stash for quite a while. Finding its home has been difficult since it's too dark for a light and too light for a dark. Even though it's a newer print, it looks old-fashioned here.
The ripping wasn't hard but certainly took a while.

Ann said...

That quote was enlightening to me, too. And I'm not sure how to cope with them either. However, populist parties have risen and fallen before. I guess I need to do some more reading.

Ann said...

Thanks, Patty. It's one of my favorites. I like the red and the black prints ground all these colors. I'm not sure what went wrong with the machine but a good cleaning seems to have cleared it up. Here's hoping it stays that way for a while.

Ann said...

Thanks you, Pamela.

Ann said...

How kind of you, Sue. It's good to know people read this blog regularly. Thanks for writing.

Ann said...

Twins! I thought I was the only person who did this. I'm going to try to sign before binding since this one worked out. Just need to remember.

Ann said...

Thank you.

Ann said...

I'm so glad I finally made a tulip quilt. I've always liked them but became really enchanted looking at all the fun Audrey has with them. It was a treat to work out my own version.
Witch was one of my favorite childhood novels, too. I don't think we can expect everything to meet our current sensibilities. As you and reviewers point out, this novel made forward strides in its time. But I'm becoming more aware of how minorities are represented or left out. It must be hard to become interested in reading when you never see yourself or your own reality represented.

Ann said...

You are too kind, Cathy. This one turned out better than I expected. I want to make more tulip quilts soon.

Preeti said...

Gorgeous. Very vintage - perfect for a cabin in the woods :-) I'll go take a nap in the enchanted cabin with the magical quilt. Wake me up in 2021.

Ann said...

I'll join you there, Preeti. Just tell me where the enchanted cabin is. Perhaps we can stay until 2022.

JustGail said...

Gorgeous quilt! Happy Scrappy Eye-vibraty Goodness. I'm not a fan of chartreuse, but yet I don't know what else might have worked without turning a bit boring.

Ann said...

Thanks for writing, Gail. I think it's easier to figure out what works when we physically put fabrics together. The right ones jump out.

Mystic Quilter said...

A beautiful finish Ann! I was interested to read how you worked with your quilting designs and in particular the design in the string border blocks, I have been working a little on my Red is a Neutral
piece which has string sections, presently the only element that I am struggling with right now, you've given me ideas! Love that you have stitched your name in the bottom corner - excellent!

Ann said...

What a delight that you are working on your Red is Neutral again. It's difficult to figure out how to quilt strong piecing, isn't it? Most of our usual plans don't work well on that. Let me know if you need a sketch or something. We are lucky to be quilters. Something to ponder and work on daily.

audrey said...

This is gorgeous! I just love the strong red in the tulips and how they react so well to the green. Your stitching really makes it shine. Love it.:)

Ann said...

Thanks, Audrey, for this kind post and all your inspiration. I’m definitely joining you in the tulip fan club.

Scrapatches said...

Wonderful quilt! <3 Pat