BCQuilter's Weblog

Still pondering the blue and yellow string quilt

Posted on: 16 June 2010

I’ve been letting the string quilt just “be”, to see if it will speak to me on a setting.  I even considered making more blocks just to make the quilt bigger, but the blocks are a little tedious and to be honest, I’m tired of making them, and I want to finish this quilt.  And I missed the deadline for work on a scrappy quilt, but I still want to get it done!

I read all the comments and suggestions and pondered some more.   I’ve been playing a bit more in EQ6 (boy, I wish I would just take the time and learn the program more), and although I had considered doing the centre piece without sashing, and then going from there, I couldn’t figure out how to do it in EQ6, without creating new blocks and such.

I laid out all the blocks on my bed, and took a photo.  (Feel like your in a tunnel??).

I took the blue yardage and some yellow scraps and laid out the blocks over top, to get a better feel for the sashing.  Then I was thinking… scrappy or use one blue fabric throughout to anchor it.   I decided on the one blue and yellow.

Then I loaded up EQ6 to figure out if I indeed had enough fabric on hand to do the sashing and 9-patch cornerstones.  I cut the 1¼” strips.  I recall reading or being told about using only 1/2 the width of fabric, to ensure a straighter seam when strip-piecing.  So I did that.  Which got me to thinking… I”m going to need a lot of blue/yellow/blue strips for the sashing, and very little of the yellow/blue/yellow for the 9-patch.  That’s okay… I”m thinking.  I’m only going to be able to get 2 “strips” from each 1/2 WOF pieced strips, the extra couple of inches could be used for the 9-patch!  GREAT IDEA!  Then I thought… what if I change the dark/light formation of the 9-patch.  Make it 5 yellow and 4 blue.  What a difference to the quilt in EQ6.

The first 9-patch rendition from the post What’s Blue and Yellow I think borders each individual block, which allows more focus on the block itself.  The second 9-patch rendition, here, takes the focus away from the string block but still adds interest to the entire quilt.  On the other hand, looking at it in a photo, it is almost to busy!  So… I think I’ll make up some of both 9-patches, and lay it out with a few of the blocks with the sashings, and snap another photo and see how that goes.  I noticed something else.   The quilt with out sashings in the other post is the same size image, which makes the blocks larger, then the quilts with the sashing.  I used Photo Editor, used the zooming feature on each photo, to get the blocks to be about the same size.  What a difference.  Now if I could only figure out photo editing software to show that too.

After typing all this up, I created both the 9-patches, pinned 4 blocks onto my design wall, pinned the sashings and cornerstones, and here are the results!

Blue 9 patch

Yellow 9 patch

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: I have no idea how a scrappy quilt ended up with so much more design time.   I’ve spent more time on the sashings and cornerstones.   Hmm… isn’t that what designing is all about though?  Funny thing is, when I took the class, I was only going to do a few blocks and make pillows out of them.  I didn’t need another quilt to work on.  So I am eager to get this one done, and get some of the others done too!   I think we may have discussed this before, but have you had a quilt (or two, or more), take on a life of its own, and become something totally different than you first thought it would?



10 Responses to "Still pondering the blue and yellow string quilt"

I should have commented sooner, but, well, I have no good excuse! I liked the sashless quilt best because I liked the secondary effect the blocks made when put together. I still like it, but comparing the sashed designs is even harder. The original (yellow inside) reminded me of a stained glass window, which was a neat effect. I don’t want to ruffle feathers, but with this new design it almost looks like the sashings are too traditional for the scrap quilt blocks. To me. Feel free to disagree! I do love the blocks, though, and I know that once you decide how to set it YOU will love it and that’s far more important than my humble opinions!

As for the scrap quilt deadline – I said you can make your own rules, so maybe just tweak yours to give yourself a little more time. You DID get the blocks all made on time and that’s half the battle!

Katie, don’t worry about not commenting sooner. I just can’t believe I have 2 posts within a week! Life happens.

I agree with you! But it still doesn’t help me decide on which way I want to go with it, because I like all the versions.

My hubby likes the yellow 9-patch, as it is on my design wall. So maybe I’ll go with that. He could be taking this quilt with him to University, but doesn’t know it yet.

And you are right, I did get the blocks done! Even working 40 hour weeks right now. Not very often I get 2 days off in a row but for last week and the next couple I do! I’m enjoying it!

I like to encourage quilter’s to think outside the box. And all opinions are welcomed and encouraged!


Well, I’m REALLY coming in late! I’m attempting to try more things these days (a traditionalist here), but I still have to stick with the sashings and the yellow nine patch. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it makes the colors “pop”. And if it’s for hubby, maybe his choice is better? Very creative combination, by the way!

And yes, life does get in the way sometimes, doesn’t it? I remember years ago when I was in commercial banking and had Wednesday & Sundays off–those days I was running errands, cleaning, etc. Never felt like I had a day off!

Whatever you choose, I’m sure it will be great. Sometimes we need to back off?

Did you get used to using the stiletto yet? My current project requires that I use it on every block and others I hardly pick it up at all…

I say go with hubbies preferences. I think the quilt will look lovely regardless of which design you choose. Love the blue/yellow combo.


I do not know how you could decide with all those wonderful options! I think that no matter what you choose it will be a very lovely quilt. I just love te blocks.
I have had a quilt or two take a detour after I got started. Usually the setting, like you are experiencing now.
Can’t wait to see what you end up doing.

I totally understand wanting to finish! I’ve been whipping down binding and a hanging sleeve for two days — all day! Still not finished, and still have the other big quilt to go!

I really liked the blocks without sashing, but if you are tired of making blocks, but need the added size from sashing, then go for it; get it done!

I would choose the yellow nine-patch, which is indeed the traditional manner, but here’s my real reason: with the blue nine-patch against the blue/yellow/blue sashing, it makes such a strong blue line that draws my eye so much it causes me to miss those pretty blocks! I see only the “blue highways intersecting” with the lanes divided by the yellow stripe. (Man, am I getting super critical, or what?!!)

Just remember you asked for opinions, and you’ve gotten a bunch! Yet the decision is still yours, (and maybe hubby’s). I’m sure whatever you choose, it will work great; your ideas always do! —“Love”

I really like the version with the sashings – it’s a more dramatic quilt for me. Of course, you have to be happy with it. I’m keen to see which way you go. Funny how *easy* quilts sometimes take on a life of their own. Cheers, Ann 🙂

Well, isn’t this a quandary! I still like it without the sashing, but as you say it’s a bit of a pain to make more blocks. As a second choice I like the sashing with the yellow nine patch.

Hope you sort it out soon!

Hi Alice, I was always fond of the block to block design with no sashing, but 2nd fav is the yellow nine patch as I too think the alternate is Too BLUE!! and overpowers.
Too bad this can’t be in the quilt show – but your DH needs a quilt in the city.

Quilts taking on a life of their own…happens all the time. Of course that may be because I don’t plan it all out before I start;) But that’s the fun part, if you’re into that;)
Love the quilt..it will be great whatever you decide to do with it. I know I get to a point on some quilts where enough is enough.
Happy Quilting!!

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June 2010
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