Designing quilts

I spent a couple hours this evening playing with EQ6 and a group of string blocks trying to decide on a new layout. I had a UFO that is eventually going to be 2 (possibly 3) quilts by the time I’m done with it. I’ve already finished and donated the first quilt – Half Square Strings and loved how it turned out.

My intention was to create a second quilt called Half Square Hearts but wasn’t liking it too much when I started playing with the blocks I’d already pieced. So I played with a couple more options on the design wall and after vetoing all of them, ended up with the same setting as the first quilt.

It’s hard for me not to consider all this a waste of time that could have been used making more string blocks but I know from a creative standpoint it was valuable even if I didn’t like any of the designs enough to use them. I still have a bunch of blocks to make for this quilt so I’ll be working on them over the next week or so (or longer).

I did get the RWB HeartStrings top quilted. It’s still on the machine because I’m going to use the extra batting and backing for some freehand quilting practice. I’ve been practicing designs from Sharon Schamber’s Stipple Basics

My current To Do List
Quilt 4 HeartStrings tops – Chinese Coins #1 , RWB Heartstrings
Piece 2 backings
Bind, label, wash, and ship quilt for my niece
Work on string blocks for my Half Square Hearts
Bind, label, and wash CC #4
Bind, label, and wash CC #1
If all goes well and the HS quilts get done, load and start quilting one of Mom’s tops


  1. Half square strings is great. I had been thinking what to do with some large HST’s I have left over from a previous project. Although I thought to make string blocks and halve them the other way. Think yours looks absolutely lovely.

  2. I love your string quilts. I need to do some of those. I had not seen Sharon’s Stipple Basics before…looks like another item to add to my wish list, for sure!

  3. I like the heart design, but I really like the half square strings. Depends on how many more blocks I get tonight from guild — I may be trying something new too.

  4. Mary I’m moving in with you. LOL I love your heart string blocks. I have some strings that just don’t talk to me … I’m going to give your layout a try. Do you know if Sharon S. did those designs on her DSM or her Prodigy? Beautiful.

  5. Mary also wanted to ask … can I take full string blocks, cut them in half and then stitch plain fabric to make a whole block (again)? I didn’t know if the string side would be too heavy for the non-string side.

  6. Wow, neat design! That is certainly some major stippling! I like doing pebbles but I do them big and only in certain quilts where you need to fill a certain area. I’m not normally into really tight overworked stitching..but it looks cool!

  7. OK..I was having a bit of trouble getting started this morning. Seeing this new layout..I’m READY TO GO! Too bad I have a group quilt to finish or I would dive into these half string. I have enought whole strings to make this quilt. :::sigh:::: OFF to the frame!

  8. Mary, I have been following your Heartstrings projects for some time now. I am wondering why the foundation fabric is needed rather than just sewing the strings together the Gwen Marston way. Thanks!

  9. Love your heart design quilt. Sometimes you have to go round in a big circle with design to be sure you were right first time!! At least, that’s what I find 🙂

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