Avoiding taxes = a new quilt top

So, taxes. Ugh. I hate doing them, and each year I say that I’m going to pay someone to do them for me so I don’t have to think about them. Once again, I waited too long, and now I’m forced to do them myself. I gathered all my paperwork, sat down with my laptop, realized that I was going to owe money and decided to work on something more fun… like this new quilt top.


I don’t know if everyone will like this one as much as I do, since it is quite bright, but that’s ok. I was thinking that it might make a nice picnic quilt (if you spilled on it, you’d probably never see it!). I actually included a photo of it in my entry to the Heather Ross Design Challenge (I hear that Denyse Schmidt is one of the judges – maybe that will earn me some points?! I hope so, since my drawing skills leave much to be desired!)

Anyway, as with the last string quilt I made, it’s paper pieced, and now that I’ve gotten all the blocks done, I have the task of removing all the paper from the back. I decided to make larger blocks this time, using an 11″ square piece of paper. I didn’t have any paper that large, so I had to run over to Staples for some 11 x 17″ paper. Of course, they only sell it by the ream, so I guess that means that I have enough paper to make 15 more quilts like this one. Awesome.


It’s made out of all of my favorite fabrics, including many Flea Market Fancy prints. I finally broke down and cut into them, and it actually felt good! It also used up some scraps, and I like the fact that there are many fabrics that are repeated throughout the quilt, but also that there are some that only have one strip. I think it adds a little interest.


Typically I use a lot of white, so I decided not to in this one. I used just one small strip of white in the center of each block, creating just a bit of a break from all the color. I might bind it in white as well, though I’m still debating.

I’ll be back in about 2 weeks with a picture of it sewn together, once I manage to get all the paper peeled off the back! (ah, hopefully it won’t take that long – I already have plans for another quilt with the remaining strips!)

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58 Responses to Avoiding taxes = a new quilt top

  1. 1
    julie says:

    I LOVE IT!
    I am in the process of making a string quilt for my daughter’s bed. but I did squares that finish 6.5 inches and her bed is a full size bed… what was I thinking? but I think it will turn out beautifully.
    just a hint. I am foundation piecing her string quilt also but i am just using plain white fabric that I have had laying around and cutting it about 1/2″ – 1″ larger and then trimming after I have sewn all the strips on. then you don’t have to peel paper off later.

  2. 2
    Alissa says:

    Oh I love it! And of course I love the white strips that perfectly frame the colorful squares… I’ve been thinking a lot about my use of white recently and wondering if I should branch out. It’s tough, right?? Anyhow – beautiful quilt blocks! Can’t wait to watch this one come together!

  3. 3
    Amanda says:

    This is srappy perfection!!! Love it.

  4. 4
    Trina says:

    P.S. I love the quilt and all its colors. And making it into a picnic blanket sounds like a fun idea.

  5. 5
    Jessy Roos says:

    This is absolutely gorgeous! Congrats on finishing this huge undertaking. I like the tiny amount of white in it. Can’t wait to see the final product.

  6. 6
    Martha says:

    I love it too!
    And I am in the same boat with taxes and spent all of yesterday afternoon and evening fuming about it. But it’s really not too bad, just annoying. I should have been productive instead of mad, like you. 🙂

  7. 7
    Nichole says:

    ohh. i really like it! it would be a nice picnic quilt. it seems nice and cheery for sitting outside and enjoying the weather.

  8. 8
    Sarah says:

    Its ssooo pretty! I love it!

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Jenni says:

    omgosh, I never comment. BUT this is GORGEOUS! I just want to stare at it!

  11. 11
    Kama says:

    So awesome! I love bright colors!! I don’t know anything about paper piecing, so I’m going to have to look into this…

  12. 12
    Jenny says:

    It’s fantastic! I’m officially inspired to try one. Although I’ve yet to find a paper-piecing tutorial that makes sense to me. I’ve gotten completely confused and turned around on every one I’ve found. Maybe it’s one of those things where I just need to sit down and do it in order to understand how it all works? Well, for what it’s worth it’s next on my list to do, and yours is gorgeous!

  13. 13
    Anita says:

    I love this quilt, so colorful and fresh. Good-luck with the contest.

  14. 14
    amanda says:

    I love doing my taxes, and I usually sent it out mid-February. Is that strange? Anyway, the quilt top is super!

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Cheryl says:

    I can’t believe you paper piece a string quilt!
    Great use of the white strip. Good grounding the middle of all of it.

  17. 17
    MichelleB says:

    It looks great! Good for you for cutting into that fabric. Something that I have a tough time with.

  18. 18
    kerri says:

    this is SO lovely!! i’m usually one for lots more white, but his is just so great. is there a tutorial for this pattern somewhere?

  19. 19
    nancy says:

    gorgeous! do you know of a good paper-piecing tutorial out there somewhere?

  20. 20
    Emily C says:

    OMG!! AMAZING!!!! i only wish i could have the patience and skill that you have!! this quilt is now my NEW favorite! it is beautiful!!

  21. 21
    admin says:

    Thanks for the great comments! I’m glad you all like this quilt too! For those who asked, I didn’t use a tutorial for this, but there are a number of them out there. I think Amy Butler has a pattern for something similar listed under her free patterns section on her website – Amy Butler Design.
    Or, here’s another tutorial I just found – string quilt tutorial.
    Hope this helps!

  22. 22
    Michaela says:

    I love how bright and colorful it is. I am procrastinating on the taxes as well, who knows maybe this weekend. I better.

  23. 23
    Heather says:

    oh i love how bright it is! and it’s absolutely the perfect picnic quilt. i like the idea of white binding…will give it a bit of crispness around the edges. have fun finishing it!

  24. 24
    katie says:

    oh, i think this is my favorite so far. great picnic quilt! beautiful!

  25. 25
    Carrie says:

    Oh how I love a string quilt!

  26. 26
    tracy says:

    Add me to the group: perplexed paper piecers! I dont think I could ever figure it out but it looks amazing.

  27. 27
    Amy says:

    I love it too. But I don’t think I’d bind it in white… just my two cents. Color is contagious!

  28. 28
    Amy says:

    PS – I pieced a quilt in this fashion a while back but used very lightweight muslin and (obviously) didn’t tear it away. Of course it makes the quilt top heavier but if you don’t quilt it too densely it turns out okay – and NO tearing paper away!

  29. 29

    I can’t even express how happy this quilt makes me. *doing a little happy dance around my office*. Someone told me about water soluble paper for paper piecing so when you are done, you just wet it and it dissolves. Do you know anything about that?

  30. 30
    Marit says:

    Love your strings!!! The white stripe is very clever, too. I am just working on a blue string quilt myself (http://quilt-it.blogspot.com/2009/03/strings.html) , and am also using thin muslin as foundation to avoid all the ripping of paper.

  31. 31
    Cami says:

    I absolutely adore this!

  32. 32
    Heather says:

    I love your colorful quilt and think it will look absolutely stunning when you finish it!

  33. 33
    stacik says:

    I love this quilt! I have been wanting to try a string pieced quilt, but the thought of removing all that paper keeps me from doing it.

  34. 34
    mrs. doodle says:

    I love this. I love all of the colors. I love it a lot.

    You may know this but I use a little spray of water on the paper and it comes off much easier. I just made some spiderweb blocks and the water trick made things much less frustrating.

  35. 35
    beki says:

    gorgeous! i’ve been avoiding taxes too, which is silly considering that i’ll be getting money back. yeah, crazy.

  36. 36
    Sally says:

    I love the new quilt. I love bright colors and this quilt just speaks to me. Don’t worry about the taxes. Of course if you owe it’s better to get them done with before April 15th then later. Trust me.

  37. 37

    That is beyond gorgeous. I adore bright quilts. I’ve never tried paper piecing, but you’re making me want to give it a shot.

  38. 38
    Kelly says:

    I put mine off for the longest time too… because, like you, I owe. 🙁 Here’s to the “therapy” that gets us through… this is a BEAUTIFUL piece of work. I can’t wait to see it completed. 🙂 Get those taxes done and then get back to sewing, ok? 🙂

  39. 39
    Mal* says:

    That tiny white strip is just enough for my eye to rest. I love the bright colors. (Sorry about the taxes! UGH!)

  40. 40
    Tif says:

    I too would have chosen sewing instead of taxes! hahahah.

    I love the quilt top, and the colors are just perfect! Good luck with the entry!

  41. 41
    Natalie says:

    This is gorgeous! Thanks for the pic and the inspiration…I may just muster up the courage to try paper piecing! (maybe):)

  42. 42
    Kate says:

    The white strips are genius. You don’t really notice them individually with all of the different colors, but it makes the quilt look and feel very cohesive.

  43. 43

    I really love this. Gorgeous. The white strip is brilliant.
    I know nothing about string quilts…are the strip widths random? I’m wondering why it’s paper-pieced at all…maybe for stability?

  44. 44
    Julie C says:

    Dang woman! Slow down! I can’t help but want to start a new project everytime I see what you’ve done, but I can’t work that fast 🙂 Whew!

  45. 45
    MamaCJT says:

    I recently finished a strip quilt too out of some stash and didn’t even know that I was supposed to use a stabilizer. I just seamed mine. Duh! That’s what I get for being a new quilter, I guess. I love yours!!

  46. 46
    Ginger says:

    Next time you need paper, call me! We have plenty in all sizes, and I could have outfitted your quilt no problem. If you saw my paper supply (at home and at office) you would see why I encourage my kids to draw! Love the quilt!

  47. 47
    Marissa says:

    I like this quilt, maybe I will try it for my next one.

  48. 48
    Ginger says:

    This is gorgeous, and I kind of want one!

  49. 49
    anina says:

    I keep trying to avoid this one (enough foundation piecing in my life as it is) but, wow, this is tempting!

  50. 50
    Leigh Ann says:

    I just found your blog-very cool! My parents NEVER developed film when we were growing up- they just threw it in the fridge! For their 30th anniversary, we got it all developed! The flood of memories was unbelievable! Love the quilt and the colors!

  51. 51
    sunshine says:

    i love strip quilts I have been saving pieces so I can make my own of this same pattern

  52. 52
    Lydia says:

    Ohhh….this is absolutely beautiful! just my style! Great job.

  53. 53
    Sara says:

    Wow! You’ve outdone yourself, Ashley!
    This is absolutely perfect. Where can I learn about paper piecing? It looks like fun?!?!

  54. 54
    Cindra says:

    This is awesome. I must run out and get some of that paper. This might solve the problem I have been working on.

  55. 55
    amandajean says:

    avoiding taxes never looked so good! i LOVE the quilt top!!!!

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