"Sing the Blues Mama Lou" was the first quilt top I began when Lori at Humble Quilts announced her 2019 String-along Challenge. Pursued diligently for a few months, then abandoned mid-summer to work on a couple other more easily completed string tops plus several donation quilts for our ministry.
I finally got back to Sing the Blues toward the end of January. After several long days of slogging through the string piecing and trimming of the last 108 quarter blog segments, there were a couple more days of piecing the blocks and rows. That was completed last Friday evening, at which time it looked like this.
Taken at night with incandescent lighting
Mid-afternoon with the sunlight streaming in
I had originally thought I might use about a 2 inch white border, followed by a 1 inch border of pieced blue scraps, and another wider white border, but there wasn't enough white solid fabric left and the top as it is now measures 87 by 76-1/2 inches. I wasn't about to order any more white solid, because, to tell the truth, I really don't like working with white solids which I know are every modern quilter's fabric stash staple! Personal quirk, I guess.
Anyhow, after fussing with all the bias seams on all those strippy spider web blocks, an amazing thing happened when the final borders were sewn on. You won't be able to tell from my wonky photos, but this top, for the first time in my entire quilting life, measures exactly the same at each parallel edge! Exactly 87 inches long on both sides, and exactly 76-1/2 inches wide, both sides! No 1/8, 1/4 or 1/2 inch difference from one edge to the other. How on earth, with all those bias seams?? Never fear, it won't go to my head, 'cause it'll never happen again!
I'm really, really happy with this quilt, all those little bits of blue fabrics from quilts made over many years, plus gifted scraps from some lovely quilters near and far. A few of my favorite spider webs:
I'm planning to use big-stitch hand quilting to finish this top, so planning to order a wide back, most likely in a medium blue print, if I find one I like. There's enough piecing on the front that I don't want to add more seams on the back. Still need to decide whether to use my staple Hobbs 80-20 or wool for the batting. I'll need to finish Westering Women and give it a first wash to assess shrinkage of the wool before ordering. WW should be finished in the next week or two, at least that's the plan at the moment.