Or this could be called ‘using up scraps’.
I’ve wanted to do a string quilt for awhile. And, since I’ve started sorting my fabrics and my friend Robyn’s fabrics (she moved and gifted me 2 humungo sized totes of scraps), I decided to start cutting strips and finally do a string quilt.
I started with 8×8″ squares of paper. I had 24 of them. I drew a diagonal line and then glued a strip of fabric down (1 & 1/2″) to get started. I decided to go with orange as my center strip. I was hopeful that it would pull the quilt together; give it a common element. (Side note: I don’t think it worked. If I do another one, I’ll either make the center strip WIDER or perhaps just one color – maybe white? I just don’t think the various oranges stand out as much as I hoped they would.)
Then I just sewed strips on either side of the orange until it covered the paper. No thought to what went with what or sizes. Just pick up a strip of fabric and sew it down. NO THINKING ALLOWED.
Once the paper was fully covered, I trimmed the block to 8×8″ and then pulled the paper from the back. With the help of Mr. W of course (full disclosure…..he wants credit for helping but he only did about 1/4 of a block!).
After I had 24 finished, I switched to using pages from magazines. MUCH easier for paper removal. I ended up making it 8×10 blocks so it will finish at about 60×75″ – a nice throw size. I made an additional 12 blocks for the back.
Here’s the back:
The idea and directions for making this pieced back came from Gyleen Fitzgerald in THIS article. (As a side note, I’m interested in her pineapple block ruler – check it out HERE!) Since I’m participating in the Austerity Challenge and am not buying fabric until at least June 1 and I don’t have any large pieces of fabric to use for backs, I think I’ll be utilizing her technique quite a bit in 2014.
My plan is to use this quilt for practicing my doodle FMQing in 2014.
If you try this at home, be sure to decrease your stitch length. It makes it much easier when pulling out the papers. Also, once you pull out the first corner of paper, if you fold back the next strip of paper it really helps. Oh, and a butter knife is a good tool to have next to you when pulling the papers out also.
The edges are VERY stretchy because of the bias. That’s why I basted on the dark red strips of fabric. They will be removed after it is quilted but I needed something to stabilise it while I quilt it. Also, I want to quilt all the way to the edge and am hopeful that these strips will make it easier to do that.
DON’T think when pulling and sewing fabrics. Just pick up a strip and sew it. NO THINKING. When I was separating fabrics, I put all florals, pinks, yellows, pastels into a pile. I called it my HAPPY fabric pile. Into another pile I put the darker, moodier, country colours. I’ll use those for another scrap project later on.
Binding is prepared. After pinning it – I’ll begin the FMQ process. In the meantime, I’ve started another string quilt with the left over happy strips. It’s my newest leader/ender project.