Stringing Along

Do you enjoy making string blocks? They use up an unbelievable amount of scraps and are fun to make. I pulled out some to sew on my treadle last weekend, thinking we would lose power during our winter storm (17 inches BTW). I’m having so much fun with them, I’m still using the treadle even though we never lost power. Here’s how I make mine. I’m sure there are neater ways to do it, but this works for me.

I sort my strings into two varieties, tan and cream based colors and white/bright based colors. Above is my tan/cream based and below is a bag of white/bright based strings.

Cut some paper foundations to the desired shape and size. I use the Medicare handbooks that come every year. We always get two so I cut up one and keep one for reference. Telephone books work great too, or the $1 sketch pads from Dollar Tree.

I’m cutting these 3-1/2″ x10-1/2″. Now is the time to shorten your machine stitch a little. I use a 2 on my machine.

Lay down your first string right side up and your second string face down over your first one, long edges even. I start approximately in the center but don’t obsess over it. Sew along the long edge, seam allowance doesn’t matter much as long there is enough to catch both fabrics. I use the original treadle foot which is narrower than 1/4″. Don’t trim yet, just lay another foundation paper under your strings and keep sewing until you run out of string.

I usually cut and sew 10 foundations at a time. When you have added a string to the right side of the center, flip them around and sew a string to the other side of the center strip. Then it’s time to press them. Press toward the ends of the strips. Continue building the strips out to the edge, using different widths, colors and prints. You will want to use a wider strip at the end of each strip to avoid having your seams get too bulky at the end. I use anything 1″ wide to 2-1/2″ wide, saving those wider ones for the ends. After you have filled your foundation, steam press, trim the rectangles even with the paper foundation and then remove the paper. It tears off very easily if you have used a shorter stitch.

Here is my plan for these string pieced rectangles. The center squares are 10-1/2″ and the cornerstones are 3-1/2″. I will use the string pieced rectangles as the sashing .

I’ll post another picture when the top is done.

Have fun with these!

Judy

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Stash Enhancement and Organizing

My granddaughters live about 2 hours from me so I don’t see them as often as I would like. They were still on Christmas break this week so I took the opportunity to spend some time with them. On the way home, I decided to stop at the quilt shop in Lexington, (All About Quilting) thinking I could use some background neutrals if there was a good price on them. I found a great creamy paisley on the sale table for $4.00/yd. so bought 2-1/2 yds. I should have stopped there. But, there were several nice civil war prints on the table too. You can guess the rest. I do love a bargain.

Today, I thought to put them away and was confronted with this.

Its a wonder I accomplish anything at all.

This started my Sunday afternoon project, refolding the stash. I got about halfway through it before my back was aching and time ran out, so will try to get back to it tomorrow. It definitely looks better.

I’m pulling out everything that I don’t want to ever see again and offering it my guild sisters this week. Anything they don’t take will go to the local thrift store. I have been quilting since the early 90’s, so you can imagine what is in there. Yes, there was some mauve and country blue.

Judy

Scrap Bin Reduction

My New Years resolution is to make the lids fit on all of my scrap bins. These bins hold all of the pieces smaller than 1/2 yard. It started as fat quarter storage, but quickly went downhill from there. The week before Christmas I started with the Christmas bin because I had it out making bowl cozies for Christmas stockings. Here is the bin when I started.

Disgusting, right?

First, I pulled out everything smaller than a fat quarter and cut 10″ squares, 5″ squares and 2-1/2″ strips. Starting with the 10″ squares, I grabbed these cake mix cards

added some Kona snow squares and made 16 pinwheel blocks.

This quilt top was the result.

Next, the 5″ squares and 2-1/2″ strips became Happy Blocks, 40 of them. I think I will get 2 quilts out of these.

The leftovers fit in the bin with room to spare. Mission accomplished! Only seven more bins to go.

What is your New Years quilting resolution?

Judy

A New Year

Welcome to 2019. I have decided to try a new blogging platform. I have been unhappy with blogger for quite awhile because it was impossible to write a post from my Ipad. Only from the laptop, so a quick post always turned into an hour or more. Also, it seemed to take forever to load photos. So, I’m trying WordPress. It has good reviews and says it is compatible with IPad. We will see. I’m thinking there may be some ads to deal with, so if that becomes a problem, let me know. My next step will be letting blogger followers know, so wish me luck on that.

Judy