Wednesday, May 22, 2013

More Progress on the String Blocks

I'm still working on my string quilt, hoping to have the top completed by the entry date Rachel has set for her String Fever party!  Things are getting a little crazy around here as we're trying to get ready for our annual camping trip.  Can you believe it's been raining every day?  Aghhh!
Auditioning a sashing fabric.
After viewing my blocks on the wall for a couple weeks, I decided that I like the little bit of cream that  was showing through around the blocks.  I don't want my blocks to float exactly, but I do want that 'pop' of color that results from separating them by an inch or so of neutral color.  The sashing fabric in the picture is a Sweetwater print (oh I hate it when people go on and on about WHAT and WHO the fabric is) which I am only telling you so you can understand when I say that it has little tiny text throughout the fabric.  You know, for texture.  A plain cream fabric just sorta felt flat and lifeless to me during the auditioning.
Trimming the blocks to size.
During the process making of this quilt top, I randomly grabbed strips and/or cut fabric scraps into strings, then willy nilly sewed them together.  This resulted in a bit of a stretch and warping effect.  Even after I cut the pieced strips down to the proper size and resewed them into units, there was a bit of stretching.  Bias will do that to you.  No problem.  A little bit of trimming for each block and wallah! They were ready to go.  I personally really like the 'utility' look it gives to the quilt.
Lovely stack of trimmed blocks and sashing strips.
Also, after trimming, there was more of a concern that the seams would start to unravel as any and all reinforcement sewing had been cut away.  That being said, I handled them as little as possible.  (This is why, no doubt, between the stretching and the seams unraveling, smarter people than me choose to sew strings onto a foundation of muslin, paper etc.)
Large string sets.
Once I had several rows sewn together, it quickly became apparent that I would be better off with an additional row of blocks.  You know how that happens. Everybody has a size of quilt that they just instinctively respond more positively to depending on the pattern and layout etc.  Just a little annoying to go back to working with the strings. I could almost taste the completed quilt top! Oh well, the little bits and pieces worked their usual magic on me and I got all happy again in a hurry.
Small string sets.
In the event that you're actually interested in knowing how the blocks came together: The majority of the blocks were made with large string sets.  I sewed longish strings (about 7") together into rows, which were then (ironed of course) cut into 2 1/2" x 8 1/2" pieced units.  Each of these large string set easily gave me two of these units which I mixed up with other pieced units to make my scrappy string blocks (8 1/2" square).  

When I discovered that I needed about three more blocks (there were a few extra), then I was stuck with having to use smaller strings. Somehow my best strings had been devoured!  These smaller strings only resulted in one string set each after piecing, a much less time efficient method.  Wah, wah, wah.  It's not like I need to be stocking my camp trailer or going shopping for hot dogs and marshmallows.*wink

10 comments:

  1. I love it!! so very scrappy and neat looking.

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  2. Aw, please go on and on about the what and who of the fabric. I like it and might want some.
    This is going to be a great quilt. I like the way none of the seams have to match,

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  3. Totally scrappy... my kind of quilt! Can't wait to see it all done! Happy camper to you and your family!

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  4. Yes, would you get that camper packed? Just kidding.
    Enjoy your camping trip.
    What a fun quilt - I like the seperation too!

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  5. I am totally in love with this quilt! Love scrappy quilts anyway, love quilts with lots of different fabrics & I love the fabrics and colors you used. Those reds everywhere are great!

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  6. Love your blocks! I have some of the same experiences with mine, they too are a bit on the stretchy side but it girls out ok. I am sure the shashing strips will help stabilizing them.
    Do you have an.exact date for the String Festival?

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  7. Love the fabric you chose for the sashing.

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  8. Great sashing choice for your awesome string blocks. I love hearing the whos and whats of fabrics, I guess its all part of learning whats out there. Have a fun camping trip!!

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  9. I think that fabric you're using for the sashing is going to look brilliant. Im a big fan of string quilts and anything scrappy .

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  10. I am loving this! I really want to go play with some scraps now!

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