I am determined this year to make a significant reduction in my stash of strings and strips. I have been piecing string blocks and stacking them on the shelf until I have enough to make a quilt. I have used various materials for foundations – most recently used dryer sheets. Before using the dryer sheets as a foundation they need to be pressed with a cool iron. You start with a pile that looks like this:
Used dryer sheets
And you end up with blocks like these after trimming to 6″ square.
String blocks pieced onto used dryer sheets
I have 121 – 6″ trimmed blocks on the shelf right now.
Stack of trimmed string blocks
I need to decide which quilt layout I am going to use these blocks in so I know if I am close to having enough blocks for a quilt top. I am always on the lookout for ideas to use string blocks so I don’t have to continue to repeat the same design over and over.
I have also been piecing larger blocks (8″ square) onto fabric foundations. I was gifted some broadcloth from my MIL’s stash. The fabric is more lightweight than I like to use in my regular quilt blocks but it makes a great foundation for string blocks. These are a few of the string blocks. There area a total of 95 – 8″ blocks in this stack on the shelf.
8″ string blocks pieced on broadcloth foundations
String blocks pieced on a fabric foundation make for a heavier quilt top than string blocks pieced on a dryer sheet foundation.
Despite all the string blocks I have been making, I don’t seem to have a significant reduction in the string / strip stash. I think I will be making string blocks for some time to come!
I started my blocks today and I finished my first 7 blocks from my blue scraps.
Blue scrappy hexie blocks
The pattern in the magazine suggests tracing the hexagon pattern pieces from the magazine pullout section onto template plastic. However, I recently used my discount coupon for Joann’s to purchase a large hexagon shaped ruler which has made trimming the blocks so much easier than using template plastic.
At our July guild meeting, one of our members brought a quilt to show and tell that she had made from strips. Her quilt was 9 blocks in a 3 by 3 setting. I think she said she made her blocks 18″ square.
I was so inspired from the meeting that I went home and the next day I dug out my bins of cut strips and started making my own version. My blocks are 17 inches square. I made them this size because that is the width of my cutting mat and it is so easy to use it to square up the block after piecing. I decided I wanted more of a rectangular quilt so I went with 12 blocks in a 3 by 4 setting. I need to decide on what colour to use for my sashing. I am thinking of a solid grey.
The inspiration for this quilt is a quilt called Woven by Kati Spence that is in a book called Scraps Inc.
I still have plenty of strips left so I am trying to come up with a way to piece the back so that I can use more of my stash of strips.
I realize this was a deviation from working on my UFO’s but I just had to give this one a try. After all, making these blocks allowed me to work on another one of my goals which is to use up my stash of fabric.
Our quilt guild’s bi-annual show was this past Friday night and Saturday (October 17 and 18, 2014). I was once again on the committee that hung the quilts. We were very organized this year and had the quilts hung in record time.
I was also doing demos again this year. Unlike some other quilt shows, our guild does not just do demos at specific times during the show. Our demos are on-going through the whole show. This means that the people that are doing the demos are doing lots and lots of talking. 🙂 There were four of us doing demos this year. We had the most perfect spot with perfect lighting against this bank of windows.
This was my home for a day and a half while I demonstrated how to make string/crumb blocks using a stabilizer. I use used color catchers as my foundation, but any other stabilizer product such as muslin or paper could be used. If you use paper, you will have to remove the paper before quilting your quilt. This is one reason why I use the color catchers–there is nothing to remove; the color catcher is not removed and stays in the quilt. Granted the quilt is a bit heavier because of the additional layer.
The woman doing demos beside me was demonstrating another technique for using up scraps–making those fabric wrapped bowls that are so popular now. We were very complimentary to one another with our demos as we were both showing how to use up scraps that some people put would put in the trash.
The quilts that I entered in this year’s show were:
And lastly, my entry into the challenge for this year’s show; Roses are Red, Violets are Blue.
I was very tired by the time I got home after quilt show take down last night. …but ask me in two years if I am ready to do this again and my response will be a definite, Yes!!!
I am busy working on another scrap quilt. I am calling this one, Yin and Yang after the Chinese symbol by the same name. I boldly entered this quilt in our upcoming guild’s quilt show on October 17 and 18 even though it isn’t finished yet.
This quilt will be 8 blocks wide by 13 blocks long. So far, I have 8 columns put together so technically I am more than half way done. 🙂