Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Scrap-A-Palooza! Quilt #8 Part Two

  The Scrap-A-Palooza quilt for August is moving along quite nicely! This month we are putting together a string quilt and as shared in part one, I have decided to start with a nice big backing fabric out of my stash and choose the colors for my quilt.
There are a number of tutorials available for making string quilt blocks.  Some quilters use paper, some use temporary glue, and some draw lines on their foundations to align their strips with.  I prefer to use a fabric foundation for my blocks and not mess with glues or marking.  Rather than create another tutorial, I thought I would share this one on Craftsy (no affilitation) that is the same method I use with a few exceptions that I will share.

Here is one of my blocks.  I do not precut the lengths of my strips.  As I am sewing on my strip, once I sew off the foundation, I simply whack cut with a pair of scissors.

I also chain piece a number of blocks at a time.  This saves a lot of time getting up to press.  Last night I did this stack of 16 blocks in about 2 hours.  I spend very little time selecting the scrap I am sewing next.  I just try to get all the colors in a block and not repeat fabrics.

Note:  If you have taken the time to pull your scraps based on the color parameters you have set, theoretically, they should all go together.

I also do not pin or glue my fabrics to the foundation so my strips are not always centered.  I fix this when I trim my blocks by using the 45 degree mark on my ruler and running it down the center strip.  When I trim, I don't worry about the location of the foundation fabric on the back.

Because I cut with both hands, I orient the block like this so I can make all four cuts without picking up the block.

I am cutting my blocks to 10 1/2" square.  I find that a larger block size works well with wider strips, and that is what I have mainly in my scraps. 

Aren't they so pretty when they are trimmed?! 

This pictures also shows my favorite cutter.  I very fond of my big 60mm Olfa cutter.  While that big blade can be daunting, I love it to trim up these string blocks.

This is definitely going to be a very colorful quilt!  And I am so happy to see some of these old scraps get worked into a finished project.

Here's an overview of the important stuff to do before the next step!

  • Determine a desired block size
  • Cut your foundations
  • Sew on your strings
  • Trim your blocks to size

Hope you decide to give string quilts a try.  They are simple, fast and very forgiving!  A great project to use up some of those scraps.

And remember, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me.
Now let's sew up some string blocks!

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Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl said...

I like that you are putting these strips at an angle! The fabrics and colors you chose really play well with one another and make me start thinking about fall... :)

Sarah Goer Quilts said...

Love these! I'm so excited to see your progress on this one. I'm curious if you're ambidextrous or if you've just trained yourself to rotary cut with both hands.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

I am so interested to try these! But haven't finished my July quilt yet. Guess I'd better get to work! Thanks for the link to the Craftsy tutorial.

Carol said...

String blocks are so fun. A good way to use up your scraps. Good job.

sew.darn.quilt said...

Your colour way is fantastic! These blocks are going to be smashing!!

Anonymous said...

2 questions--
First, I don't understand how you would chain piece this type of thing??
Second, how do you avoid pressing? Don't you have to press the strips flat before going on to sewing the next strip?!
Thanks much for the clarification. 😊

Ann said...

String quilts are always wonderful! It's so fun to reprise fabric you liked and used previously, isn't it.

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

Chain piecing the blocks can be done by just stitching off the string you have attached to a block onto the next string you are sewing on the next block. It sounds kind of odd but once you do it, it is easy to see how it is done. It can feel like you are stitching in areas for no reason (and you are) but it makes sewing continuously on the blocks so much easier.

Regarding pressing, yes, you need to press the strips flat but if you chain stitch a number of blocks at a time before you go to the ironing board, you don't have to get up with each block.

jeifner said...

Love string blocks.

Anonymous said...

I have a BIG box of strings waiting for me to try this!

Karen said...

Lovely string blocks. String blocks are always a great way to use up the scraps.

Lorna McMahon said...

Such a pretty combination of colours and prints, Cynthia! I love your string blocks!

Sandra W said...

I like the idea of sewing them--strip-piece style. I've made one string quilt a square at a time and it was slow. I can see that doing them strip-by-block and then pressing saves a lot of time.
The fact that you trim the finished square from the right side (as opposed to from the back) makes it more accurate. Thanks for these tips.

ladyhock said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! Love the method and the colors!

Val's Creative Life said...

Okay...I've trailed here following your june post...It's a Sting Thing....and my only question is....why not sew the strips in "made" fabric?? As I am ready to make one of these...THAT would empty all my strip buckets!! YEAH!!

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