Last fall our guild quilt show committee formed a swap group to make string blocks. I wrote about that here and this is a tutorial.
At Houston last fall, seven of us in the Education Department decided to do this too. These blocks start out with paper cut 6.5" and we are only making 6 blocks for each person. Everyone got to decide what colors and design they wanted. The deadline is March 31 to have them in the mail to each person so when the calendar turned to March yesterday I decided I'd better get BUSY! I am also going to demo this process and show the many quilt designs you can get with these blocks at International Quilt Festival in Chicago, March 26-28, 2015. Don't miss the Chicago Show!
Here are the sets I have done:
|Bert wanted random black and white|
|Carol wanted scrappy|
|Vickie wanted scrappy with a 1" finished black strip in the middle|
|Tanya wanted various greens with a bright light 1" finished green in the middle|
|Melissa wanted scrappy|
|Judy wanted red and white from the diagonal out--still have to finish hers|
This was a great way to run my Featherweight sewing machine after cleaning, oiling and lubricating it. The motor needs to be run to help get all the oil/grease through the machine and this was the perfect way to do it.
Here are a few tips:
1. I use telephone book pages, lightweight and no cost, and, no, they don't put ink on me or the fabric.
2. Use a small stitch, 1.5 mm or about 15 stitches/inch--this makes paper removal easy. Leave the paper on so the recipient can decide if she wants to make them smaller and she can trim them.
3. If doing a design that puts a specific color in the center, it helps to start with paper larger than needed to allow for trimming the block to get that center in the center--I cut those papers 7"
4. If doing a design with a specific color in the center, I pinned that fabric in place first. Then I added strips to both sides. Otherwise, I use no pins in the process.
5. I usually piece with gray thread. For the half white/half red set, I'll use white thread on the white half and sew all 6 of those first. Then I'll change thread to a gray and do the red side of all 6 blocks. For all the other blocks, I alternated sides, and pressed the blocks after adding to both sides. You don't have to press until the blocks are done but I like to press and getting up from the machine is my aerobics.
This process can be messy because I have a big bag of saved strings:
So I'm almost done and that's what's on my design wall today. Check out Judy L's blog to see what others are doing.