Create experiences that leave you in awe, for these will be the highlights of your life. ~Ryan Blair

Friday, July 25, 2014

Quilt Scraps into Strings

How is your collection of cut squares? Look impressive! Ready for more creative projects now because you've gone and done this process? But, have you got rid of enough of your scraps, yet?

If you have cut all the squares you think you'll ever need, why not also 
start a "strings collection".


If you wish to cut strips, instead of squares; and cut them 2.5" wide, you'll have several options: 
(1)  Longer lengths can be combined and used to make a scrappy binding. 
(2)  Shorter lengths can be re-cut to narrower widths, and used to make string quilts.
(3)  They can be used for appliques; whether 'whole piece' or 'pieced fabric' designs.

When we take a look at our scraps, we generally find many pieces already the perfect width for 'string' quilting projects. And the best part is, that we can use a variety of widths to create really beautiful quilt blocks.

So.. here's a look at my new 'strings collection':


Even though, the look of this drawer will continue to change over time; it is a great place to store the fabric strings. I plan on expanding it to all three drawers in this storage unit.
(I've used a Sterile 3-drawer unit; each drawer fits 8 1/2" x 11" size paper. Use whatever you have available.)

Did you notice that ALL my strings here are cut the same width at: 1 1/4" wide? 

Any strips that have been cut to 2 1/2" wide can also be used to make strings. I chose to cut some pieces at this width; as I can use them for either binding or string projects.
Note: My binding varies in width depending on what type of batting is being used in the quilt. The size mentioned here is perfect for high-loft batting; and making my strings for my pieced blocks and appliques.

Why have I chosen this size?
  1. I need a width narrow enough, but not too small once sewn to another string; and 1 1/4" wide seems to work out well. This makes a finished string 3/4" wide.
  2. When sewing together strings to make a 'pieced fabric' section this width enables smaller appliques to still have several colors. Any tiny appliques, could be cut from one string or other scrap fabric pieces.
  3. If you don't have time to do a lot of cutting or don't have enough scraps; you can start with jelly rolls, as they are 2 1/2" wide. [Time saver]
  4. Any strips that are already 2 1/2" wide; can be split in half lengthwise to make two equal pieces, each 1 1/4" wide.  [Cool, right?]
Many times those leftover pieces are not large enough for squares, but will work perfectly for strings. The new projects that I am presently designing and making use this width of string.

Strings can be used in a variety of ways, and that is what I wish to share with you on this blog. I have a creative string of project ideas (pun intended); that I plan to make into mini quilts, to share with you. 

In these examples, the strings are placed horizontally; and will not stretch like strings placed on the bias. It also gives a different look to the block. Hope you will be able to join me and try out some of these projects.  

To begin, let's take a look at several options for the color placement of these strings:
  • selecting different colors for all of the strings in the block  (Block 1)
  • selecting one color family and choosing 3-4 colors to alternating them in the block (Block 2)
  • selecting two colors and alternating them in the block  (Block 3)


This will allow you as much flexibility, as necessary, when selecting colors to put together in your own quilt blocks. If you don't have enough of one color; then several colors can be used to make up the block.

Beginning next week..
'mini quilt' project tutorial, so you can begin using strings from your own 'strings collection'. These three blocks (shown in the photo above) will be used in the following months:

BLOCK 1: August 1          BLOCK 2: September 1          BLOCK 3: October 1

New projects will be listed in the right-hand column, under: Pieced Fabric Blocks.


Quilters love to create; and there are always new avenues to travel down, so we can have this fun adventure to dig into that fabric stash and get stitching...

Enjoy the ride...

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