Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Still Part of The String Thing Gang

In the fall of 2016 I attended AQS Chattanooga Quilt Week
and made an evening side trip to visit SPOOL.
(a truly marvelous LQS that was closed by the co-owners
so they could move on to other aspects of the quilting universe)

These two bundles of Cherrywood fabrics came home with me -- 
and since then I've used them to virtually design 
at least a few dozen (!) different kinds of quilt tops.

As part of my preparation for Lynette's 18 in 2018 challenge,
I chose to listen to my heart and go with some sort of string quilt.

This one by Amanda Jean Nyberg is named Slopes
and comes from her latest book No Scrap Left Behind.

I've liked the design since the first time I saw it.

Time to quit pondering and start cutting/sewing!

Here is a work in progress photo
showing the 25 inset strip blocks in the foreground
and the remaining 56 blocks sorted using my plate system.

(I also added a splash of plaids and near-solids to the ten Cherrywoods)

In this photo all 80 blocks has been sewn together
with about 1/3 of them pressed.

At some point this quilt's name made itself known.

Groundhog Day

(could that have been influenced by the repetitive - but oh so soothing - 
stitching together of string after string after string?)

CLICK HERE to see how these blocks look now on the design wall!


Friday, December 29, 2017

How do we keep stringing along?

I've been playing with wide wool strings
from a box of goodies I got from a friend of a friend of a friend's mom.
You can read the whole story here.

I only squared off fabric bits and used dark spacers.
The nature of the tweeds and twills makes the pieces curve a bit

It's beautiful in the subtle variations and I've already had several naps
under the finished blanket.
which I have yet to photograph.

Here's the top out on my snowy front lawn.
I've since quilted it and bound it.

But my question is do we keep stringing along here in blogland,
or move the whole string thing along over to Instagram?
I know there are less people reading blogs
and more heading over to other social media.

Now that Instagram allows you to follow hashtags, 
I was wondering if we can move our celebration of string quilts over there
by using the hashtag #stringthingalong.

Let me know what you think.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Veterans & Strings

Back in August, I set a goal for myself to make quilts for the Veterans who attend our local Seniors Center. Below are three of nine that I made, quilted and presented to the Vets. They were very pleased to receive each a quilt.
Here's a link to the rest of the story.  LINK
 This one is a simple fractured diamond star design and I added the white stars to make things interesting.
 This is also fractured diamond star but I left out one portion of each diamond star to frame an eagle in the center.
This last one was made from strips of fabric I had left over from some other project and the bargello bottom was also from a previous project.

Making String Blocks at Magnolia Sewing Circle

Our Magnolia Sewing Circle made string blocks this week.

This is the table with all the fun activity.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Arranging Strings Differently

There are other ways to arrange strings. Lately I've been exploring a few of them with Chinese Coins which are basically columns of narrow strings with or without sashing. Over the summer I made this quilt for my niece .

Pflugerville Coins
It started with small amounts of fabric instead of true scrap strings. The fabrics were paired before they were cut into 8-inch WOF and then hand cut into strings/coins. As the pairs ran out, I inserted some real scraps or the beginning of the next pair to segue from one set to the next. However, the quilt could easily be made of scraps.

Coins are easier for me when I sew smaller sets, like sheets of paper, and only sew the column at the end. You can adjust the seam allowance to straighten out wiggles.

The quilting is basic straight lines with the walking foot across the surface.

Quilting detail on Pflugerville Coins

The sky blues are soft and summery to me. More information on my blog. Also, Rachel posted another Chinese Coins quilt here a few years ago. And Wanda has a glorious version where the Coins/strings are vertical. And Brenda posted a scrappier one here.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Medallion Strings

This is the final quilt I made to clear out my scrap bin: a medallion Chinese Coins/piano keys/strings. Take your choice. It's interesting to see the crossover of names.

CCIV: Medallion

More information here. Now to start filling that bag again.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Neutral Strings Quilted

I quilted this top in a single spiral on my home machine. It's easy to do although I didn't hold my hands properly. The package should be held to offset the natural tendency to stretch on the bias and I didn't do that.

Neutral Strings baby quilt

Washing and rebinding helped.

Back of neutral string quilt shows lovely scraps from Stephie and spiral quilting
More info on my blog here.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Rayna, meet Sujata

I'm a fan of Sujata Shah's book Cultural Fusion Quilts and have tried out quite a few of her block designs.  A couple of weeks ago, I started making some crooked hourglass blocks.

It didn't take long before I wondered where I was going .... I added RED to the mix, cut a bunch of skinny strips, and started to sew.  About four years ago, I took a two day workshop with Rayna Gillman (Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts).  I love playing with the skinny strips!  Over the course of the next week or so, I kept the pieces up on the design wall and played around with it once in a while.

Last week I finished the quilting and today I finished the facing.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Three quilts and a million pieces

I'm showing off two quilts for the price of one today.
In February, I asked my local quilting friends to put together
6 inch blocks from their blue, green and neutral strings

We planned to make one charity quilt measuring 60 by 80
but there was more than enough for two.

The second one measures 57 inches square

The bigger one has an inner border made from only dark blue fabrics.

My guild friend Karen was sick on the day we put the quilt together,
so she made her own from blue, green, and yellow strips
using the same inner border idea.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Strippy Scrappy Thread Cone Block

Scrappy Strippy Large Thread Cone Block
6 and 1/2" block unfinished


I have been a member of this scrappy fun for some time and enjoy the inspiration
so I thought I would drop in and post my tutorial for this scrappy string block.

I have been trying to use up some of my overflowing stash of strips.

Where do they all come from?

I think they multiply like spring bunnies in my scrap jars and boxes.

Last weekend I improv pieced a bunch of red thread spool blocks for the

This month is "Multi-Color" Month
so I gathered a handful of small multi-colored strips
to figure out how to duplicate the 

Large Thread Cone Block


3/4" to 1 and  1/2"  assorted multicolored strips

Two 2" by 5 and 1/2" strips white
Two 1 and 1/2" by 5 and 1/2" strips white
Two 1 and 1/4" squares
Two 1"  by  4" strips white
Two 1" by 2" strips white

Two 4 and 1/2" by 1" strips gray
One 1 and 1/2" by 1"  strips gray

I sewed the strips randomly together, 
pressed in one direction
 and trimmed the center of my cone to
3 and 1/2" by 5 and 1/2" 

My multicolored scraps are random and uneven strips.
so the resulting thread looks "wonky"
like my variegated threads.

I am also using various scrap strips of a favorite gray and background white 
to make this block.

 This is what I had when I started to sew.

I sewed one the corners of the top of the cone 
and pieced the spool strips.

Cut the side pieces and sewed them to either side of the cone.

Sewing tip:  finger press to find the center of each piece and 
align the centers when sewing on the top and bottom.

Sew on top and bottom of cone.

Trim square to 6 and 1/2"

I hope you enjoyed my block tutorial today.

If there is enough interest, I will post tutorials for the other thread spool blocks here
as well as on my blog.

Happy strip sewing!