Thursday, May 31, 2012

simple is Good

Thanks for inviting me to share my recent string project!  I'm Rachel, reposting from my blog, Stitched in Color.  Hope you can stop by some time!

Once upon a time, I pinned this lovely image to my Patchwork Pinterest board.  My exact comments,  "easy is good."

by Cassandra Ellis

Whenever I develop a class, I really stretch myself in the process.  I want to create projects that are fresh, useful, but not too hard.  I must try new things, things that don't always work.  It's exciting and exhausting.

Maybe that's why I was struck with the desire to make this quilt while visiting a friend in her new nest.  She hadn't had the time or energy to do much decorating and I noticed she had only sheets on the two beds that stood in a sunny, large children's room.  This quilt by Cassandra Ellis really looks like my friend as well.  Bethany is loyal to neutrals, a fan of simple, with a style that exudes good old-fashioned purity.  Here's an example of when being "original" was not even the point.  I set out to make a quilt just like Cassandra's, but in colors to suite Bethany's children.  Easy and good.

One thing I love about this design is how it contrasts random and order.  The strips of "stacked coins" that reach across the quilt, are all neatly aligned with a standard length, but within the strips the width of the coins varies dramatically.  This also means you can use scraps of various sizes, rather than having to trim away (waste away) fabric to fit a particular dimension.

piecing and listening

I decided to cut my scraps 9" long in widths varying from 1.5" to 6".  As I pieced them together, I noticed that I preferred to use the thin strings sparingly to keep the quilt from being too busy.  I cut up all of my neutral string scraps and large scraps in blacks, browns, whites and grays.  For Lucy's quilt I added peachy pinks, bright pink, soft pink, lime green, pale green and dark green.  After some piecing, I made sure to use plenty of Kona solids rather than so many prints to give the eye places to rest.  And, I did have to keep reminding myself that this quilt was to have lots of neutrals.  My ratio of neutral to colored strips is about 4:1.

warm Flea Market Fancy grays

After piecing the strings into long rows, it was time to trim the rows to 60" long (Bethany asked for twin quilts measuring 60" x 96").  I had cut my strings 9" wide with the intention of trimming them to 8.5" wide after piecing.  This approach allowed me to piece without stressing if row edges were sewing in perfectly aligned.  Stacking so many strings together inevitably causes edges to shift here and there. Trimming to perfection makes for relaxing sewing!

trimming up

To trim, I folded the strips in half, matched the fold to the bottom of my cutting mat and cut the length of the strip to 30" for 60" long unfolded.  I took a 1/4" or so off each side of the strip to finish them at 8.5" wide.

tagging strips

Once all (12) 8.5" x 60" strips were pieced and trimmed, I arranged them on the floor.  Then I flipped and shuffled strips until the most eye-catching prints (like the black dot and bright lime floral) were evenly distributed.  To save the strip order without having to leave them spread out on my floor, I used masking tape to stick numbers right on each strip!

Simple for Lucy

Then just 11 loooooong seams later, I had a quilt top!

lots of neutrals

This quilt design is one I can heartily recommend to anyone.  It's a great choice for your first quilt or a fast, easy way to eat through those string scraps.  I'd love to see a rainbow scrap version!  Or, a monochromatic rendering would be lovely!


My quilt is now patiently waiting a backing.  I can't bring myself to piece together prints from my stash for the back, since they would probably never see the light of day on the back of a bed quilt.  I'm going to order something in this case.  Hopefully, it'll be linen!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Strings in Two Sizes

I have resonantly finished the machine quilting on my Aunt Arely's quilt (smiley quilter).  I did an all over pattern of leaves and loops that I do by free motion. She has used second and small size string block on the outside as a boarders. She has done the strings on old phone book pages like Bonnie Hunter does.

I love the nine patch and triple sashing she has used. One viewer saying it make the blocks look rounder. This quilt has a wool batting and will be my aunt and uncles winter quilt.

Here is the all over photo of the quilt on the rails of my long arm machine. I hope you have enjoyed seeing the little bit different string quilt.

You can check out what I am doing at Cathy Tomm Quilts. So, I hope to share a little string project of mine  with you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

First of all I'd like to thank Brenda for inviting me to join this blog and post about my own string block top, that's ready for threading now, after which I'll machine quilt it; don't know yet what pattern, in the ditch or what? Anybody ideas?
After I participated in making the string blocks for the quilt that is donated to Katie's foundation, I sewed 49 blocks for my own quilt. These blocks measure 4" square.
Finally I can see the bottom of my scrap box :>)


Wishing you all a wonderful day and happy stitching!


Blueberry Nonsense - finished

Blueberry Nonsense is finished!

You can read more about this scrappy strings project
on my blog here.

Thanks, Brenda
for setting up this blog
and motivating us to play with our strings!!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Anything Goes finished and ready to donate

Anything Goes
Machine pieced and quilted
Backed with fleece
56 by 64 inches
Made by members of String Thing Along blog.

Thanks to many of you, Anything Goes is pieced and quilted.
Our little experiment in using up all kinds of bits and pieces
in string blocks is lovely, just as I predicted.

You can see that the centre strips vary in size and intensity,
as do the other strips.
I strip pieced it onto a fleece backing,
quilted in the black diagonal strips
and brought the black fleece to the front to frame it.

I'm donating it to the Katie Cares Foundation in Winkler, Manitoba, CANADA.
Katie Reimer, 14, started the foundation after she was diagnosed with cancer.
She wanted to help other kids suffering from cancer by providing supplies and equipment to them.
I'm hoping this colourful throw-sized quilt will bring comfort to a child with cancer.

Sadly, Katie left this world on Saturday, but her dream to help other children lives on.
My teenage niece was friends with Katie for many years,
and I'm giving this to her to pass on to the foundation.
After my niece saw the quilt, she said:
"Katie would think this quilt is AWESOME."

Thanks to all of you for participating.

I linked this my post about this quilt to the Bloggers Quilt Festival
to spread the gospel of string quilts to the blogging world.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Anything goes, but do zigzags?

I'm putting together the string blocks you've all sent me.
I tried it in the diamond pattern, as well as the zigzag.
Check out my blog for both versions.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Christmas Diamonds

Good morning all. 
 I just wanted to stop in and show you the first string quilt I made.  Two years ago I saw a post from Diane Wilson at MQR (sorry I can't find her post to link to) showing a drawing of a quilt that she was going to make. 

  I knew right away that I had to try it so I contacted her.  There is no 'pattern' except for her drawing so I kinda drafted my own pattern in the block size I wanted to use and set about cutting strips out of these fabrics.   Plus I used a small dark brown strip to separate the two colors.   I decide to use some really old ugly fabric for the 7"x10" foundations.

Once I had half of the blocks made I started putting them on the design wall as I made the other half.  Notice that the colors had to be reversed to complete the diamond shape.  I had to keep reminding myself of this little fact as I sewed the strips.  lol
  [BTW... a lot of those lighter strips were replaced by darker strips in the final quilt].  

 I knew I only wanted to make a small snuggle quilt so once I finished the blocks I needed.... I started to design the borders.  I went to EQ and played with different ideas until I finally chose this border using this block.  When these are sewn together it continues the diamond theme. 
As you can see I made a small dark stop border to frame the center blocks...  and then   added two small borders on both sides of the border diamonds.  I wanted them to seem to float along the border and I think I've achieved that effect. 
Here is a picture of the finished top.  It has been quilted and snuggled under these last two Christmas's. 

I can sure see this pattern made in many different color arrangements.  And I may just do that one day.   I have a lot more foundations ready to go and a LOT more ugly fabric waiting to be used.  ;0)

Have a great day....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

String Ring Table Mat

My String Thing-Along project is to make a quilt out of these string rings, and I've got all 12 of them made now.  I will do an update on that here soon.

But I am also making some extra ones up as table mats, which will go under flower centerpieces at my dad's 80th birthday party on Memorial Day.

I just posted a tutorial for making these on my blog.  Come and see!

Wonky Strips

Hi everyone.  My name is Linda and I live in Phillipsburg, Kansas and I'd like to say Thanks for the invite to join you all here Brenda.  I'm happy to be able to share some of my wonky strip blocks I've been making.  

First I should tell you where my wonky strips come from.  I have a Go cutter and I love using the large Tumbler die.   In fact I've made several tumbler quilts in many sizes.

<<<< First I cut a 7½" strip of fabric & fold it to fit within the area shown with the arrows.  One pass through the Go and I've quickly cut 6 tumblers with a whole lot of leftover pieces of fabric.  
The latest fabric collection I cut tumblers from was called Aqua Terra from Connecting Threads and these are some of the leftover strips.  

Well I can't cut these down into squares so I had to come up with some way to use them as they are.  So I decided to start making wonky string blocks using 5½" squares of paper as my foundation.
Here is one block in progress....  

 ..... and these are just a few of the blocks that I've sewn so far.  
I'm not sure what I'll wind up doing with them when they're all finished but for now I'm having a lot of fun just sewing these. 

That's it for now and I'd like to invite you all to stop in and visit me when you're out blog hopping.   
See you then...
LindaKs at Linda Quilts Too

Monday, May 14, 2012

Strings, strings, and more strings

I wish I could tell you this was a string quilt
but it is made from carefully cut curves.
The maker, Agnes Ryckman, made it with her mother
and her daughter machine quilted it.

I've been wondering if bias cut strips would also work
I saw this quilt at some local shows in the last few weeks.

I took this picture of a string quilt with a light centre
just to show you how one simple element can unify the whole quilt.

Here's the piano key border with the attached explanation.
Double click to read it.

Meanwhile, I got blocks in the mail from Cheryl, Paulette, and Carol.
Thanks to all of you, and thanks to Carol for the extra fabric she tucked into the envelope.
I made two blocks this morning, so I think my count must be close to 60 now.
Any more blocks in the mail right now?

I'm hoping to get it together before we wrap things up
at the String Thing Along blog at the end of June.
Thanks to all of you for playing along with me.
I've had fun!

Note: We don't have to wrap things up permanently in June,
but we started with a deadline, and I'm willing to honor it.
But we can continue, maybe with a short summer break,
if my blog authors and followers want to do that.
Just let me know.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Great mail!

Thanks to Julie and Paulette for these great blocks. That puts the total to 50.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Little string star

I bought this string star mini quilt at a show this weekend to hang in my sewing space.
It measures 10.5 inches and it was made by the same quiltmaker
who made the solid string quilt-as-you-go quilt I posted below.
I like the pinwheel in the centre, and the blue background
which calms down the scrappiness of the strings.

I received string blocks this week from Finn and Jeane and Jeanneke. 
I think I'm up to 45 or so.
Thanks so much!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Solid strings

A string quilt by Evelyn Hoeppner,
featured quilter at this weekend's Barnswallows show
in Morden, Manitoba, Canada

Thursday, May 3, 2012

On-Point Illusion

 The rose floral fabric is a busy focus fabric followed by a black strip followed by black/white strips on a foundation of muslin.
 This is how four blocks of b/w look sewn together and below four blocks of the rose fabric sewn together.

Because the black strip is the prominent center diagonally with the rose floral acting as the solid, the quilt appears to be on-point when all blocks are sewn together..... I loved making this quilt and finally got it bound this morning...... LOL..... it measures 68 by 86 inches!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

String Quilts at the AQS Paducah Quilt Show

I just returned from the quilt show in Paducah and thought I would share the string quilts that I saw there.

The first two quilts were hanging in the show.

This string quilt was hanging over the outside of a booth.

I saw this lady sitting outside the quilt museum and asked if I could take a photo of her selvage bag.  This could also be made with string blocks.

LuAnn @
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My Green Tree of Life

Hello, I am Katell, living near Toulouse in France.
I have always loved scrappy quilts and my new pleasure is to use selvedges. Of course I was totally influenced by Karen Griska and her book Quilts from the Selvage Edge.
In Winter I made a small star with an ice-blue sky :

Last week I celebrated Spring with My Green Tree of Life. It is an oversized classical bloc with the same easy half squares sewn with selvages. I call it green because of its main color, but also because all fabrics are reclycled !

Have a nice Spring time!

Katell, Quilteuse Forever