Nov 25 2016

With the advent of modern quick piecing methods, it’s easy to assume we time-pressed quilters invented all of our time-saving, stash-busting options. When it comes to string quilts, though, quilters long gone by, regularly used the pattern. Let’s look at some old and new variations.

FretNotYourself's Red Strings Blocks

Here’s a current example of a lovely set of blocks in progress, “Red String Blocks,” being worked by Ann of the web site and blog, “FretNotYourself.” Ann shares her design considerations as she has made a bunch of string blocks from her stash and, in her post, is deciding how they should be placed. You’ll enjoy working through her thought process when you go to her post, by clicking here.

marshastringfull Quiltville type

Bonnie Hunter is a great giver of gifts on her web site, Quiltville.com She features patterns, tutorials, quilters and their quilts while instructing us every step of the way. Marsha R’s “Scrap Boxes” quilt is a great teaching example for one method of making string quilts. Notice that the angle of the strips is set by the strip in the center of each block, which runs corner to corner. Remember the importance of the center strip in String Quilt blocks! Click here to follow along as Bonnie shares working a string quilt up from a box of scraps, to an eye catching beauty.

Sloppy String Quilts

If you have the string quilt bug, already, “Strips & Strings,” by Evelyn Sloppy is one of the best books I’ve found for increasing skills in a clear, easy format. By clicking on the photo of the book, above, you can go to Amazon and learn more, using my affiliate link.

Laura Fisher Quilts String Squares type 472 x 394

With this vintage string quilt, called, “String Squares,” by LauraFisherQuilts.com. we can see a different variation, as the center strip is not regular in width, but varies. As the blocks are aligned in straight sets, their center strips don’t have to match to form a secondary pattern. The strips can vary their width within the block and from block to block. It’s a happy, “free for all,” where everybody wins, with the ole’ stash box coming in first place. This quilt is for sale and can be seen on display in all of its glory here. Be sure to pack a lunch and set aside some time, because looking through Laura’s stock of antique quilts may distract you for a while.

TimQuilts Melon String Quilt 472 x 394 type

In this string quilt, Tim Latimer shows us how he takes older quilt blocks, trues them to their pattern and refurbishes them. His melon pieces were string pieced many years ago. Watching him rework this quilt, “Melon Piecing,” is inspiration to try string piecing with other non-conventional shapes. Strips can be sewn to a backing, then most any shape cut out. Yes! The prospect opens up a whole new world. You can follow along with Tim by going to his web site, TimQuilts.com found here.

Tim Quilts String Diamonds Pieces 472 x 394 type

Tim continues to share his vintage quilt collection showing a Spider Web quilt he’s re-doing. While the quilt, seen in its entirety, seems to be made up of large hexagons, it is actually string pieced diamonds. Notice that the center strip is of an even width, all the way across, and it is exactly the same width on each diamond. The even width of the center strip is what makes this quilt pattern a Spider web, while the one shown below, on Barbara Brackman’s web site is known as a, “Victorian Puzzle.”

Barbara Brackman String Pieced 472 x 394 type

The “Victorian Puzzle,” block  is made like the Spider Web, but the center strip varies in width from one side to the other. All of the diamond center strips, making up the hexagons, are carefully cut in the same way. The widths of the outer strips vary and are hit or miss, making for a scrappy look. The varying widths are anchored by the regularity of the repetitive, predictable center strip. Join Barbara as she discusses string quilt blocks cut in a diamond shape that form into hexagons by going here.  The subtle variations possible, with just a bit of adjustment, make for vastly different overall effects, using the same skills.

Here’s a video that shows several different string quilt methods. Maybe you’ll be trying one for your next quilt!

 

 Colleen Tauke, of Fons & Porter, demonstrates three different String Piecing patterns.

 

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Filed under: Quilting — admin @ 2:46 am Comments (0)
Sep 02 2013

I’ve always been a big believer in “early to bed, early to rise” making me healthy, wealthy and wise. But, lately I’ve been hanging with a bad crowd. From the land of Jesse James, comes the likes of Jenny Doan and her gang, holed up in Hamilton, Missouri, and I just can’t get off that runaway train.

It all started innocently enough, I happened on one of Jenny’s sweet quilting tutorial videos on YouTube.com Enjoying it as I did, I watched a couple more. Then, I thought, “H-m-m-m, she has a web site selling quilting fabrics and supplies.” Not that I need a thing, I told myself, but quickly noticed I was rallying back with, “It can’t hurt to look.”

It must be impossible to watch Jenny and not want to quilt.

Oh, how the transgressions of youth have caught up with me! Being younger last spring, when this all started, I was foolishly unaware of how Jenny Doan draws one in. She’s no better than a school yard junkie or a vendor at a quilt show with the latest gadget. Shameful the woman was, with her time saving, quilt producing techniques that dazzled and beguiled, making me want to buy not one but ten or twenty of her Charm Packs.

How could I help myself? Being an experienced quilter, I’ve been around since before there were Fat Quarters, and that’s saying something. So, to me, the evolution of pre-cut fabric into all sorts of selections is nothing short of amazing. And, what you can do with them! Why, being well steeped in traditional pattern drafting, I was delighted with the freedom that pre-cut fabrics allow. Quilting methods are so fast and easy now, you can set your sewing machine up on the dashboard of the car and chain piece on your way to work.

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The Missouri Star Quilt Company is a family affair.

And so, my affair with Jenny Doan and her Missouri Star Quilt Company began. It was fresh, new and it was springtime. How was I to know it would turn into a passionate one-sided summer love? But, that’s what happened, because, as with many love affairs, one of us became more involved than the other. While Jenny didn’t even know I exist, I had signed up on her web site for the Daily Deal e-mail, because Missouri Star regularly offers a Daily Deal and it’s always a doosie.

I don’t know a single quilter that could pass up a charm pack that would be $12.00, being sold for 7 cents, plus $5.00 shipping & handling. That’s right, folks, one of Jenny’s Daily Deals actually had a Charm Pack on sale for $5.07. I mean, are you starting to get the picture? I became so involved, I was lurking on her web site, searching my e-mail in-box for a “hot of the press” Daily Deal announcement and staying up late at night to be the first in the Western Hemisphere to see what was going to be offered next.

Whereas before, my life was in order, with an early bedtime and sensible waking hours, now I am writing this post, staying up past 12:00midnight, waiting, just waiting to see what Jenny will Daily Deal today. I’m not proud of it, but like I said, it’s how I roll. When Jenny posts, I pay attention, sacrificing sleep for specials, as any quilter would.

It’s just that, I can’t stop and I…

…no wait, it’s almost 1:30 in the morning. Gotta’ scoot and see if the Daily Deal’s been posted! Here I come, Jenny! Love you!

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Filed under: Quilting,Roof,Uncategorized — admin @ 4:56 am Comments (0)

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