String Quilts

November 19, 2015

Every once in a while, I feel the need to purge and reorganize the scrap piles in my sewing space. I got to looking at my string box and it was crammed full of scrappy strings. It was a good place to start! When I make string blocks, I like to use a fabric foundation. Muslin or old sheets are good enough for me. I also like to use strings that are no wider than 2 ½" and no narrower than 1 ¼". As I sewed, I tossed the ones that were too narrow and made decisions on what ones I wanted to use and which ones could be set aside for another project, or *gasp* tossed into the trash. I like my foundation fabrics to be cut into 9 ¾" squares. After they are all covered into the strings, I trim them to 9 ½". 

Here is a great tutorial from Craftsy that explains the process.

Here is a pile of beautiful string blocks! I ended up making 112 blocks, enough for two 63" x 72" quilts. My string box looks much better and now there is room to start saving them again!

This is a picture of one of them. They are both essentially alike. =) I did a very simple cross hatch on both of the quilts. Nothing fancy was needed, in my opinion. 

Since the goal was to get rid of scraps and stash, and the quilts looked so much alike, I decided to keep the theme going for the backs. I didn't have enough of one fabric that was enough to cover both of them. I knew I would need to piece the back with several fabrics, but how to figure all that out had me stumped. Christa @ChristaQuilts to the rescue!! Christa has a great lay out tutorial to make a clever pieced back. I only had to adjust the math a bit to make it work for my quilts. Yay! Here is a link to Christa's tutorial

I had just enough to make them both the same except for this one part, which is okay. If they go to the same family with two little girls, which is the plan, its nice to have a way to tell them apart. 

When I use scraps like strings, it almost feels like I made quilts that were free, you know? How do you like to use your scraps? Please share! I am always looking for new ideas. =) 

I probably won't post again until after Thanksgiving, so I want to take the time to thank you all for your support and encouragement. I am thankful to each and every one of you, those who comment and those who like to only read and stay in the back ground. I appreciate you all....

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  1. Love your strings quilt. I too have one that I have made. It was fun, but what I love best is the courthouse (or log cabin) block. They seem to go faster for me. I made 5 lap size quilts at the start of the year, to de-stash. My children love them. I think I will try your trick though - and use a muslin base this time around for another strings quilt. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family :)!

  2. I love your string quilts! I have a picnic basket I throw my strings in, anything smaller then 2 1/2 inches. I need to make some string quilts. I've been asking people their favorite colors so that I can make them one. Next year everyone gets string quilts for Christmas.

  3. I love them!!! What a clever way to use up your scraps. I mostly keep my scraps for applique - I've never tried a string quilt, I guess I should!

  4. Fun and lovely as usual! Thanks for the link!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. I love that quilt! So colorful and fun! And I really love the backs! I'd use them as the front sometimes. I'm still mad I didn't get to come visit when I was there.

  6. I think that scrap quilts are my favorite kind of quilting. I love your string quilts. I have been thinking about working on a scrap project soon. I did one that used squares a while back but have wanted to try strings. Thanks for sharing the tutorial for the backs, I have been waiting to finish a back for a couple of quilts that will be pieced. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. These are beautiful! I love "free" quilts too :).

  8. Cute quilts. I'm bad, and seldom use any scraps. I'm a yardage girl. I'm going to have to cut me some strings for a Bonnie Hunter quilt I'll be making (she is coming to one of my guilds next May). Mine will be a 'controlled' scrappy quilt. I do love an 'uncontrolled' scrappy string quilt. They are fun to make.

  9. Those quilts are gorgeous! I either keep my scraps in a heap or give them to one of the salespeople at my local quilt shop who uses them to stuff dog beds and cat beds for the animal shelter. Although, this year, I have started putting about a half dozen from a quilt in a baggie, labeling it with the persons name I gave it too, and storing them in a photo box for a just in case day that I would need to make a repair.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  10. Oh that is a fabulous idea, especially since I was staring at my string box and thinking I need to do something with this. Great quilts.


    And they made beautiful quilts.......FREE quilts ~! Squeal !

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours !

  12. Your string quilts are gorgeous! 112??!!! You must have been in The Zone!

  13. WOW! 112 blocks! That's incredible and so are your quilts!
    When I buy yardage, I usually cut off one 2.5" strip and put it aside until I have a stack of strips (kind of like a home-made jelly roll). Then I pull out either Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Bargello or Trip Around the World patterns and whip it up with my strips. My leftovers and small bits of fabric and batting go to a woman in our quilt guild to be used in beds for dogs at the local shelter.
    Wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving!

  14. love your string quilts! so so fun! I like to use my strings in leader ender projects. I just sew happily away making blocks like yours or using them up in "Dump sewing" adding whatever piece I pick up that fits. then I square up the blocks to add to other blocks or to make into a top by themselves. Have a very Happy thanksgiving!

  15. Really loved this idea! Thanks for sharing. I have a lot of scrap to use up and this will be perfect!


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