Thursday, September 12, 2013

out the door



Have been in the house all week tending to paperwork and chores -- and last night I actually did some sewing. (really???)  

During the week I put a sleeve on Emma's quilt because Jessica wants to hang it on her wall now that they have moved and Emma has a big bed.   Till I put the sleeve on it I hadn't realized that it was larger than most of the art pieces I make.  Well, maybe it is now an art piece, since it it going on the wall.

I had another quilt that could qualify as a baby quilt that I was going to give as a gift, but have not finished it yet.


Last night, as I was packing my supply suitcase for the color class I am teaching, I was musing about how so many quilters are worried about colors "going together." You all know how I feel about THAT! So, after I tripped over the 5 gal plastic bag of nothing but strips, I decided to return to my roots.

Even before I took a class and made an actual quilt, a friend of my mother's showed me how to make string blocks by sewing strips to squares of newspaper.  It wasn't till years later that I learned to make a quilt the official way - by hand.  Over the years, I have made a number of string quilts that ended up as baby quilts.  Every so often I would sit and sew (I guess an early version of "therapy" sewing) and when somebody had a baby, I pulled out a bunch, assembled them, et voilà.

So last night, when my brain was so shut down I couldn't even make a phone call, I cut a bunch of 6-1/2" squares of newspaper and started sewing.  Got as far as 4 blocks, which I threw at the wall before I went to bed. They are not sewn together, nor will they be for quite some time.  Maybe tonight I will make a few more.  The hardest part is tearing off the newspaper from the back after the strips have all been sewn on and trimmed to size.
But I can't figure out how else to do this.

In the meantime, I did say I was out the door, didn't I?  Wanted to post  before I left to do a million errands - bank, a few gifts, and the dreaded visit to my mother's apartment to see call some dealers and see what I can haul out of there, or at least organize. OMG.  

Before I close, I want to let you know that I am delighted to be one of Terry Jarrard-Dimond's guests on her thread nest site:-).  Go over to the sidebar, click on the image at the top and take a look at my thread nest.  Then check out the others - it's fun and interesting to see how different they are!

Ok - enough avoidance!  

14 comments:

Brenda said...

I hate sewing on paper, and I hate ripping it off. When I make horizontal string blocks, I just sew them together without foundations and square them up in the shape I want. for diagonal strings, I've used lightweight fabric foundations (like an old sheet) quarter inch narrower, so the foundation doesn't bulk up in the seam allowance. eg, 6 inch foundation for a 6.5 inch block.
check out our group string block for some great string ideas: http://stringthingalong.blogspot.com

Bonnie Miller said...

Using a small stitch length can also help with removing papers. I found a pile of triangle strings on papers yesterday. I was so excited because I had forgotten I'd made them...oh to have one project going at a time. The trouble is I have a short attention span and need lots of changes! As for colours going...if they 'clash' put them together I say!

Lori R. said...

Hi Rayna ... I have another of "your" quilts in the works but it isn't ready for viewing yet.

I have made a number of projects using phone book pages for the foundation. A little thinner than newspaper and I think maybe less likely to transfer ink.

Lori in Washington, NC

Rayna said...

Phone book pages? Who'd have thought?

Carol Stearns said...

I use a thin fabric like batiste to do these. No paper to tear and keeps the block sturdy. Cut the fabric the size you want, sew on the strings and square up. Then batting and backing and you are done.

Margaret Cooter said...

Using a fabric as a base means you can do without the batting, in a pinch. Not having to take out the paper is a great time-saver!

Sue Erdreich said...

I also just sew strips together with no foundation, then square up. I keep a square ruler handy to check the size as I go.

Linda Hicks said...

Lucky Emma!
I can't wait to start sewing strips...

Eva said...

These quilts are adorable! Especially the second one is excellent. -- Using the Korak method, I apply a thin fabric as a backing which will not be removed. visible stitches are part of the job.

Vivian Helena said...

I have some inexpensive, washed first for shrinkage, fabric. I have a bunch cut, and run one color down the middle and go from there with scraps,, great way to meditate and just sew... also keep the scraps in a brown bag and pull one up at a time, no judgement there.. but do have the same center strip the same,, could be dots or stripes or just plain have fun.. makes a great sturdy summer quilts, or for camping, with out batting.

Marsha Cochrane said...

I've never made string blocks although I really like them. What about using a wash away stabilizer? Just a thought. Love Emma's quilt and the baby size one, they are fabulous!

emprint said...

String blocks. I too just do mindless string blocks for therapy when I am in a design funk. The bonus is that you have baby quilts when needed with little planning. Small story - when I was about 12 yrs old, the girl across the street couldn't come out to "play" until she had made X-number of string blocks for her Hope Chest quilt. She sewed on a treadle machine, finished the quilt, and gave it to her sister for a wedding present who threw it away when it was too used.

Karol Kusmaul said...

Rayna, I just use a muslin base, then you don't have to tear anything off. Your blocks are beautiful!!! a Baby would love a colorful quilt like that!!

Nina Marie said...

I've used both muslin and paper - its funny how this is such a technique that so many quilters can relate to. I have a box of strip blocks from a 70 yr old neighbor's mother (so they must be REALLY old!) which I still want to put together!