Monday, March 4, 2019

Quilters’ “Sew-in” and String Piecing

Within the blue sashing is a 6 inch 9-patch block.
After the polar vortex went through our area and shut down everything, we finally were able to meet. While it's still cold, still snowy, this is Iowa, so... our quilting group and several guests gathered to have a classic "sew-in" last week. Check out all the ways to use string (scrap strips) in new quilt designs. Nancy presented an incredible program explain how to use strips, what patterns work, and how to adapt patterns to string piecing. It was fascinating how small the scraps could be, and just how many patterns are derived out of necessity. Of course, that necessity in my house and many quilter's studios is TOO MUCH FABRIC. Yes, I said it. We all know it's true, but isn't there always just one more piece staring back, clamoring to come home with me. And I just "hafta".

Dodi Paulsen (dodipousen@wavecable.com or Two Sisters at Squirrel Hollow) and many other quilt pattern designers have developed patterns that use strips. Just check out youu-tube. Dodi's string-me-along pattern uses a central focus fabric and adds whatever strips you chose to form a 7-1/4" block.  The layout determines the final look. A few other commercial patterns that I have used: Broken Glass by Edyta Sitar, laundrybasketquilts.com; Dancing Stars by Cozy quilt designs, cozydesigns.com; The Magic Hour quilt by M'Liss Raw Hawley.

Nancy doesn't use commercial patterns, she just let her block guide the layout and design.  Sounds so easy. She does design a block the old-fashion way: paper, pencil and ruler. She already has her strips organized by color. Grab a bag of strips, her idea and off she goes.

 Piano Key border that frame these scrap string pieced blocks is the basic strip used within the blocks.
This quilt is basically strips laid into hexagons; you can use scrap strips or jellyrolls.  
Nancy brought sooo many different quilt examples which really drove home the point that we really can use our stash/scraps. Let's all see if we can produce just one quilt, runner, or anything using those strips. Thanks, Nancy! We had fiber, sewing, brownies/fudge with mushrooms..laughter ensued, yeah, you had to be there. We had fun. 

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