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Thread: Another dumb question ...or is it? (string piecing & crazy quilts)

  1. #1
    Gal
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    I have read about string piecing and crazy patchwork blocks being sewn onto muslin first, is this really necessary ?
    Today I had a play with some scraps using these methods without using the muslin backing and after pressing my blocks seem to hold up ok.
    What do others do?
    Is it just used to strengthen the block because you are using fabrics cut with no regard for the straight of grain? I also guess it depends on how you will quilt it, generally speaking I guess one would not want to spend hours hand quilting a scrappy quilt, yet I suppose that is just what our quilting Grandmothers did!

    Gal

  2. #2
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    there is no LAW that says you have to use foundation...the quilt police seldom check to see what you have really done :)
    the foundations make it easier when using cuts that may have bias, keep your blocks stable....when crazy quilting especially the stability really helps if you are embellishing your blocks. If you use fancy fabrics some may stretch out of shape while doing your hand work, the foundation helps keep this from happening and with string quilts it is so much easier to sew the strips to a foundation and then square up, if you are just sewing the strips together the block can stretch out of shape and be wonky...does not necessarily mean its wrong. another consideration...foundation pieced quilts can be quite heavy...along with all the extra seams you have a whole nother layer of fabric. I love making both types of blocks, crazy and string,..can not imagine not using a foundation, but that is just me, know one says i HAVE TO.

  3. #3
    Gal
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    Thanks ckcowl, I think I am best to try the muslin and compare the two before I get carried away!

    Gal

  4. #4
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    One of the members in our quilt group always uses nappy/diaper liners. They are very lightweight, but strong, and CHEAP.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Karen's Kreations's Avatar
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    You might want to look at Bonnie Hunter's blog - I think it's Quiltville. She has a wonderful tutorial for string quilts - you can even use old telephone book pages as your foundation.

  6. #6
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    I just finished a string quilt my Grandmother pieces in 1946 on newspaper. I prefer to use lt weight muslin, it does not need to be removed.

  7. #7
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    String quilts may not need the foundation as much as crazy quilts.
    If you are using "strings" that are cut on grain they should hold their shape nicely without a foundation.
    Crazy quilts have all kinds of bias cuts, different fabric types, and it will help to use a foundation with these :D:D:D

  8. #8
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    I actually like the extra heft of the quilt when using a foundation fabric. I also use up what I consider ugly or "what was I thinking?" fabric for this purpose. Doesn't have to be muslin.

  9. #9
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I don't follow any of the new 'rules' when making crazy quilts. I use no foundation, I don't make blocks, and I don't plan ahead except for color theme. It's the only type of 'scrap' quilt I like, so it's the only type I make.

    I just start sewing pieces together, trimming as I go so I have a straight edge to join the next piece to. When the size gets hard to handle easily, I start again. Those "chunks" get joined the same way the separate scraps did. The hand embroidery on every seam stabilizes all the edges and the binding secures it all. It's quite relaxing, no worry about measurements or accurate seam allowances. No seams meet in an 'X', only in a 'T', and the whole thing flows together. It's how I learned to make them (from my mother) and it works perfectly for me. :oops:

  10. #10
    Super Member Rosyhf's Avatar
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    I have done it all sorts of ways. One of the best and most economic and at the same time recycle... is using your dryer sheets. It barely weighs anything. I iron if needed. Hubby stacks them up and usually they don't need ironing. if I need a large piece, I just zig-zag them together. They work really great and I only use those now.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I use the cheapest muslin I can find, and I wait until it is on sale. I don't use dryer sheets or paper, but that is just personal preference.

  12. #12
    Senior Member 4dogs's Avatar
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    I too use a foundation. I use ANYTHING for it......often a piece of fabric that I really dont wanta use for a quilt itself......it will be all covered up by the strips, so doesnt matter what color it is or anything..I am wondering if you could use "used" fabric softener sheets after they have been in the dryer.......think I may try that next.

  13. #13
    Senior Member 4dogs's Avatar
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    oh sorry, I see now that someone else already talked about using dryer sheets..........typical of me, always behind on things!

  14. #14
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    A traditional crazy quilt uses all sorts of different fabrics and some of them either stretch or are not very strong - that is why a foundation is a good stabilizer. If you use the crumb approach to making blocks or using a "crazy quilt" layout with only cotton fabric, I can imagine doing so without a foundation. You'll know when the strings or pieces become too thin and unmanageable.

  15. #15
    Gal
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    Many thanks everybody for sharing your tips with me, I have visited Quiltville now and I am going to try the kitchen cloths too, I have not seen in New Zealand, the dryer sheets you mention. I am just having a play around with some of my scraps,I have never done these kind of methods before, I am quite excited with what I have discovered so far! When I think of all the small fabric scraps I have thrown out over the years! I won't be doing that again, they make the prettiest quilts!
    Thank you all again!

    Gal
    PS
    I like the idea of using ugly fabric too, this gives a whole new scope for those cotton shirts I pass up at the op shop because I don't think I could use the colour!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosyhf
    I have done it all sorts of ways. One of the best and most economic and at the same time recycle... is using your dryer sheets. It barely weighs anything. I iron if needed. Hubby stacks them up and usually they don't need ironing. if I need a large piece, I just zig-zag them together. They work really great and I only use those now.

    Excellent idea! i have heard of others using them this way too. but never tried it myself!

    i use the cheapest muslin i have..but it about 1 or 2 inches bigger than the block i want it to be. then square it up when done. this is for string blocks..

    i have never done a crazy quilt yet..

  17. #17

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    My Aunt used to make this kind of quilt with a fabric as the foundation. She called these "Summer Quilts" because with the fabric, foundation, and a backing the weight was just enough on cool summer nights. I learned that this was a traditional name for this kind of quilt.

    Jois

  18. #18
    Gal
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    Jois, I like the sound of this method I think I shall give this a try, be easy to hand quilt through too!

    Gal

  19. #19
    Super Member calla's Avatar
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    I use foundation too.........auto swapper pages, have to be squared up but its ok........also for small blocks I use patty papers..........I purchased a box from GF......calla/Sue

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