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String Quilts - Paper, stabilizer, fabric or None?

String Quilts - Paper, stabilizer, fabric or None?

Old 09-23-2020, 06:30 PM
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Default String Quilts - Paper, stabilizer, fabric or None?

Been thinking about making a string quilt. I am considering the pros and cons of using a:
1. Foundation paper (extra labor tearing off)
2. Leave in stabilizer ( Expensive)
3. Fabric ( expensive and heavier) Maybe harder to quilt
4. None of the above. (Less control and can stretch easier)

Also, as I would want to use varying widths of strips, having to quilt each strip separately could be a nightmare. But using only a Juki 2010Q might have a hard time going over all those seams with an all over design. Have you tried more than one method? What was your takeaway of each method? What did you do about the quilting?
Thanks in advance for your input.

Last edited by Schill93; 09-23-2020 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:13 PM
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I use a thin sheet or light muslin. I’ve used a gauze type curtain with good results too.
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:17 PM
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I made a string quilt with 4) none of the above - I sewed strip sets together, starched the snot out of them, cut them on the diagonal, and assembled.
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:42 PM
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I have done 2 Spiderweb Quilt tops on phone book paper. It was a pain to remove the paper. I have used up lots of scraps using the Creative Grid crazy quilt block rotary ruler shapes. There is a product by Ricky Tim’s from The Quilt Show called Totally Stable (you leave it in) but pricey if you are doing a big quilt.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:25 PM
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A neighbor made one with papers from Missouri Star. I think another person I know was using old phone book pages, but I would think that would get ink all over the top and your hands. I have been saving strings in a separate scrap container, but haven't figured out yet what I'm going to do with them.

I think your quilting design could be an allover - swirls, Baptist fan, etc, and would not need to be on the seam lines.
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Old 09-24-2020, 12:27 AM
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I use the cheapest aka the thinnest muslin I can find. Wash and dry to shrink, cut to needed size and stitch away. The thin muslin does not add significant weight, and (more important to me), does not have to be removed. The last I bought was from Fabric.com and I think it was around $2.00 a yard....cheap.
As for quilting finished quilt, I generally just channel stitch or in the ditch around blocks. For my next one, I think practicing free motion and domestic ruler quilting would be perfect on a string quilt. Mistakes won't be so obvious.
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Old 09-24-2020, 12:52 AM
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I use cotton voile and buy it when it's on sale. It weighs next to nothing, but adds stability.

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Old 09-24-2020, 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Watson View Post
I use cotton voile and buy it when it's on sale. It weighs next to nothing, but adds stability.

Great idea. Does the voile shrink much?
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Old 09-24-2020, 03:01 AM
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I use a machine embroidery stabilizer, (a poly mesh cut away), but leave it in. Kinda pricey, but I like it as it weighs nothing. I use this for string quilts, but for log cabins or pineapple blocks, use paper and tear off after.
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Old 09-24-2020, 03:13 AM
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I have tried all the methods you mention but keep coming back to paper. I don't have any old phone books but have used some stock booklet that my son gets every year. Its pages are similarly thin. I bought a pack of Carol Doak's foundation papers and usually cut them down to 8.5". I find this easier than cutting muslin squares which also end up making the quilt too heavy. I also find dryer sheets too flimsy. The none-of-the-above method always ends up with too much distortion for me.
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