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Thread: string quilts

  1. #1
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    string quilts

    Hi, everyone. I am cleaning cupboards and such this week, and everyone knows that is great thinking time. What am I thinking about??-Well, of course which quilt to make next! I think I understand the usual concept of a string quilt. Some of the ones I've seen are built on muslin blocks for a base. My question is, after you do your string work and assemble the quilt, aren't the squares awfully heavy to quilt through? Or is there something I am missing?

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    I have made many string and crazy quilts using muslin for the base. If I use batting, it will make the quilt heavier, (great for winter), but it doesn't make it any harder to quilt thru. I did a king size string quilt with backing, batting and top that I hand quilted (never again, took me almost a year to do), but it wasn't that hard to quilt.

  3. #3
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I think they would be heavy to quilt by hand. If you're using a machine there's usually no problem. No question, it does make for a heavier quilt.

  4. #4
    Super Member paulswalia's Avatar
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    seems like the weight would be equal to, or even less than, a flannel quilt with flannel top and backing. So, should not be a problem quilting!

  5. #5
    Super Member KatFish's Avatar
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    I have a string quilt on my "have to make one" wish list. I am going to use the middle of an old dust ruffle for the base. The fabric is very light weight and I'm going to use the ruffel for the backing.

  6. #6
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    What is the purpose of the muslin or dryer sheets? Is it just to keep the bias cuts from stretching? Do you HAVE to use a backing on the blocks?
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  7. #7
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I'm thinking it would depend on how narrow strips you are using. I did not use a backing on the one I made with 2-1/2" strips. Also it depends on your attitude toward sewing things cut on the bias.
    legendarycandles.com
    Just discovered I qualify for FABLE (Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy)

  8. #8
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Okay, how narrow can/should you make the strips?? I used 1 inch (finished width) strips in a block and did not seem to have a lot of trouble with stretch. If you make narrower strips, wouldn't the seams be really thick, or do you make 1/8 inch seams then??
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  9. #9
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    Saw a tute on paper piecing one the other day but personally I like the quilt as you go idea. Made one and loved it .

  10. #10
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I wrote a tutorial last year for making string quilt blocks without a foundation. It's not a flip-n-sew method. Maybe it will help you.

    http://www.seamstobeyouandme.com/wor...uilt-tutorial/

  11. #11
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    If you use a flip and sew method and put a square of backing fabric, then a square of batting, and then add your strips, you "quilt as you go and when you're through making your blocks all you have to do is sew them together. Lotsa fun and easy, too.
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
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  12. #12
    Senior Member texpat45's Avatar
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    I use paper for the backing on my string blocks...plain old "typing" paper. You can use phone book pages. Shorten your stitch slightly - makes the paper easier to remove. Lately, I haven't even been doing that. I love wonky so I've been free-piecing strips...and any other scrap I can find...when the piece is big enough I cut 8.5" & 6.5" Fun to see what you end up with!
    Pat from Texas

    "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself."

  13. #13
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I just did two string blocks from taking the free classes at www.craftsy.com. Go to online classes and look down to the left and click on quilting, the it's about the third or fourth row down. It's the free block of the month. It's on the right of the page. I think it's the first month, but I'm not sure. She has a video and walks you through the two different type of string blocks. One of them uses a backing to sew the pieces of fabric to and the other has you cut the muslin but you just use it as a guide. I think you want to do the second one. Not necessarily the pattern of that particular block, but the way she makes the block without using any backing at the end. Her classes are great! I've made 6 blocks, 2 a month, and it's free!! Check it out.
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  14. #14
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    The blocks I told you about on www.craftsy.com are the first month's blocks. The second block sounds like the one you want to do. The style you prefer, not the pattern, although the pattern is pretty cool!
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

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    Oh, wow, I like this idea. Thanks for all the input, now I have more ideas I want to try.

  16. #16
    Super Member Sweeterthanwine's Avatar
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    I really like this tutorial. Great explanation and pictures to follow. Have to put this one on my to do (growing) list. Thanks for sharing your post.

  17. #17
    Super Member Gail B's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great tute Peggi. I am cutting my scrappy strips now & did not want to use a foundation. Making scrappy quilts for each of my 5 grankids to take to the beach.

  18. #18
    Super Member Murphy1's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link. I found it useful and look forward to watching each BOM tutorial.
    Murphy1
    For our wonderful Golden Retriever adopted in March of 2010.

  19. #19
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    I have an ongoing Spiderweb quilt from www.quiltville that I am working on for my scraps. You make the foundation out of phone book paper and sew your strip out from a cebter triangles. It works great and the paper pulls out easiely after the blocks are sewn together. It is a Bonnie Hunter design and there is a great tutorial on her site as mentioned above.

  20. #20
    Super Member JoyjoyMarie's Avatar
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    Peggi - I just read your tut- it has great tips for working without "foundation" (which is what I usually do)- and was informative and amusingly written. Thanks!
    KEEP CALM and CARRY ON!!

  21. #21
    Senior Member Judi in Ohio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldquilter View Post
    Hi, everyone. I am cleaning cupboards and such this week, and everyone knows that is great thinking time. What am I thinking about??-Well, of course which quilt to make next! I think I understand the usual concept of a string quilt. Some of the ones I've seen are built on muslin blocks for a base. My question is, after you do your string work and assemble the quilt, aren't the squares awfully heavy to quilt through? Or is there something I am missing?
    I make my string quilts with doodle pads from the dollar store (remember when we called these the 5 & dime?) Anyway, I cut my pads to blocks size, sew my fabric on and when finished it rips off easily and there's your block. I square up with the paper on, btw.
    Love these blocks.
    Judi in Ohio

  22. #22
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    I wrote a tutorial last year for making string quilt blocks without a foundation. It's not a flip-n-sew method. Maybe it will help you.

    http://www.seamstobeyouandme.com/wor...uilt-tutorial/
    The tute is good. I made string quilts before they were popular, but mine were left over scraps from other quilts. Your tute showed some spunk, and that made it fun to read. Thanks!

  23. #23
    Senior Member flikkem's Avatar
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    Backing for your string quilts

    Since you have done more than one string quilt, would you share your preference for backing these?
    I've got one "in the works" and am wondering if a flannel or cotton would be best to back it.
    Since we live in Texas, we don't need the extra warmth of any batting.
    Mary Jane Flikke

  24. #24
    Member craftdiva's Avatar
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    Thanks for giving out that link. I just made two string blocks a couple of different ways thru the BOM Craftsy course. I really like your method.

  25. #25
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    You could use a cheaper, thinner muslin, too, if that helps!
    “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” ~Scott Adams

    Piecefully,
    Lisa

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