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Thread: string quilts why use base?

  1. #26
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    It really does help to stabilize the base and makes accurate cuts so much easier. I've made two without a base and will never do it again. But as someone suggested ... try it both ways. Why not experiment with a mini quilt first?
    Krystyna
    Feel the fear and do it anyway!

  2. #27
    Senior Member janegb's Avatar
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    I haven't felt the need to use a base for String quilts.

  3. #28
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janegb View Post
    I haven't felt the need to use a base for String quilts.
    Ditto. My string quilts were made before they had a name and following and books written about them. I sewed together leftover strips from other quilt projects, then cut them and stitched them back into a pattern I liked. Never have used a "base." Experiment and do what gives you the best result.
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  4. #29
    Super Member joym's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=coopah;5352856]Ditto. My string quilts were made before they had a name and following and books written about them. I sewed together leftover strips from other quilt projects, then cut them and stitched them back into a pattern I liked. Never have used a "base." Experiment and do what gives you the best resul

    I have done both ways. If you use a muslim base, it makes the quilt very heavy. I no longer use a base however, I am not the most particular quilter either. sloppy you might say.....but, I like the end result...

  5. #30
    Super Member mhansen6's Avatar
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    I make string quilts Quilt as you go. It saves so much time and effort. I use fusible batting and they come out perfect every time.
    Marie

  6. #31
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    I don't use a backing, but then I don't make my string quilts in the typical manner, either. I sew long strips of fabric cut from the whole width of the yard, not scraps. I sew my strips together, starch the snot out of them, then I cut on the bias into squares and assemble. The starch stabilizes the bias edges.
    Same here. I like my strips to be starched like paper.
    Stephanie in Mena

  7. #32
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    If you use phone pages or dryer sheets , would you have to use a shorter stitch so you could pick the papers off when the block is finished? I have always wondered that for people who use those materials.

  8. #33
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    Haven't tried it yet, but always wondered the same thing!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  9. #34
    Senior Member liont's Avatar
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    I love scrappy string quilts but hate tearing and picking those bits off the seams. I am looking for a way to do it that is both light weight and cheap. I mean I need it cheap, or else I wouldn't be using scraps, would I?

  10. #35
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Considering the allergy factor and flamability of dryer sheets why do people not use cheap muslin or thin quality fabric if they do not want to remove the foundation?
    Anna Quilts

  11. #36
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    I'm taking the BOM from Craftsy classes and one month we did string quilts. We didn't cut on the bias. We did two blocks. One we had backing, and the second we had backing just so we knew how long to make our pieces, but we didn't use the backing...we cut it away after we sewed our string block together. I liked that method better because the block was thinner. But, like I said, we weren't using bias fabric. Anyway, why do you use bias fabric for string quilts? Wouldn't it be easier to cut on the grain? Am I missing something?
    Because I don't cut fabric for my string quilts. They're ALL SCRAPS:>

  12. #37
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annaquilts View Post
    Considering the allergy factor and flamability of dryer sheets why do people not use cheap muslin or thin quality fabric if they do not want to remove the foundation?
    That's exactly what I do. Or paper and remove it. But, I'm finding the paper removal is very tedious. So, am sticking to fabric that doesn't need to come off in the future.

  13. #38
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    String quilt strips

    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    Anyway, why do you use bias fabric for string quilts? Wouldn't it be easier to cut on the grain? Am I missing something?
    If I'm using true scraps for string quilts I usually cut so I get the most out of the scrap. This might mean that some come out on the bias and some on straight grain. If one sews a bias cut strip laid diagonally on a foundation square then the outer edge will be on straight of grain when trued up. If the strip starts out on straight of grain the outer edge will be bias when laid on foundation.

  14. #39
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    I'm taking the BOM from Craftsy classes and one month we did string quilts. We didn't cut on the bias. We did two blocks. One we had backing, and the second we had backing just so we knew how long to make our pieces, but we didn't use the backing...we cut it away after we sewed our string block together. I liked that method better because the block was thinner. But, like I said, we weren't using bias fabric. Anyway, why do you use bias fabric for string quilts? Wouldn't it be easier to cut on the grain? Am I missing something?
    Yes, you're missing something. The strings go diagonally across the square. If they were cut on the bias then when the edges of the block were trimmed off the edges would all be on the straight grain. Since string blocks are generally made with straight grain strips when the edges of the block are trimmed they're on the bias grain.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by susiequilt View Post
    Since these are made with strips of fabric why bother with a paper or muslin/fabric base?
    Couldn't you just sew strips together then cut out the shape you want whether it's square of triangle?
    If it's because of the bias edges which would only be the width of each strip there should be very little stretching.
    What am I missing?
    If you've ever made one without a foundation, you'll know why! I know I will NEVER forget when I did it!!! It is one of those things that we think we can get away without, but BIG time you can NOT. I would say to make a block without (DO THIS ONE FIRST), a foundation. Then make the same block with the foundation (this one will look SO MUCH BETTER & will go together SO EASY). Good luck!!

  16. #41
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    I am new to all this -been "lurking" - (btw, thanks for ALL the great info from all you-all!) I am considering using the Pellon "Jas Val-U-Fuse" fusable interfacing (very light weight) that comes on a board wrapped in plastic from JoAnns to use as my base for a string block. I used it to make the Sunbonnet Sue applique blocks and for the round center in a dresden plate block. Any problems with using that? I picture using it fusible side up so when I press it it will fuse to the strips, further stabilizing the pieces. I will be interested in your responses. Thanks, Evedib

  17. #42
    Member tiptrinket's Avatar
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    I think it is just easier to sew on a base and helps to keep the stretching to a minumum.

  18. #43
    Super Member 1screech's Avatar
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    I don't use a base and have not had any issues. I do starch before I cut the block.

  19. #44
    Super Member MacThayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    I'm taking the BOM from Craftsy classes and one month we did string quilts. We didn't cut on the bias. We did two blocks. One we had backing, and the second we had backing just so we knew how long to make our pieces, but we didn't use the backing...we cut it away after we sewed our string block together. I liked that method better because the block was thinner. But, like I said, we weren't using bias fabric. Anyway, why do you use bias fabric for string quilts? Wouldn't it be easier to cut on the grain? Am I missing something?
    I made the same blocks. The first one, with the foundation under the entire block, turned out thick, but perfect. All I had to do was press the seams open instead of to the side to make it flat. The second block, where I cut out the fabric underneath much of the block, was a problem in terms of stretching out of shape, It was a horror to sew the final 4 pieces together, because the edges didn't match due to stretching of the bias, and I finally chucked it and made another block without cutting out the foundation underneath. That one was also perfect.

    I think I would go for a foundation lighter than most quilting fabrics. For example, a very low thread count fabric, starched. Or muslin, starched, not the 200 thread count. I'm a nut about starch. You might get away with less.
    MacThayer

  20. #45
    Super Member Teddybear Lady's Avatar
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    When I was a kid, my mom and I would sew fabric strips from old clothing onto squares cut from old catalogs for my grandma. I still have a quilt on my bed she made this way.

  21. #46
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    Thanks again all for responding.
    The dryer sheets are too small for what I have in mind so will have to think again.
    If I sew two together edge to edge maybe with a zig zag instead of a seam that might work.
    Lots of starch also!
    Maybe some pellon thin lining or fusable.
    Lots of ideas here.
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
    Susan

  22. #47
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    When cutting a clothing pattern, there are quite often narrow 'strings' of fabric left from the edges. Strings might also be left from cutting down or restyling garments, which was common in times past. As recently as the 1960s, my mother shortened our skirts and dresses and had material left over. Sewing factories cut clothing components from deeply stacked layers of fabric. Cutaways were sold cheaply to quilters though I haven't seen documentation of string cutaways.

    I may be mistaken, but originally string quilts were made of very narrow lengths saved from projects and it was necessary to work on a base, most often fabric. Some were utility quilts and some were made with fancy fabric--taffeta, brocade, etc. After the top was completed it was lined and tacked in the same manner as crazy quilts, with no extra filling. Selvedge projects are contemporary string piecing.

    Strip quilts are made of fabric cut on the straight grain for the projects, joined in lengths and cut to produce the pieced block or block components. Backing is not used.
    Last edited by Greenheron; 07-11-2012 at 06:51 AM.

  23. #48
    Member mariolkapolka's Avatar
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    I used dryer sheets and they work great to stabilize blocks, since they are very light they do not add a lot of bulk to quilt, so I just leave them be. I also made a string rag quilt where I sew strips of fabric on precut flannel squares backed it with fabric and finished whole quilt as rag quilt. It worked great. In this case flannel served as a batting, sort of quilt as you go method.

  24. #49
    Junior Member janceejan's Avatar
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    I used the cheapest thinest non fuseable interfacing i could buy from Hancocks on the senior day and a 15% off coupon. It worked wonderfully, very thin, did stabilize everything and did not have to remove it. It did not add any weight to the quilt.
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    Last edited by janceejan; 07-11-2012 at 08:19 AM. Reason: added
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Diet Dr. Pepper in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!"

  25. #50
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    I am using wedding aisle runner from Hobby Lobby. 36 inches wide and 100 feet long. All wedding things were 50% off. And you can cut it for any size block that yoou want. I got this hint from another quillter. I don't think my daughter and I will use this for a long time.

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