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Thread: string quilts why use base?

  1. #1
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    string quilts why use base?

    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?
    "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

  2. #2
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    I use muslin as a base, because my strings have different widths and not always straight. With a wide variety of fabrics, it helps stabilize the piece, as some fabrics even all cotton, have a certain amount of give to them. Not all my strings come from the bias either.I save from all parts of fabric cut off....

  3. #3
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The best way to know why the backing is used it to make a string block with backing, then one without it. That was the advice I got when I asked the same question. I always choose backing after trying both ways.
    Got fabric?

  4. #4
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    All the edges are bias edges. Plus if you're using a base you can use the waste triangles on your corners and have them actually be on the corners.

  5. #5
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    The best way to know why the backing is used it to make a string block with backing, then one without it. That was the advice I got when I asked the same question. I always choose backing after trying both ways.
    Exactly right.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jennie and Me's Avatar
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    I just made one using the used dryer sheets and I love it.

  7. #7
    Super Member JJean's Avatar
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    Bias edges turn out to be very stretchy. My first string quilt was a disaster--no backing and I had to take in seams like crazy. Learn from my mistake--use something as a backing: paper, dryer sheets, coffee filters--whatever works.
    Jean

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    I think the bet advice is to just try it both ways and you will have your answer.

  9. #9
    Super Member beatys9's Avatar
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    Hum... learned something else new today... sounds like backing is the way to go.
    Shannon

  10. #10
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I think using the backing would be the way to go. I always try to learn new things from ones that have done it. Thanks Ladies.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  11. #11
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    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.

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    I have done it both ways and successfully too. With the foundation backing, I find I can use smaller pieces whereas when I simply sew strips together, the strips must be a certain length. I am fairly cheap, in terms of wanting to use all my scraps. So I prefer to use foundations. As was said earlier, try both ways and see which you prefer. In quilting, there is no steadfast right and wrong.

  13. #13
    Super Member luvstoquilt301's Avatar
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    http://www.3dudesquilting.com/docume...inQuiltPDF.pdf

    I make them both ways. The above link is really good. I have used much smaller lengths than this pattern also. I hte using fabric as it is really thick at the intersections. I had to be very careful when quilting it not to hit them and throw my machine out of proper timing.

  14. #14
    Senior Member misscarol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    The best way to know why the backing is used it to make a string block with backing, then one without it. That was the advice I got when I asked the same question. I always choose backing after trying both ways.
    That is really good advice. I have always used a foundation and never questioned it. I use muslin or phone book pages if they are large enough. I like to peel the paper while DH sleeps in his recliner

  15. #15
    Super Member Gladys's Avatar
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    ​Thank you for asking that question because I've wondered the same. I think I'd use the used dryer sheets too. Do you pull them off later or what?

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    Super Member Gladys's Avatar
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    Thank you for asking that question because I've wondered the same. I think I'd use the used dryer sheets too.

    If you use the used dryer sheets, do you pull them off later or what?

  17. #17
    Super Member Annie68's Avatar
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    I've made many string quilts and have never had a problem making them without any backing. I do spray starch as I go. Guess I've been lucky in having no stretch. I'm extra careful as I put each block together.

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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.

    Heavily starching is the way to do if you don't use a stablilizer of some sort. I made one without and had a lot of bias edges and had to ease in a lot of fullness. It's really a matter of preference. I'd never used a stablizer before, I'm working on some blocks now that I'm using old phone book pages for backing. I don't know if I like it yet.

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    Thanks. I was concerned about the extra weight when using fabric.
    Dryer sheets might be good and not have to take them out like paper.
    "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

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    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    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?
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
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    I think it's because some are using small scraps that could have been cut any which way.
    "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. #22
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    why do you use bias fabric for string quilts? Wouldn't it be easier to cut on the grain? Am I missing something?
    They're bias because of how they're made. You do cut the fabric on the grain and sew it, but the block itself is cut on the bias, which then gives you the neat designs.

    Hopefully this picture will help explain.

    Name:  QOV-string-quilt.jpg
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  23. #23
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
    Thank you for asking that question because I've wondered the same. I think I'd use the used dryer sheets too.

    If you use the used dryer sheets, do you pull them off later or what?
    I, too, am curious about the dryer sheets. Do those get pulled off later (such as one does with paper in paper piecing)?
    Dawn

  24. #24
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DawnFurlong View Post
    I, too, am curious about the dryer sheets. Do those get pulled off later (such as one does with paper in paper piecing)?
    No, they stay permanently in the quilt. This has been a discussion of note in the past, some people have allergies and sensitivities to dryer sheets, and I believe most charities request dryer sheet-free quilts for this reason.

    I used dryer sheets in one quilt, just one, and I will never ever do it again. I do not have allergies/sensitivites and the dryer sheets were used, but halfway through the quilt it got overwhelming and I had to put it aside for a few months.

  25. #25
    Senior Member w7sue's Avatar
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    I have made several with dryer sheets - I just leave them in - they do fine in the final quilting process. I have seen posts about them causing problems with people with allergies - if you use dryer sheets, I recommend using the in the dryer four of five times, iron them between two sheets of newspaper to remove excess oils, then sew your strips onto them. I used to save mine in a basket on the dryer and when I wanted to do some blocks, I would toss all of them into the dryer with a load of clothes then iron and sew. I used Kirkland for a long time and I could get a 6" block from them (5.5" finished). I used a block that you cut in half, then added a strip of black down the middle - it made a really pretty lattice look and was super simple!

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