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Ditter's string quilt

Ditter's string quilt

Old 08-22-2010, 09:45 AM
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I had so many questions about how I did my quilt as you go string quilt, a tutorial seemed the best way to answer all the questions.

First cut your strips. I cut them in varying widths from 1 1/4" to 1 3/4". Since you will be sewing across the bias of your backing square, try to cut most of your strips on the straight of grain.
Cut your backing squars what ever size you want the finished block to be, adding an inch for squaring up the finished block. Cut the same number of batting. It is best to use the same batting for all the squares. Then layer your batting and backing squares.
I found it helpful to use basting spray to hold them together. It prevents a lot of slipping of the layers while sewing.
If you are going to make a checked backing like I did on my quilt, cut half your backing squares from each backing fabric you choose. You could use as many different backing fabrics as you want for another look to the finished back.
I then stack my backing squares with like backing in seperate piles, and have my "strings" in seperate piles, one light, the other darker fabrics in a second area.
If you want the same color in the center of each block, cut those and put them with your backings.
Attached Thumbnails attachment-101896.jpe   attachment-101897.jpe  
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:55 AM
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Now you are ready to start sewing. Place one backing block down with a center strip centered across the middle,from corner to corner. Place your second strip face down on the center strip, matching edges and sew with a 1/4" seam. Fold the strip away from the center strip and finger press at the seam. Now choose your second strip and place face down on the first attached strip, making sure bottom strip lays flat and sew in place. Continue adding strips until first half of backing is covered, trimming excess from the long ends of the strips as you go.
Then rotate the block and do the same on the opposite side. If you want the effect I have in my quilt, you will sew dark strips to one side and light strips to the other.
Turn the block over when finished and using sissors, trim the excess from the strips, making them even with the back.
Attached Thumbnails attachment-101906.jpe   attachment-101907.jpe   attachment-101908.jpe   attachment-101911.jpe  
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:11 AM
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Continue in this manner untill you have the desired number of blocks sewn.
Next we will prepare the blocks for sewing together.We have to square the blocks so they are all the same size. Place your large square on the block, lining the center strip on your quilt block with the line running diagionally across your square. The line should be in the center of the center strip.
Move the ruler up or down to where you are sure you will have the whole block within the size you want your finished block to be. Using your rotary cutter, cut across the right side and top of your block. Now rotate your block and line it up along the chosen size on the left side and bottom.
Your size line should be just to the outside edge of your cut edges. Cut excess from top and right side. Continue untill all your blocks are square and the same size.

lined up diagionally through center
attachment-101924.jpe

this is lined up at 11 1/4" on the cut side, your's will be whatever size you have chosen.
attachment-101966.jpe
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:28 AM
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Now you need to prepare your joining strips. These are cut on the straight grain of your fabric. For the strips to join the back cut your strips 1 1/8"
For the strip to join the front sides together, cut the strip 1 3/4". The 1 3/4" strip is then folded lengthwise and pressed.
Lay your blocks out in the order you want to sew them together to make the pattern you choose. Watch the orientation of each block before you sew to make sure it is right. Place a strip of the 1 1/4" back strip under the edge of the block, right sides together, matching edges. Lay your folded strip along the top edge, cut edges to the edge of the block.
I didn't pin, but if it makes it easier for you, by all means pin them together.
Sew along the edge with 1/4" seam. An accurate seam size is important here.
Next, trim the strip to the block length and turn to the back. Smooth the seam line with your finger, then finger press the fabric strip open and turn back to the front.
Take you next block, making sure it is in the correct position, turn it over and place it so the edges line up with the strip sewn to the back.
Sew the 1/4" seam along the edge. Now turn you block back to the front.
Attached Thumbnails attachment-101937.jpe   attachment-101938.jpe   attachment-101939.jpe   attachment-101942.jpe  
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:33 AM
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Now you are ready to sew the top strip down. Fold the strip over the sewn edge, covering the seam line from the strip below. Stitch the seam down close to the edge.

sewing top strip close to edge
attachment-101951.jpe

the back after top strip is sewn down
attachment-101952.jpe
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:48 AM
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Continue adding blocks untill your row is complete. Once all your blocks are joined into rows, you are ready to join the rows together. You use the same method with the backing strip under the row and the folded strip on top.
At this point I do pin together. Place a pin where the joining strips are matched to the other rows strip. I also put a pin between the joining strips. Be sure to check the placement of your blocks as you go and make sure your blocks match correctly before you add a whole row to the others.
When you finish your quilt can look something like this one.

completed quilt
attachment-101964.jpe
Attached Thumbnails attachment-101963.jpe  
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:54 AM
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Ditter, this is a beautiful tutorial. Thanks so much for doing it for us.
I have just one question....When you put the folded strip on the "stringy" side of the quilt block, isn't the fold of that strip facing to the center of the block, not to the edge? Or am I reading your instructions wrong? :?: :?:

Sue
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:00 AM
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Wooooo! LOVE it! :D
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:01 AM
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The edges of the fold face the edge of the block! I meant the cut edges! I might need to make that clearer! Thanks!! :D
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:07 AM
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Thanks for taking the time to make the tutorial. Awesome job!
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