Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Here is my way of doing these strings

To qualify my method of doing strings if you have a better way go for it. I picked and chose method ideas from several quilters and this works for the variety I want in my string squares. I have tubs cut with 1 inch strips in them waiting to be pulled out and used. Variety is the way I go so the more the better.

Out of these two tubs I have many possibilities awaiting my use. 

I use the old telephone books I have for my foundation pieces. I rip out a few and cut my squares. An older blade is used for the cutting of paper though. The ink on the telephone pages is different than the newspaper and the telephone pages don't rub off on the fabric even with pressing the fabric on them.

 Some would cut strips and sew strips on the entire strip of paper. Well I like to cut the squares from the strips before I sew the fabric on. I can use up more smaller pieces for the corners that way. Also I have less of an issue of getting  the lines of stitching to be off. I like the diagonal look and handling a square and not using a strip makes more sense for me. My squares are 3.5 inches square. The left over strip that isn't big enough to dissect can be used to do piano keys late on. Can't throw anything away.
I use two contrasting strips and start a diagonal seam to start out with. I chain piece with three or four squares at a time and never take the last square from the machine. That way I conserve thread. 

Cut two off and press the fabric open. 

Start another strip and keep the process up until the square is filled with fabric.

See how I cut two off to press and leave one under the needle to use as a starter to follow.

The small pieces on the table are saved when trimming lengths and used for the small triangle at the corner. Don't waste anything. 

They look odd, but with the cut strips in advance and the paper squares cut the actual strip piecing is less than 12 minutes from starting to the last pressing. The reason for not doing the strips is obvious because I have more control of the fabrics I use as I do these. No two are alike other than they are the same size and also the diagonal look.

The paper is still on the back to keep the cutting or trimming more accurate. 

Trim off the edges to square them up correctly. Not much waste when you cut them. 

See how clean they look all squared up. 

Now to the paper removal. I press the first triangle edge back and rip. To make this easier use a very fine stitch length. Meaning many more stitches than regular piecing. Not only does it perforate the paper it also holds the seams in check better because of the diagonal seams. Yes your fabric is cut on the straight of the grain , but the outside edges are diagonal cuts.  I usually set at night after making a couple dozen and rip papers off while watching a TV show.

Yes I used some of the same fabric , but it is all in different combinations. I pile them up and when ready to stitch into 4-patches I then look at the fabric choices in each to make a different looking block. 

Sorry for all the pictures and as I said you maybe have a different way of making them. They can be done with out the paper if you like. This method works for me. 

Remember the size of the foundation is your choice and also the size of the strips. The sky is the limit on the looks you want. Chris

1 comment:

Katie M. said...

thanks for showing how you do your string piecing, Chris. I use my clothes dryer sheets (after use) and just leave them on. I'm limited on size that way, but it works out. I am stacking bricks versus squares with the ones I'm doing - it's an 'ongoing' project :-)