|I got so excited, I made 3 of them!|
(Edit: See the finished quilt here!)
This month we are making scrap string blocks with blues, grey, yellow, and low volume fabrics. I'm including another palette to give you color ideas, but unlike last time you don't need to worry about sticking really close to the particular hues, it's just to give you a jumping off point.
I'm so glad Louise introduced low volume fabrics to our group in last month's block (here's a handy link to her tutorial with explanation.) I had already been planning to do this block and struggling with how to best explain them, and she did a great job! Louise's post illustrates a technique for trialing your low volume fabrics using a camera. I talk about a few other techniques here. Whatever works for you, works for me!
So, step 1 for this block is to get into your strings and pull the colors you need. Look at the blocks I made in the first picture on this page for a guide to your color selections. For the "focus" strings we are going for all shades of blue and teal (minus super bright, primary color blue), a little bit of grey, and a little bit of yellow. When choosing these fabrics please think of a more grown up, slightly "mellow" palette rather than a bright, juvenile one. (I hope that makes sense.) You'll also need low volume fabrics for the "background" strings. Try to choose almost all prints, but you can throw in a few solids, too.
|Making a mess is the first step in scrap quilting|
Get into your scraps and make a mess! "Strings" in quilting means a lot of different things to different people, but for purposes of this project a string is a piece of fabric that is between 0.75" and 2.5" wide and at least 4.5" long unfinished (but usually much longer). When I pull fabrics for a scrap project I dump out the appropriate scrap container and sort it. In this initial sort I am usually not too picky, pulling anything that looks like it might work. Then I can pick out the best fabrics when I get to sewing.
|The white piece will need to be trimmed a bit, but the two together easily add up to 13" long.|
|Match strings of the same width and sew along the short end|
|Column of strings starting on the wall. At this point the stack was 22" tall. There are 12 horizontal seams (12*0.5"=6"). So sewn together these strings would make a blocks about 16" tall (22"-6"=16"). I need to make some more!|
Up close, scrap projects like this can look busy and messy. It's hard to see the design and nothing looks like it goes! Getting some distance is a good way to see the big picture. Another thing I like to do is look at the wall with my glasses off. Usually, the colors that don't belong immediately become obvious. Since I know that everyone is not (ahem) blessed with being horribly near sighted I tweaked one of the pictures I took to show you what I see.
|The nearsighted quilter's design wall :)|
Once you are happy with the colors of your strings step 4 is to start sewing them together, keeping the darks on one side and lights on the other. Remember we are basically going for a random look, so don't stress too much about the order. I recommend sewing all your strings into one long column and then cutting your 12.5" blocks from it.
You can press as you go if you feel like you need to, but I don't think it's necessary to press until you're done with this step. Also, please don't press the seams open. In this kind of quilt I worry that it will make the seams more likely to split. Don't stress about seams that aren't perfectly straight, trust me, it will look GREAT all together and you'll never notice.
|Stay-stitched to keep the edges from unraveling|
|3 string blocks on the wall|
(Edit: See the finished quilt here!)