Saturday, December 20, 2014

January do. Good Stitches Tutorial

Hello do. Good Stitchers! I am the quilter for January again this year. Has it really been a whole year since we did Drunken Circles? It doesn't seem possible.  This time we are making foundation pieced string blocks that for now I am calling "Mix Tape."

(edit: See the finished quilt here)

These blocks will be foundation pieced using a quilt-as-you-go technique right onto the batting.

Start by cutting yourself two foundation pieces of batting 13.5-14" square, depending on how much leeway you think you need. We will be trimming to 13" square at the end.  You'll need to use a pretty firm batting, something similar to Warm and Natural, that doesn't stretch or warp much.  I used Hobbs 100% cotton with scrim. If you need me to send you some pieces of batting, just drop me an email. I have plenty of scraps.

Gather up your scraps. You'll need strings in 2 colors per block.  Try to go with bright, saturated colors and keep it boy friendly (no pinks or purples).  Start by placing one string right-side-up across the batting, making sure it goes all the way to both edges. The angle at which you place this first string determines the angle that all the strings on the block will lay. Choose any angle you like.

Place your next string on top of the first, right side down, aligning one long edge, and sew with a quarter inch seam.

After making the seam flip the 2nd string over and press.  Continue adding strings in this way until you cover the entire block of batting.

Somewhere in your block mix in a string of a contrasting color.

Trim your block to 13" square. This may be easier to do from the back side so you make sure that you have batting over the whole block.

Sew around the edge about 1/8" in to pin down the edges of the strings to the batting. This will make things much easier for me as I go to join the blocks into a quilt.

Here is what my second block looked like. As you can see, I added a second, smaller, contrasting piece in this one.  Following this basic design technique have fun with your blocks!  You should end up with (2) 13" square string blocks foundation pieced on top of batting by the end of the month :)

Drop me and email if you have any questions.

(edit: See the finished quilt here)