Tag Archives: string quilts

Stars From My Scrap Bins

My last procrastination to avoid my canal project was a scrappy stars quilt. The canal project is onto its next phase, so I can stop making excuses now. Meanwhile, I have yet another top to quilt. I don’t think I thought my diversion through to its logical end.

As I’ve done before, I pulled out my scrap strips bins to create lots of strip squares, which I then cut into two triangles. Many of the light colored squares were made from scrap bags I bought at the Sew Batik sewing expo booth. I just don’t use light fabrics enough to have a good stockpile of light strips.

I paired the triangles in mostly light/dark combinations, with a few all light ones, and had fun creating stars with them. I was inspired by a quilt posted on Pinterest. It was made by Stash Lab Quilts, and is brighter than mine.

I had made a rough drawing of my layout, but found that getting the light triangles to flow together really drove the composition. I guess I know who or what is really in charge. That’s right, color and value.

I’m linking up to Nina-Marie’s Off The Wall Friday.


Filed under In Process, Modern Quilting

Another Big Quilt

I thought that Yellow Jacket would be my last “big” quilt for a while. I was wrong. My strippy squares have grown into a 72 inch square quilt top. I really tried for color blending, beginning with a light center and working outwards towards darker colors, but I had to fudge the corners of the outmost square due to the limitations of my stash.



The change of direction in the strips on the inside was deliberate, just to mix it up. I spent a fair amount of time auditioning border colors before I settled on the gray/green batik and blue fabrics. I plan to use a dark teal for the binding.

ColorStrips4This one will be sent out for quilting. My shoulders aren’t up to wrestling it around my domestic machine. It was hard enough taking a picture of it. The backing is pieced with the largest hunks of fabric I own. No idea where this one will end up. It’s an excellent example of quilting rationalization – I already had all the fabric leftovers, so it’s a free quilt, right?


Filed under In Process

The Week of Mindless Sewing

Some of Christmas week has been dedicated to cookie making and sewing strips of scrap fabric together. My self imposed deadline for using up scraps is fast approaching (December 31!) so I’m going for quantity and power sewing. Thanks to Mary and Patch I decided to make a string quilt to use up much some of my hoard. Maryline’s quilt is a lovely color graded piece, while mine will smack more of I had it so I used it.

Luckily, many of my scraps were already sorted by color, though they had to be cut into strips. The rest of the scraps I’m using were already cut into strips but not sorted by color.  I listened to a radio show on Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday as I sorted my colors.


I tore out pages from an old phone book as my block foundations. Two cuts with a rotary cutter (using an old blade) gave me 8 inch squares. Phone book paper tears out easily, plus I can feel virtuous for reusing the books.

A run through my scraps revealed that I have the least amount of green scraps. This doesn’t surprise me as until recently I haven’t used much green. I do have lots of blue. I am short on lights and pastels as well. My guess is I’ll have 14 to 16 light/pastel blocks and 36-40 medium to dark blocks. There will also be some wild card blocks.

Originally I had hoped to get 80 7.5 inch blocks out of my scraps for a 60 by 75 inch quilt before any borders. My goal was to use up scraps that were already close to the strip sizes I need. I may have to rethink that plan unless I want to cut up my larger scraps. That would make even more scraps. By my latest calculation I’ll be lucky to eke out 60 blocks from what I’ve cut up.

BlockTwinsHere are the twins created by my sewing so far. I need to add pastels to the mix.


Filed under In Process

Rainbow Connection

It’s amazing what my subconscious gets up to while I’m working on quilting projects.  As I sewed two small quilts that feature circles and half circles, my brain was mashing up my interest in luminosity, what I learned from Joen Wolfrom’s Color Play, and my strips of scrap fabric. The result? A color wash paper pieced string quilt that said “make me” on Monday. It was pieced by Thursday night.

Here’s the effect I was going for in this quilt, minus the cute factor.

.This was not a carefully thought out project.  Under the guidance of radio waves from Alpha Centauri (as good an explanation as any) I pulled out my scrap strip bins from the closet, sorted the strips into color piles, arranged each pile in a rough color intensity order, and retrieved an old phone book stashed beneath my sewing table.  The phone book?  Oh, I tear out pages and use them as the paper for my paper piecing.  They’re great for 8 inch square blocks.

My goal was to use only scraps that were already cut in strips, and with 3 or 4 exceptions I succeeded.  I did use a lot of the reverse sides of my fabric, especially for the light sides of my squares.  Some of the blocks I made didn’t play well with the others, so they’ve been set aside in the bin of orphan blocks.  And some of the color transitions aren’t as smooth as I’d like, but I stuck with my rule that I could use only scraps or fabric already in my possession.

Here’s the result of all that strip work done on autopilot.  I still have to remove about half the paper, but the phone book paper tears very easily, especially since I used a size 14 needle to make the holes bigger.  I’m thinking of binding it in dark purple, but have no ideas about how to quilt it.  And I have no idea what to call it. For now I’m content to have worked out in fabric some of that color theory I’ve been pondering.

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Filed under In Process