I blame my scrap quilting on my grandmother. I can’t help being scrappy – it’s genetic.
When my sisters and I were teen-agers, my grandmother presented us each with a 9-patch quilt made from the corduroy scraps of all the clothes she had made for us during our childhood. I loved that quilt to tatters.
But in my opinion, when it comes to scrap quilts, string quilts are the final word in scrappiness. This quilt – strings from strings – is the mother of all string quilts.
While making a few string quilts this summer, I accumulated quite a few small bits of cut-off strips. And, of course, I saved them….. because…. well…. maybe…. I’d find a way to use them….
And, of course, I did find a way to use them. I inserted those tiny strips into the centers of squares of leftover taupe fabrics. And it made me so happy!!
Here’s how I did it:
#1. I cut the taupe solids into 6” blocks and then made a diagonal free cut (no ruler).
#2. I laid the string sliver between the block to check length.
#3. I sewed the oversized string cut-off (appr. 7”) to each side of the cut block and squared it up to 5 3/4.”
Oh my! I loved the effect of that little bit of assorted fabrics peeking out through the center. Of course, I had lots more tiny squares and rectangles to use as inserts but I decided there must be a faster way to make the inserts because even I did not want to make 64 (or more) one inch to one and a half inches of 7”strings of fabric!
One of my self-imposed rules of string quilts is that I rarely sew strips of fabric and cut them into strips – I like to keep it scrappy and don’t like seeing a string of fabric obviously repeating itself throughout the quilt. However, with these small strips of strings I realized you didn’t notice if the string is the same because the size of each strip varied, keeping the strings from being the main focal point.
Instead I made string strips that were 3-6” wide and then cut them into 3-5 strips of varying widths. I cut more 6” squares in half, free form, and inserted the new strips. OMG! I loved seeing the variety in the widths of the strings playing with the slight variations of the taupe. In addition, the diagonal free cut gave the blocks a subtle movement.
This quilt came together in a frenzy of excited creativity. The taupe solids are such a perfect foil for the bright multi-hued prints – A straight man to the wild and crazy scraps. It’s now pinned and I’ve started handquilting it. It only needs a name – any suggestions?