String Piecing and Improvisation
I’m getting things ready for a String Piecing Quilt Retreat next week in Arapahoe, Nebraska. I decided to make a few more samples because you can never have too much inspiration.
String piecing is generally done on a foundation. The “string” name came about when people used their narrowest strips of leftovers—so narrow they could be thought of as strings. The charm in these quilts comes from using many, many different fabrics. Variety is what counts. A relaxed, easy attitude is essential!
I made step-by-step samples to show how this pinwheel block is made. I think it would make a great Quilt of Valor. When the retreat is over, I’ll post a step-by-step tutorial for this block.
The beauty is that since it reads as half light and half dark, you can set it any number of ways, just as you’d set Log Cabin blocks. Think Barn Raising, Straight Furrows and Streak of Lightning.
Today was the first time I’d made rectangular string blocks. There is enormous potential here! I put in anything and everything, but you could limit your palette for a completely different effect. I needed to work quickly so my strips are fairly wide, but narrower strips would be dynamite! This is a 16″ block, so you’d get a big quilt pretty quickly.
I ran across this image of a string selvage block. So much fun to make! It’s part of a quilt I designed and made called MerryJoyCheer. It’s not as fluorescent as it looks below. The selvage block is toward the bottom right.
This whole quilt was improvisational, which just means that I made it up as I went. It’s a joyous, exhilarating, challenging and happy way to work.
Then because I had lots of bits and strips pressed and taunting me, I grabbed the pansy print above and pieced an improvisational Log Cabin of sorts around it. This kind of sewing is addictive.
This Ohio Star is made with string piecing.
I used lights and mediums for this block. Wouldn’t a whole quilt be amazing? Like something you’d sleep under at your grandma’s house.
I used a limited palette of reproductions for these string pieced fans. The cheddar corners are a happy accent.
I don’t know if I can resist making more of these modified Log Cabins with very narrow strings. Can you imagine a bed-size quilt in these? Over the top.
Fourteen brave souls signed up for the retreat next week, Sept. 24 to 27! One lady broke her arm and had to cancel, so if you want some last-minute adventure, you’re welcome to join us. Call Wagner’s Quilts & Conversation at 308 962 8458 to register.