I've really been using up the scraps this week. I'm making six inch (finished) string blocks. I need to make 130 blocks for the twin size quilt I have planned. I'm using quite a mix of fabrics. Leftovers from a skirt for P, a sunhat I made for D when he was little, scraps from kid pajamas, scraps from other people, new scraps - do you see some Jeniffer Paganelli in there? A couple of the blocks even have scraps from a dress I made for myself when I was in middle school. Pretty much anything goes. I am not using the very pale or mostly white fabrics so there's not too much value contrast. These are just like the string blocks I made for this quilt and this quilt. I plan to do something different with these though. I'll be sure to show you when I get to that step.
four six inch string blocks:
Here's my method for making these blocks.
Because I want there to be a visual direction to the blocks I use strings, or long skinny scraps. I often have strips of quilt backs after trimming, extra strips or parts of strips from cutting quilt pieces and they work great for these blocks. I am making these blocks 6 inches because that is the size of my ruler. I work with the ruler right next to me.
First I cut a bunch of strips to length.
Fatter scraps are cut to narrower strip widths.
Short pieces are sewn together to make strips that are long enough for the block. I usually work with scissors for a more "organic" look to the piecing but I sometimes trim one edge of these pieced strips with the rotary cutter to make it easier to sew them to the block in progress.
I sew these strips together to make a chunck of fabric that is large enough for a block. As I sew each strip on I lay it where I want the seam to be on the block below. I often place it a little askew to get wedge shaped strings. I sew along the straight edge of the new strip and then trim the extra fabric away. Sometimes the bit that is cut away is wide enough to sew to another block.
It is best to press before adding each new strip. I work in big batches of sewing and then pressing.
'Tis the season to bust those scraps! String piecing is quick and easy. You should give it a try!