Monday, March 25, 2019

All About Strings (and Scraps)

It's my day for the All About Strings blog hop, hosted by Carla of Creatin' in the Sticks! When she published that this hop was happening, I jumped on it because I really needed to get through some of my scraps.

When I get to the place that my fabric is not enough to put back on the shelf, I cut those scraps into strips and/or squares of various sizes; squares from 5" down to 2", strips from 2 1/2" down to 1 1/2" and then the strings are saved as well. (I won't tell you about the basket of scraps waiting to be cut...) I have shoe-box size crates these all go in, and let me tell you, I am getting quite a stack of them. When I read that Pat Sloan only allows 2 crates to fill up before she does something with them, I thought I'd better get cracking!

Our quilt club, the Cerro Gordo Quilters, has an annual retreat at Threads of Time in Danville, IL, and I had decided early on that I was going to only take my scraps--my strings and my 5" blocks--to make something, anything, with them. Carla's hop helped me focus more on strings, but the 5" blocks were handy too.

At first I thought I'd just make a bunch of squares using strings for a table runner, but then I thought some quarter square triangle blocks made from 5" squares would look nice too, so I made enough to alternate them on a table runner. My string blocks were large enough to accommodate the size of the 4 quarter square triangles in a block, and I forget what size that was now--maybe 7 1/2"??

Then I decided I would piece the back with strings too. Man, does that take a long time!
Here is a peek from one side. 

More of a peek...

And the whole thing:

I quilted it using my walking foot and those "organic waves"--easy peasy.

The binding is leftover 2 1/2" strings that I pieced together. I love it--either side could be used for the runner.

Then I thought it would be fun to make a star block with a string-pieced center. I had brought some extra background fabric since I wasn't sure I had enough light colored 5" pieces, and I did have to use some of it. I didn't use a pattern, just figured out what I needed to do. The center is an 8 1/2" square, and the outer squares are 4 1/2". 

I made 4 at retreat and have more half square triangles ready to go, but I don't know if I want a quilt or what out of these, so I have stopped for now.

The other day, I decided it would be fun to make a zipper bag out of my strings, so I opened up a box again (I have 3 boxes of strings), and pulled out stuff until I put together these 2 pieces:

Then I used mostly bigger scraps (ones in that basket to be cut) for the lining pieces:

Here is my bag, front and back:

and inside (It's about 14 x 17," a nice size for caring sewing stuff). Again, no pattern, just putting together until I had a size I liked.

Sew, there are my projects. I still have more strings than I know what to do with, and a ton more 5" squares, not to mention the smaller stuff. I think it grew while I was working with it--I didn't make a dent. So, I believe there will be more stringy/scrappy projects in my future!

Thanks, Carla, for hosting this amazing hop!

Here are today's other hoppers with their wonderful projects:

Tuesday, March 26th

Just Sew Quilter  (You are here!)

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Quilt Retreat

Five of us made it to our annual quilt retreat at Threads of Time in Danville, IL, down from our original 10. We have been having a great time, as usual. We really enjoy coming here, with the quilt shop connected to the retreat center and the ability to roam in and out when the shop is open. Best of all is the chance to be together and have fun!
Below is Nanette on the left, and I am on the right.

Here's Rosie, working on a quilt for her grandson's high school graduation gift.

Sharon's working on some applique for placemats.

Nanette's top-stitching the edge of a table runner.

Becky's fighting her way through the directions of the Tool Tote.

I'm working on strings for Carla's hop later this month--oh, oh, maybe you shouldn't see this--pretend you didn't--it's not quite finished though. And I'm working on another string project too...

I brought only my assorted strips and 5" squares that I have cut from scraps to try to use up--ha, ha, ha!!--I could sew for a week or 2 to get them used up, I'm thinking at this point. That's not even dealing with other squares I have that are different sizes... Maybe I'll make a dent??? One can only hope.