This month’s block is a real scrap buster and I hope you have some fun with it. Here are two examples of string quilts. The first was made years ago for my nephew’s 21st birthday. This one I pieced on foundation blocks of fabric and boy was it heavy!
This one was completed last year as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. You see it here without the borders on it but it is still one of my favourite quilts. We won’t make hearts for Aussie Heroes but if you made extra blocks you could do one for yourself.
And now on to the tutorial –
The first thing you have to do is pull out some scraps. If you have lots of strips they are perfect. I save all the strips leftover from cutting strips – you know that useless bit of a strip that just isn’t wide enough for anything else. I have chosen red, blue, green and yellow but you can choose whatever you want. I like to put them into a plastic bag for convenience.
Then you need to cut yourself a 1 1/2″ wide strip of white – plain white or tone on tone white – but preferably white, not cream, as I think the end result will work better with that little bit of uniformity.
Next grab some A4 sheets of paper. Now I use A4 for convenience. You can get thinner paper, cheaper paper, your choice. You just have to be able to cut yourself an 8 1/4′ inch square. With A4 paper that means just one cut.
Before you start sewing shorten your stitch length- this makes it so much easier to tear off the paper afterwards. I shorten mine down to about 1.3 or 1.4. You need to experiment to find what workds for you. I found anything less than that was frustratingly slow to sew. you don’t want to ma your stitches too big or you will pull the thead instead of tearing the paper.
Lay your white strip diagonally across the paper corner to corner.
Next lay a coloured strips on top of the white strip and sew along one of the edges from corner to corner.
When you have finished sewing open out your strips and finger press the coloured strip back. You can iron if you want to but that just makes this more time consuming.
I usually sew a couple of strips at least before iron and rely on finger pressing. Do not use a steam iron – steam and paper do not mix.
Keep stitching and ironing till you have covered all the paper. The strips do not have to be the same width and they definitely to not have to be straight. If your strips is longer than you need just snip the end off and throw it back on your pile/into your bag.
Once you have completely covered your paper give the block a good press. Now it is time to trim it back to size.
WIth the paper side up line up your ruler with the edge of the paper and trim off the excess. If you are afraid of cutting the paper place your ruler just past the paper, say around 1mm.
This is what you will be left with.
Now it is time to take off the foundation paper. Start at one corner and fold back the corner to the first row of stitching. finger press the paper back
and you should find it will tear away quite easily.
Keep going till you have removed all the paper. At this stage you can give your block another press. You might find that it is not quite 8 1/4″any more. That is no problem. Do not trim it any more.
You will be left with a block (I made two at once) that looks something like this. I will probably trim them all back to 8″ when I have ironed them all and checked their sizes
So, do you think you can manage it? It is a simple block, a great stash buster and a great way to get a colourful quilt.
If you want to get some idea what the resulting quilt will look like – sorry I can’t go to the one I prepared earlier! But you can check out some that other bloggers have prepared earlier here, here and here
I think that is all you need to know but don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have any questions.
And don’t stress, just do your best -there are no quilt police allowed in Aussie Heroes!
I have already planned the block for July – absolutely no hints but other than to say that it will be more traditional than this one.
Anyone with April or May BOM blocks could you please let me know to expect them so I can wait for them before putting the last quilt top together.
And just before I go I thought you might like an update on the APRIL and MAY BOMs. So far the April BOMs have been made into this quilt top. I have just added a 3″ white border all the way around it
and then it was layered and pinned yesterday. If you look closely I have decided to tape some random straight lines on it for a guide for quilting. I will need to add more once these are completed but you can’t put too many on at once. I am going to wonky quilt it to match the wonky crosses!
The Hot Cross 9 Patch blocks have so far been made into one quilt top -we had a lot of country plaid blocks so I took the most country of them all and put them together with a burgundy inner border and a plaid outer border.
It was also pinned yesterday and I think I am going to quilt this with a diagonal pattern.
You can see the green plaid backing in the top of the picture. This quilt just says cozy to me. I know who is getting this one – and hope to get it in the mail on Friday.
I have more APRIL and MAY blocks and Larissa, Pauline and Sue have let me know that they are making some and will be sending them on their way soon. I will wait for those before I put the last quilt tops together!
Till next time………….keep spreading the word and happy