Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Using Strings

Wow - thanks for all your kind comments on my Log Cabin - it's nice to be noticed. 8-))

This string project (below) was done in 2 days of sewing. OK, the strings were already available, and I had cut the telephone book pages a few days ago, on a paper cutter at my office. The rest of this project will be somewhat fiddly, but I'm off to a good start on another project. Oh yeah, I haven't spent a nickel!

These were strips (above) and pieces left over from a "Strips that Sizzle" project - much too good NOT to use -- they don't look like much - but, have faith.

I sewed them onto telephone pages which were cut at 5 3/4 x 11. Using the pages gives them some stability, and what I like best is that I don't have to measure anything at this point. I simply slap another strip down on the paper, and while it's still in the machine, and roughly cut off the strip. I sew through all 40 pages, press the strips open, then put two more strips on, press until the page is full. Finger pressing does not work well.

See? trimmed up (above) they are starting to look like something.

Then I sew twosies, foursies, etc., until all the pieces are one long roll. Sometimes paper falls off, but it's OK at this point. Then I press the seam open where I sewed the pages together.


Voila! A roll of fabric.

And this is where I'm heading (below). I used 40 pages, and each is about 11 inches long, so I have 440 inches of fabric which will make half of a Half Square. I'll probably pair it with white, and aim for a 6 1/2 inch half square. Layout? not sure. I'm thinking OK 440 inches divided by 8.48 inches (diagonal of block) = 51, but by turning the triangle back and forth that is over 103. Hey, is that right? If so, I have MUCH MORE than I need! I always forget the measurement is on one side, but one turns the triangle the other way and gets another block cut!
I haven't decided when to remove the paper yet. I may not get to working on this project for several weeks.

22 comments:

Bonnie said...

I thought I knew where you were heading on these strings... but I was ever so wrong! I like this a lot. Although I don't like the concept of the phone book paper -- too much ink. Now, in all honesty, I've never tried it so I may have to grab the phone book out of recycling and give it a try. So the question is, does the ink come off on your hands and the fabric? Are you sure you have to put this away now? I'd love to see a few finished blocks and a quilt-- soon! *just kidding on the soon part! B.

Roslyn said...

Big big kudos on the Log Cabin Elaine that's a great different setting & wonderful job of quilting on your DSM. Good luck at the Quilt Show.
Now as for this new project with the telephone book.... sounds like a lot of work all that paper-I have made a couple of KS PP & I don't enjoy the removal process. Maybe it's a job for a long car journey?

Sharon said...

Be careful, Elaine. These can be addicting! I think your setting will be neat - I can't wait to see it. I'm still sewing my strings - it's what I do when I need to sew, but don't have time or energy to do what I'm supposed to be working on. *grin*

Lori in South Dakota said...

the last time I set my strings together in rows like that--they started out as Christmas potholders, and grew into a queen size quilt! LOL Strings do have a habit of growing on you! I think they have lots of sex at night and multiply!

Joyce said...

I agree with Lori. Strings can take over your life. But that's a danger with any kind of quilting isn't it.

~Joan said...

Hi, Elaine. You should check out my Waste Not, Want Not quilt on webshots. I used strings and adapted one of Bonnie Hunter's quilt patterns. It's one of my favorite quilts. http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/2872425760047493039KKJGgE

~Joan

Karen said...

I had read about using the phone book pages instead of newspaper. I think there are a lot of us waiting to see what you make with these strings.

Nancy said...

My mother made a beautiful string quilt in a similar fashion. I need to get organized and start working on one.

I can't wait to see what you make with your fabric rolls.

jovaliquilts said...

Brilliant!

SubeeSews said...

Clever, clever, clever! I have a small phone book that I rescued from the trash. I planned on cutting the pages up. It only measures 8"X6".....hummmm...I still have tons of batik strings from my batik Virginia Star!!!! And a whole box of those deli papers that Bonnie Hunter uses. They are very nice to sew on...and they rip off easily.

paula, the quilter said...

I love making that long roll of fabric too. It just makes it so nice and compact and useful.

Leslie said...

I agree with the ladies that say it's addictive, in a *good* way!

Check this out: http://pieceful-moments.blogspot.com/2007/12/string-along-sets.html

Paper removing idea. :o)

Julie in the Barn said...

Very clever idea, Elaine. I'm looking forward to seeing what you creat with your string yardage!

I've tried both the phone book pages and the wax paper sheets from Costco and prefer the phone book pages. The ink has never been a problem for me and the paper tears off easily when I remember to set my stitch length small.

FLO_rancher said...

A roll of string will stretch for miles. Enoy the time unwinding the project. A box of strips is like a treasure to a quilter.
Sew Peacefully DEB};o

mamaspark said...

I really love how you made your own fabric from strings. I may have to employ this one with the church ladies. Do you mind if we copy off of you??

Mama Koch said...

I like your progress. Can't wait to see what you do with it.

I have one of those "disinterested DH's also!

The Calico Quilter said...

What a cool idea! I must try a string project soon. Have you seen the string method in "America Love Scrap Quilts" Spring 2009 issue? They lay one vertically oriented string square on on horizontally oriented string square and sew around all four sides, then cut on both diagonals. You get four interesting blocks with the strings intersecting at right angles on a diagonal line.

Purple Pam said...

I love string quilts. I agree, don't put this one away. I want to see what you are going to do with them. I LOVE the purple, too!

Morah said...

You have been very busy since my last visit. LOVE the LC quilt! These strings look so familiar to me....I made a purple quilt for my daughter and have some of these fabrics!

*karendianne. said...

Oh Wow this is SO TOTALLY COOL. I really dig this. Elaine, I'm just gonna say it - you rock!!!

Quilter Kathy said...

You sure lost me on the math part there! lol
Can't wait to see what you make with the roll of scraps!

Catherine Daugherty said...

Elaine,

Summer 2007 your telephone book quilt picture, provided by our mutual friend, Sue, inspired me to make a king size quilt that ended up being way too big and the largest, gigantic thing you can imagine. I believe it is about 120" x 140". Anita quilted it for me while I was visiting my mother for the summer in Alliance. The quilt - on my bed and probably my most favorite (and I have made about 150 through the years). Yes it is true - you rock!

Thank you, Catherine