Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Perfect Sewing Day

On my last post I said I would be working on bindings or getting distracted by a new project. Well, I got distracted. I have had this bag bookmarked to make for quite a while and finally whipped it up. It's an easy pattern. It's by the fabulous Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studios and you can find it here. I've been collecting home dec fabrics whenever I see some I like and I liked this combo. By the way, that roll of paper I have had forever. It was my Mom's in her sewing room and I have had it for years. It came in really handy for my next distraction I will show you.

 Today arrived with the first snow storm since last October-I am not kidding-we have had no storms since last October so it was a perfect day for some sewing. We got about 8 inches here which is a small snowstorn for NH. I have been using my stash quite a lot these past two years and when ever I am doing a project I slice up any scraps into strings and dump them in this basket. I wanted to someday make some kind of string quilt or a spider web quilt and then I found this tutorial I liked.

There is a quilt-a-long being sponsored by Sew Lux Fabric and Gifts and the easy tutorial for these blocks is here. These block are super simple and work up fast. The common foundation of the white string looks great with a few blocks done. This is semi-paper pieced. I say semi because you only sew one seam through the paper so ripping off the paper is a breeze.

I did make a couple of changes that may help you if you try it. The tutorial calls for a 6 inch square of paper for the foundation but I am using a 6.5 inch. The reason I am doing that is because I have an Accuquilt Go Cutter and the 6.5 inch die so I am cutting my paper with the Go. Did you know you can cut paper with it and not damage the die? So if you have this die, use it! The next thing I did was cut my white strings on the length of the grain, not the width. There are a lot of diagonal seams going on and I think you need a strong foundation in the middle that is less likely to stretch. As you can see below this is what you end up with on the front and back and the directions call for you to use the grid on the cutting mat and proceed to cut basically on the edge of the paper from the back. But I was finding that cutting blind like that, I was not getting quite in the center of my white strings sometimes.

Then I remembered my favorite tool in my sewing room. My Precision Trimmer which also is 6.5 inches. So I ripped the paper off the back before I trimmed and I did my trimming from the front so I could place that diagonal line on the ruler right down the center of the white string. Perfect block!

So that's what I have been up to. That and talking to my cat. She was watching me sew and I kept saying, "These blocks are so much fun!" It's just me and the cat here most days so I gotta talk to someone.

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  1. I am working on these blocks also but using a square of muslin 8.5 inches square for the foundation. It has kept them from getting wonky and there is no paper to tear off. I like the blocks and they are definitely fun to make.

  2. Fantastic day you and Penny had together in the sewing room. Love, the bag, can't wait to see it in person.

    The string blocks are grand, and that white foundation piece absolutely pulls it all together.

    Great job, as usual.

    (P.S. That cool Precision Trimmer ruler sure would like nice in my Xmas Stocking or really any place some time.)

  3. Love your bag and the string quilt has been on my to do list for a while but I have so many things to finish up first.

  4. Love your bag.I`m working on these block and also use a square of muslin 15 cm square in the back.
    These blocks are easy to sew and love when I sew it together.

  5. I like what you've done on your string blocks, I also trim from the front to make sure. After I'd done about a dozen I thought to myself that I should have used a 6-1/2" foundation, but I decided to journey forth with the 6" size, since I have a 6" square ruler and the final size isn't critical.

  6. I am loving that scrappy bag and your blocks look great! Thanks for sharing all those wonderful tips as well! :-)

  7. Your bag is fabulous! Isn't it wonderful how many terrific ideas for projects we get from other bloggers!!

  8. You have been picked by ME to receive a Liebster Blog Badge. Visit my blog to grab your badge and get the rules that go with it. Love you!

  9. I love your little bag, soo cute! Thanks for the tips on the string blocks. I have been making these for years with a common center piece but I use fabric foundation because I don't like pulling that paper off. Now, with this tutorial, I will use paper more often. I agree with squaring up from the front getting that center strip dead centered. Thanks again


I pray that risen from the dead,
In glory I will stand,
A crown perhaps upon my head,
And a needle in my hand.