I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Year Of String Quilts

Hi friends! It seems that 2019 will be the year of string quilts! Yes, even the worlds of quilting and quilt blogging succumb to fads and this year is all about the utilitarian style of quilting called string quilts. For my non-quilter friends, this has nothing to do with real string, as in macrame or  crocheted market bags; the quilt strings are long strips of fabric, once upon a time saved by thrifty housewives  for an easy, non-template method of turning out quilts quickly.

This year string quilts abound online. Lori/ Humble Quilts is doing a casual string sewalong.   Moda Fabrics is too. HERE  Books are newly  published and are being publicized via bloghops* and  giveaways.


Historian Barbara Brackman has published blog posts like this one.here
I'm not big on jumping on fad bandwagons, but I've had a number of string quilts on my "someday" list for quite awhile. Pinterest board Here
Here are some I considered:
This Halloween quilt is a front runner, I have all the fabrics gathered. I love the string blocks with the very traditional Churn Dash and 9 Patch blocks.

I adore this quilt's colors. I'd perhaps buy the pattern to support the designer though it is simple to draft. It's a quilt I think I might actually use.

And, oooh, Pineapples. The strings would be the bodies, different fabrics, each one colors as shown. If this isn't a string quilt, I still would love to make it, so me.

And I have quite a few already in my quilt closet, both made by me and vintage.
This is a sweet c.1930-50 top. All hand pieced. I've never had the cash to have it quilted, maybe this will be its year!

And this quilt from 2013, Beach Umbrellas. I made it to showcase my pink and orange tropicals especially my collection of Lily Pulitzer fabrics my mom would send me from Florida, plus thrifted LP garments.

It was a difficult quilt for my then longarm quilter, who emailed me in cyber/virtual tears because her machine needle kept breaking on the dense-seamed area of the Umbrellas' centers.

She was both upset and angry with me. I told her to stop work immediately and send it back to me, also I let her keep the full fee to compensate her for the damage, though i felt it wasn't exactly my fault. It was upsetting and when the quilt returned home I chucked it right in the trash. I told Mel the story and she insisted I get the quilt back from the dumpster. Years later, my current quilter, the talented and calm Lori C. finished quilting it, finished 2013.

See how the Stars are the sandy beach, the edges the ocean?

The bad news is, my children absolutely HATED this quilt and I quickly put it away, never looked at it again til now. Just---too many bad vibes and sadness . But you know what? I kinda love it. I have adorable ditsy flamingo fabric for pillow cases next summer. This quilt will be out there with those cases and loved by me.

An aspect I find interesting about many string quilts is  that the blocks are very simple, but are put together in  ways that result in designs that the eye sees as complex. With the Pink Vintage, I always thought the blocks were triangles, figure one.

Set together to form the larger squares on point.

But no! They are simple squares,  thoughtfully made up of repeating red or pink central strips to form the bulls eye pattern. figure 2, above.

It is entirely hand sewed,

...using many very sweet little prints. Perhaps clothing , aprons, or feedsacks. Bunnies! Doggies, tulips and rosebuds.

And the very difficult appearing pinwheels and Stars of Umbrellas is simply large triangles with the strips sewed on each end .

I hope anyone making a string quilt looks for the simple solution, as I did when drafting my version.

Even a classic Log Cabin, like this beautiful miniature made for one of Lori's swaps, can be considered a string quilt, though many modern quilters cut each ''log'' to exact size instead.

made for me by Denise Davis 2017

Modern string quilts are often made using 2 1/2 " precut fabrics that are sold in what are called ''jelly rolls''. Maybe 30 coordinating strips. I prefer to be old fashioned and cut or tear my own strips.

It was hard to choose, but so far I have started with Blue Baskets, inspired by the Blue string Houses on When the Wild Geese Fly.
I tear some strips and iron and starch them, put them on a hanger.

I drafted a simple 10" Basket pattern.

This is my start,

My tryout. [The strips could be narrower!].

Inspiration from Pinterest, antique Cheddar and Indigo Baskets.

Even the white and indigo sprig is a shirt, from the GAP.
Which do you prefer? The plaid is again, a shirt, but I think I like the solid better.

I'll need maybe 25 to 36 baskets. But except for the handles they should go fast: no templates, no HSTs, no points to match. No one to live up to!

Mo as always was a big help!

His diet is working, and to me he looks quite thin. This is a before pic.

Not a fan of thin pugs, so I plan to hold him around this weight til he sees the vet for a checkup.The diet food did work! And he likes it, poor mite.

Snow coming soon?



gone to the beach....

I want to add this inspiration quilt. Last post we talked about how my boardwalk could inspire a string quilt. Maybe the rest of the blue shirts will end up in a similar project for me?

* BLOG HOP : def. "blog hop is a set time frame where a group of bloggers post about a topic and share links to the other blogs so readers can “hop” to them.''