Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lessons Learned--String Blocks

Good thing Anna has a birthday in January, 'cause I think this will end up being a pillow to go with her Throwing Stars quilt. She is getting all my experimental pieces, but she's got such a kind, open heart that I know she'll love 'em.

I followed Film in the Fridge's tutorial for paper-pieced string blocks. Very easy to understand!

I experimented with 8 inch squares of junk mail.

Most of the fabric was leftover from binding Anna's Throwing Stars. As such, it was bias-cut. The black was cut straight, leftover from my checkerboard (which, by the way, got some play this week with a five-year-old and his three-year-old sister. LOVE!) According to the tutorial, you glue down your center diagonal strip with glue stick.

I think I overdid it. I had to spray down the blocks with water and scrape off gluey paper goop with my fingernail.

But it came off!

So ta-da! Toss pillow it is!

Lessons learned:
  1. Go easy on the glue!
  2. Use straight-cut strips, not bias. The bias stretches and puckers.
  3. Have a TON of strips on hand! I just used leftovers and was surprised how many it took for each block.
  4. If you're using junk mail, newsprint is the easiest to sew but hard to peel off. Glossy is harder to sew because it slips around and has difficulty catching the feed dogs. Semi-glossy is probably the best, but next time I'll fish through the recycle bin beside the copier instead.
Altogether a great experience and I'm glad to have that trick under my belt. Happy early birthday, Anna!

1 comment:

Nina-Marie said...

Wow - how very green of you!! I have a set of blocks that are done with paper on the back just like this. Of course they are at least 80 or so years old. Isn't it cool to be doing something that women of history did?