Saturday, August 15, 2015

Improv String Quilt Pieced

I was more restrained with the final two string sets for the String Score. About half the sheets are Group 1 (blue/green) with a quarter each Group 2 (red) and Group 3 (light). Colors overlap between groups but each single fabric is only in one group. The widest sheet was 40". The others are 15-20" wide. They were very manageable although I pieced them to get sections long enough for this quilt.

Improv String 1 finished
Last month I decided to empty the scrap bag. I've been pulling from it for two years and there was a growing bunch of really dull pieces in it. {The swash zone of leftovers.} As a last attempt to use everything, I string pieced some twelve inch blocks (like those used in this quilt.) There weren't enough to make a top and the dark ones were particularly ugly. The light blocks had possibilities here. I sewed three together in a row (12" x 36") then cross cut them and sewed those into the lights. Some of the print fabrics are indistinct, especially when sewed next to each other. But when strong colors/patterns alternated with a light fabric, the crosscuts draw the eye in another direction. Hmm.

String sets with crosscut sets inserted
Perhaps more of the string should have been solid. This style compares with Trip Around the World. Adjacent large scale fabrics blend together and lose the design - strings in this one, squares on the diagonal in Trips. (This idea could be a future string variation: soft or strong lines based on the type of print used.)

Eight sections cut for this String quilt
Here are the eight sections of this quilt. I liked those crosscut inserts so much I finally added the vertical blue strip to utilize the last of them. Stripes and plaids add life to the sheets. The striped fabric really pleases me. I'd like them to run in the other direction, too. (The crosscut inserts do that somewhat but they are much more subtle.)

Sherri wrote that the seam line is stronger (more apparent) than any color in these strips. But when I first laid the light and green sections together I thought they were too similar. So I cut a few medium blues from the discarded group and used them to join parts of the shorter sheets. You can see them in the third column from the left. They actually caused these sections to blend more. Compare them to the columns on the right.

Sections were pinned together before cutting along the sewing line
The long sections were butted against each other with as little overlap as possible. The sections moved while cutting along the future seam line so I pinned the overlap as a cutting guide. Cut slowly to avoid nicking your scissors with the pins.

Possible vertical inserts
The previous post about this quilt is here.

Enjoy the day,

20 comments:

  1. Hmmmm...I have to admit I like this but I can't get over the thought that quilts like this are made of scraps only. Color me restrained!

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    1. Some scraps and some strings. As for restrained- I only meant in terms of the quantity. Haha.

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  2. Amazing scrap use--I like the cross cuts look a lot...hugs, Julierose

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    1. It did turn out well, didn't it? What else can we do with that idea?

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  3. Anything with the word scraps in it has me :) looks great, love the colours, your scraps are fun and ever so bright :)

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    1. Thanks! Oddly enough, I didn't think these were bright when I cut them.

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  4. The red scrappy columns are a real visual treat set in amongst the others. I think those stripes add a great bit of punch and excitement too. This is beautiful string piecing Ann!

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    1. Thanks, Lara. I like the columns of strings. It reminds me of Chinese Coins.

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    2. I agree with Lara. Great job at curating your string sets to achieve contrast as well as blending affects between them.

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    3. Thanks again, Sherri. When I worried about which set to put a fabric in, I'd remember your fabulous string quilt in IHMQ. You wrote that you didn't differentiate any of them. It gave me confidence to move ahead.

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  5. I like the contrast, adds excitement!

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    1. Thanks, Janie. I like this cherry red.

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  6. Wonderful - love the way you've used the cross cuts. The red really makes a statement and the two vertical strips you've auditioned I feel add tremendously to the impact of this lovely stripped pieced quilt. I have just hauled out my book to read up on the String Score!

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    1. It was a fun find in the scrap bag. I like looking in there for hidden treasures. ;-) I'm so glad you're reading this book, too. The best part it that it suggests and offers methods without telling you exactly what to cut. The quilts from everyone in my group look so different. Amazing.

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  7. I love the cross cut pieces - they add a whole extra dimension and, as you say, open up lots of new possibilities. I think it is true that the eye is drawn to the seam line first, but for me that is true where the red and the pale shades meet, but not so much where two paler strings sit together, so again I like that you made them not too similar. It's so interesting watching you do this.

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    1. Looking with your eyes, you are correct. The sewing line between the highest contrast columns shows up first. The stripes and the crosscuts come next. Finally I see the sewing line between the lower contrast columns. More than (most) of the horizontal seams between individual strings. Some of the low contrast columns make me think this would be a good background of "forest" or "water" sometime.

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  8. After nearly 2 decades, I am just now attemting to use scraps. So I just love this! It is modern and has a lot of movement. I definitely would keep the vertical thin solid strips - they just focus in the eye perfectly.

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    1. Thanks, Teresa. It's a happy quilt. I think using whites helped with that. Thanks for the advice on the thin vertical solids. I like them, too, but "Just because I can," isn't always the smartest reason to add something to a quilt.

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  9. What a great quilt top! Love the intense reds and the light, airy look to parts of the quilt! The thin inset fabrics are a wonderful addition!

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    1. Thanks, Audrey. It's great to pull interesting tidbits out of the scrap bag. These just needed another cut.

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