Yesterday I finished the forty little (7″) paper-pieced string blocks for the second commission top. I pulled the paper off during the Men’s Downhill and team Figure Skating last night.
A question was raised about me pulling the paper off before they were sewn together, and without stay-stitching them around the edges. I usually do string and log cabin blocks this way, unless I have a lot of bias or some other reason to think there will be a problem. Stitching around all the edges is probably a good step for newer quilters, but it really adds a lot of time to the process, and I am far too impatient. Again, sewing the blocks together with the paper still on is another option for fool-proof results, but I have real sensory issues with all that crinkliness, and then there’s paper in the seams to pick out. I find that I can get good, accurate results by handling the blocks gently and using the occasional pin (radical, I know! Not really a pinner, either). I use thin paper (this was phone book pages) or sometimes no paper at all, if I’m doing vertical strips. I press them well all along the way, trim carefully, and remove the paper gently, and I don’t have any trouble. How do you deal with these kind of blocks?
Here they are with the coordinating quilt top. There will be Snow sashing between all these string blocks, so the result will be much lighter and will match the first quilt better.
I’m linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.
February 10, 2014 at 12:24 PM
I love string quilted and found myself quite addicted after my first. The colors in these blocks is very lovely. I like the affect of just light fabrics together. I’m going to try that on a string quilt of mine in the future.
February 10, 2014 at 2:43 PM
My design wall has string blocks on it too. I do mine on muslin foundation blocks.
February 10, 2014 at 4:14 PM
I use starch to keep the fabric controlled. love striuing blocks.
February 11, 2014 at 2:47 PM
fab tops. I do mine the same way x
February 11, 2014 at 5:26 PM
I have to give it to you Valerie, they’re gorgeous! I usually leave the paper in until the blocks are sewn together. I have a question though: when you use phone book paper, don’t you have the ink transfer to the fabrics when you press the strings? I know sometimes I have black fingers after handling a phone book. How about you?
February 12, 2014 at 12:24 PM
You know, I haven’t had any problem. Sometimes my fingers are black, but it doesn’t seem to get on the fabric. So far!
February 14, 2014 at 6:06 PM
Heavy starch really keeps any bias edges from stretching but I also keep papers in until the blocks are sewn into a top. Unprinted newspaper rolls are great for paper piecing projects. You can buy end rolls at your local newspaper office. You can mist the papers with water to remove (makes it very easy) and when wet the paper is not noisey. LOL, the sound drives me silly too.