A New String Quilt Begins

String quilt being made © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Is it really Wednesday already?  I’m not sure where the beginning of the week went but I have started something new that I’d love to show you: the beginnings of a string quilt.

String quilt being made © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Strips for a string sheet

After finishing the Floating the Squares quilt top I made recently, I’m moving on to the next improv exercise in the The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: a string quilt.  String quilts (or strip quilts) are nothing new, you can find pictures of them all over Pinterest for a start. But this approach is a little different.  The commonest way to use up your scrap strips in a string quilt is to make a log cabin patchwork or something similar. And the established ‘improv’ way of doing it is to make a ‘wonky’ log cabin.  However,  a deliberately ‘wonky’ block doesn’t tell you anything about the maker. They’ve become so ubiquitous they’re pretty unexciting to look at.  If I’m going to work in this improvised way it’s because I see it as a way of developing my own language to communicate something new and personal.

String quilt being made © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

First string ‘sheet’

A Different Approach

Sherri Lyn Wood’s approach to making a string quilt requires making a new piece of fabric from strips and then cutting it up again to whatever shape you want.  The new pieces of fabric (or ‘sheets’ as she describes them) are quite large; the first one I’ve made is probably 1/2m by the width of fabric. In the exercise she describes she suggests making a minimum of three sheets (enough to cover the area of your desired finished quilt), each with a different set of parameters that you give yourself. The parameters can be very simple, such as ‘I’ll use a plain fabric next to a patterned fabric on the first sheet; I’ll use a narrow string next to a wide string on the second sheet and I’ll use 4 different colours on the third sheet’. You then combine all your sheets in a personal way to create your improv quilt.

String quilt being made © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

String sheet and deliciously scented sweet peas

I think these string sheets will work quite well for something I’ve had in mind for a while and I’ve restricted my colour palette accordingly.  I won’t give details now as I’m sure things will change as I go along. I’ll share my thoughts and process as the piece builds though, but at the moment I feel the first sheet has got me off to a good start.

If you’re interested in this method of improv piecing also check out Ann’s blog Fret Not Yourself where you can follow along with her progress too.  Have you made a string quilt?  What did you think, was it fun, were you pleased with your quilt?  (I’ve really enjoyed it so far!)

Linking up with Let’s Bee Social and for the first time with August Scraptastic Tuesday at She Can Quilt.  I’m going to be social and pop over and check out what you’ve all been up to this week, see you there!

Happy stitching.

signature, Stephie x
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13 replies
  1. Ann
    Ann says:

    Hi, Stephie. Floating the Squares was fabulous – both the rich colors and the effective way you got them to float. This one looks like it will have a similar richness.
    You have made an important point. There are a few “standard” improv blocks. There are thousands of traditional patterns to use plus original designs. Surely we can find something new to say. I’m interested to see what you do with your strings.

  2. Bossymamma
    Bossymamma says:

    My patchwork is nearly always “improv” because I don’t tend to plan much! Looking forward to seeing how yours develops.

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Thanks Cynthia! It really is great fun and there’s so much you can do with the ‘sheets’ once you’ve made them. Go on, have a go!!! Thanks for coming over and so sorry (again) for the late reply.

  3. Nicky
    Nicky says:

    Nice to find a new way to string piece – I hope you will link up again to show us more ! Thanks for linking up to #scraptastictuesday

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Thanks Nicky! Sorry for my tardy reply (I went away unexpectedly). I definitely plan to link up again – what a great party! Scrap quilts are my absolute favourite and your party is a great way to find others with a similar passion, thank you 🙂


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