It’s common in the quilt blogosphere to call a project you’re making for yourself “selfish” but I’ll tell you what, when it takes 27 hours to make something, and you know you won’t ever get an amount of money commensurate with the time you’ve spent on it, you can be damn sure this item will not easily be parted with. I consider this less selfish and more a preservation of sanity!
A couple of weeks ago I was reading a post about foundation paper piecing. This is different than English Paper Piecing which I will be able to elaborate on more after I take a class on it in April.
Foundation paper piecing is simple and a great way to churn through your scraps. Take a piece of paper the desired size of your finished square, e.g. 8″x8″. Take a strip of fabric that is longer than the diagonal of that square, hold it (or glue if it’s your preference) at one edge of the diagonal and stitch all the way through both fabric and paper from end to end. Line up your next piece along the edge of the first piece, stitch together, press open, repeat.
You’ll have something that looks like this. Because you’ve pieced it directly onto the fabric (use a shorter stitch length, I like 1-1.5, so that the paper is sufficiently perforated) you already have the shape you want as the “foundation”. So, you flip it over, trim along the paper and….
Boom! Perfectly pieced string blocks. And if you’re like me, the best part is removing the paper when you’re finished. As might be apparent in the above picture, I work on these 4 at a time, pulling, pressing, and cutting at different lengths and widths all of the fabric I want to use for the set of 4. Much like the improv piecing I showed yesterday, this lends itself to making these blocks identifiable even when put together with their neighbors.
Like so. Each of these joined sets is approximately 15.5″ across. Initially, I was going to make this throw quilt 4 blocks x 4 blocks for something that would be right around 5’x5′. But these are so easy to whip up and actually, so fun to make, I’m going to increase it to 5 blocks square for something that is closer to 6’3″. That’s big enough for two people to snuggle under.
Again, this is completely made from scraps that would otherwise end up in the trash. Instead, gorgeous (IMHO) quilt!