First, thank you to all of you that left comments on my last post regarding working with string blocks and bias edges. I got a lot of wonderful suggestions and lots of positive feedback. So, Thank You to all of you!!
|First block done.|
I have been experimenting with the suggested ways to decrease the stretch caused by the bias edges around each block. Lots to consider.
First option tried, as you know, was the telephone book paper. Pros: I like this option because it is readily available and FREE. Nice bonus. Thanks to your suggestions of leaving the paper in until I sew the blocks together.
Cons: Having to deal with this. I removed the paper in the seam allowances so I could press my seams open. This does not inspire the creative process......
Here is the center section ironed. I like the flatness here.... and the colors, of course!
Second option tried was muslin. Pros: natural cotton option that does not need to be removed after sewing and is very stabilizing. BIG pluses.
Cons: It does add quite a bit of weight. Actually doubling the weight of the quilt with that added layer. Also, as you can see in the picture above it makes the seams bulkier. Not sure why this is, but you can see the ripples here.
Third option was dryer sheets. I am not a big fan of dryer sheets in my laundry so I picked up a box without any fragrance.
Pros: Very lightweight. Pretty good stabilization of that bias edge and does not add any substantial weight to the finished block. Cons: The sheets are 6.4" x 9" and my blocks are 6 1/2" square. So after using the dryer sheet it is slightly smaller, making my foundation smaller than my finished block, but not by a lot. Also, I keep hearing about all the chemicals that are in dryer sheets.... hmmm. Should this be a concern... is it any different than polyester batting? Jury still out on that one. I also have to be careful with the heat setting on my iron... they do melt. :-)
So I now have a mix of foundations going into my blocks. The muslin and dryer sheet foundations seem to play well together.
I can tell you I have definitely ruled out the telephone book paper.. at least for this quilt. Just too much tedious removal for me.... And it still does not eliminate my problem of a wobbly edge.. even with leaving the paper in until all the edges are sewn.
You can see the blocks on the outer edge of my larger block have a bit of a 'wave' even though the paper is still attached.
My fourth option, still to be explored, would be a light weight interfacing. This would be the most costly option, but maybe the best! I will let you know... stay tuned.
Finally, I wanted to show you the large glass jar I got from Sally when she closed her quilt shop. I filled it with my perle cotton spools and it is just so colorful, it makes me smile.... and think of Sally. Happy Retirement!
Linking up this Monday at Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag. Check out what other's did over the weekend!
Beautiful string blocks! I began a Pineapple quilt many years ago (still in the process) and used tear away interfacing but I don't tear it away, I just leave it in and it's fine. Doesn't add any weight and easy whether pressing seams open or to the side. I also am using it behind my KF teapot blocks as a stabiliser when I'm buttonholing around the pots, again it will be left in there.ReplyDelete
Thanks! I did try this yesterday afternoon and I really liked the result. It is not as expensive as I thought. A yard of lightweight sew-in interfacing is about $.79. It is lightweight and is a good stabilizer.Delete
Gee Debra, I really love how you have combined your string squares, adding the lighter colors around the edges really makes the star pop! Thanks for your experimentation with the backing too, I'll remember this when I give it a go.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Dawn! I wish I could say I thought of that layout, but I saw it on Pinterest. Cannot find the name of the original designer.Delete
Deb, I have another option for you to try. I bet you're going to love it.ReplyDelete
Back in 2012, I was making a string quilt and came up against all the problems you're having now about what to use for the foundation. Long story short, I discovered tissue paper .. the white kind you use to wrap gifts in.
It's cheap (especially at Christmas time), it's white (no color transfer), it's *stable* ... and the best part .... you don't even have to remove it because .. hold onto your hat .. it *disintegrates when you wash it*!!.
Here's an excerpt from the blog entry I wrote about my experimentation:
"I also used a foundation to sew the strips to. Simply sewing the strips together makes for a very unstable block. It's easy to distort while sewing; it's easy to distort whilst pressing. A foundation prevents all of that potential distortion whilst providing a uniform size block. Unfortunately, a foundation also adds bulk and weight to the quilt.
In the past, I've used VERY lightweight fabric for the foundation. That worked nicely. At some later point, I discovered that I could use tissue paper (as in the white gift wrap stuff) as a foundation. Talk about being lightweight! It was stable enough to sew through and prevent distortion. It's also dead cheap to buy. (Stock up at Christmas time ... it always goes on sale then.) At first, I thought about tearing the tissue off (exactly what you do with paper piecing) but I hate that. Really hate it.
Then it occurred to me .. and I have no idea HOW I thought of it ... that when you get tissue paper wet, it absolutely disintegrates. I wondered what would happen if I just *left* the tissue paper foundation in the block through the quilting process and then laundered the finished quilt. To my utter amazement, when I removed the test quilt from the dryer, there was NO tissue paper anywhere in the quilt. And believe me, I looked and felt and thoroughly examined it! The stuff was *gone*. I was concerned about all that dissolved paper in our sewer system but further thinking led me to what happens to toilet paper .. that disintegrates in water also .. and *that* doesn't clog our sewer pipes, so tissue paper might very well behave in the same manner. "
I will say that when you're quilting it with the tissue paper still inside, the top is *very* stiff and crinkly. But, amazingly, it also helps with the quilting process because the fabric doesn't shift or wrinkle during the quilting process. Then, bind as usual and pop that quilt into the laundry. Wash/dry as usual. The tissue paper will absolute, positively be *gone*. I didn't even find any little bits in the corners of the blocks. I was absolutely amazed.
You might want to do an experiment yourself. :-)
If you want to read the entire blog post, it's here: http://pirate-sr.blogspot.com/2012/08/a-long-time-scrap-top-finally-finished.html The relevant part that I quoted above is about half-way down the post.
Shelley - THANK YOU!!! So much useful information! I am definitely going to try this and will let you know what happens. I am not sure how my longarm quilter will feel about the paper... but I am going to at least try it out. Thanks for the great suggestion!!!Delete
Deb -- Your block is gorgeous! What clever color placement. I never would've thought to do that! EileenReplyDelete
Yes, the block is 24" so it really is a good size and makes a nice statement! I wish I could say I thought of that layout, but I saw it on Pinterest. Cannot find the name of the original designer.Delete
Good info and beautiful string star. Might have to try Shelley's tissue paper idea.ReplyDelete
Hi Donna, I think I definitely need to try Shelley's idea. I am open to all suggestions! I will let you know! Thanks for stopping by and your comments on my string star.Delete
your blocks look so good,so mnany ways you have tried, thanks for sharing, I wonder whether starching the fabric would help at all and would be so quick to do. The tissue aper way sounds excellent tooReplyDelete
I like experimenting, especially if it leads to a good solution! I tried starching 'the snot out of the blocks' - as one blogger put it (LOL), but I did not find it help that much with the bias stretch.Delete
I am with you on NOT using paper for my string blocks. If I foundation piece, I use very lightweight muslin (the thinnest kind I can find). Not a fan of dryer sheets. Your blocks are beautiful!ReplyDelete
I love your subtle colors...so beautiful. I probably didn't find the telephone paper removal process as tedious because I had a kitten assistant.ReplyDelete
The blocks are looking terrific!ReplyDelete
The blocks are looking terrific!ReplyDelete
The block is gorgeous, and what a lot of good information on the different methods. I too dislike the paper removal but so far that's my most often used method. I'm interested to see how the fusible works. It may be worth the extra expense.ReplyDelete
So many options. Your string blocks are looking great! Thanks for linking up.ReplyDelete
I love your fabric selections. This block is beautiful! I finished a queen sized string quilt recently. Whew! I used batting as my foundation and did it QAYG style. I despise tearing off the papers. Using tissue paper as one commenter suggested is intriguing. I'm having a hard time imagining that the tissue just *disappears* ~ going to have to experiment ;-)ReplyDelete
Happy quilting ~ Tracy
I remember when you got that jar...it looks great filled with the colorful threads. Glad I read this post...as I've heard about the phone book trick...but oh I'd hate the pulling apart too. THANKS for an informative read Deb.ReplyDelete