Saturday, January 16, 2016

strings of blue

The rainbow scrap challenge has begun for 2016 and the color of the month is blues. I could not settle on a block... still considering several... but since my motto this year is "use it!" I looked through my scrap bin of blue strips...
My quilting grandmother would have called them strings. She used to piece strings together to make patterns for years before I was born. I used to hang out watching her sew by hand. On old newspapers or phone book pages to stabilize the strings.
Now there is this book...
 I've owned it for many years but never made any of the patterns.
"use it!"
The pattern "energized" seemed to be a good one for the rainbow scraps




It was made with yardage, that matched, with two colorways. I plan to make it with scrap strings in 12 colors. Her lovely example is from a subtle line of fabric so it blends. My scraps go from solids to wild patterns.
I had some work to do to make it work.
I started by reorganizing the strips from width to length as you need the crosscut 42".
Then I sorted the long cuts into light/medium/darkest strips of any width


I chose about 5 or 6 strips to shade from light to dark, sewed the long strips together into strata, then cut 8.5" squares across. Hint, keep one of the sewn lines the same each time so each square is exactly the same.
The pattern says to put these into two piles and cut them on the diagonal in opposite directions...

If you're new to quilting, there are angles marked on your rulers. I placed the 45* angle along the bottom and cut corner to corner. The pattern tells you which segments to sew together to make this

Take care when sewing these delicate bias edges.
There is likely an easier way and I'll find it. I know I've done it differently in the past... (where's that tiny secretary in my brain? On break again? She needs to look thru the memory filing cabinet!)

The pattern calls for much smaller squares, which means you can cut lots more squares from each strata, and have more to work from. I didn't think about that when I chose to work larger.



It will be very scrappy, but might look okay when I have more colors in play as the months progress.
Here's one layout...
The squares will finish at 7.5", and I wanted to make about two sets from each color and have at least a throw sized quilt by the end of the year. That gives me 8 blocks each month. Time will tell if it's a failed experiment or a good one... Go back up and check out an alternate setting. What do you think?

37 comments:

  1. Isn't that funny! I thought that your blocks were made by sewing around a square and cutting them into 4 pieces. I like what you've got going there. Have FUN with it!

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  2. Great fun quilt design! I like the photo at the beginning of the post. The last photo makes me nervous, like I would need crumbs to follow to get my eyes back out of the maze.
    Diane

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  3. I'm partial to blues. It will be fun to see how this progresses.

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  4. "use it" sounds like a great motto. Could you sew on either side of a central line before cutting the two blocks apart? That might help the bias issues. Spray starch too might help stiffen them up. In any case, the design choices are going to be so much fun.

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  5. Those are really interesting blocks, especially the way they are made, and I love them in all the blues. It will be fun to see how the other colors from each month play along!

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  6. That looks like a whole toybox full of new things to play with! You're going to have so much fun arranging and rearranging as you get more and more colors added.

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  7. Sumptuous blues from your stash of strips and happy to read that they are made from the StrataVarious book, this one is sitting on my bookshelves and I too have had it there since it was released - I look but never get around to starting! I shall look forward to seeing yours progress over the year.

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  8. These are so pretty, you are going to have a lovely quilt when done.

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  9. So many possibilities with these fun blocks. Love them.

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  10. That's going to be one amazing quilt LeeAnna!

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  11. That's going to be one amazing quilt LeeAnna!

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  12. This is going to be fantastic. I love your first blocks. And I can see that you have various possibilities of joining the triangles. Maybe later on you may mix the colours too. Good luck!

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  13. I love your block. It will be an amazing quilt! Love to see all the blocks.

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  14. it looks great, I totally love the layout... and I would like to have a canvas print in this style on my wall :o)

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  15. Should be interesting when you get all your colors going on this one. Most likely the more cntrolled setting will be more effective with all those colors. I think I need to adopt your motto this year, too--use it!

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  16. I love your blues....and the blending is so beautiful! Applause to you for doing this one. I confess I tried a few blocks like this and hated the bias, so I trashed them. I will really enjoy seeing what you accomplish.

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  17. I love the blocks the colors flow so nicely, I think this is foing to be a pretty scrap quilt when done.

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  18. i love the look of strata thou i usually do mine using my hand painted fabric scraps/strings and a landscape/oceanscape emerge.i have used repurposed olay cleansing cloths as a base, mostly!
    i love your blue strings and think a end of the year quilt will be fantastic. i applaud your dedication to detail sharing and goal setting!!

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  19. So far the scrappiness is working very well, so do what is in your head. Then your heart will recognize the best setting for YOUR blocks.

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  20. It is going to be super-amazing with so many colors and scraps! Great use of your strips, thanks for sharing!!

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  21. They are looking so pretty! Of course, I love blues, but I think these will look gorgeous in all of the colorways.

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  22. What a cool idea! Your blocks are beautiful.

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  23. The work of grading the colors really pays off in the blocks. Nice quilt start.

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  24. What a great idea! So far it's looking good. I'll be watching for your progress!

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  25. I have had that book for a long time but not made anything out of it. I LOVE what you are doing with the blues!

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  26. Great design - you have the beginnings of a beautiful quilt!

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  27. I like the scrappy look of the blocks, and it will be interesting to see how adding different colors will change the look each month. Thanks for linking to MCM; I always enjoy seeing what you are working on each week!

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  28. These are beautiful! Thanks for sharing at Sew Cute Tuesday!

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  29. I think you have a wonderful range of fabrics in that string assortment. I also think this one will be gorgeous with all of the RSC colors.

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  30. This is a brilliant use of string scraps and it's already beautiful. I think you're going to have a stunning quilt when you're done!

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  31. Love your blue quilt. scraps are amazing!

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  32. I love your blocks - thanks for a great tutorial, will definitely be trying these very soon!

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  33. I love how you made those blocks. Maybe some day I can give this a try myself! I will be pinning this for future reference.

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  34. What a fun project for this year's RSC. I like your "use it up" philosophy. This looks like a great project to move you in that direction.

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  35. Those are fabulous! Have your secretary look through that cabinet at the very back, the one with a lot of dust that is where it will be. At least that is what I tell my hubby when he asks me a question and I need to think on it a wee bit.

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