Aug 27, 2011

blocks done

Today's goal: 11 string blocks to go with the 13 I already have done.

I used what strings remained in the Belles scrap box, raided my scrap basket and grabbed a handful to 1 1/2 and 2 inch strips from their respective containers and went to work on pages from the old phone book for foundation. I see a lot of previous projects in these blocks, LOL.

And here is where I am headed with it. I use the print out to figure out how many strips of sashing I need to cut but it probably won't be this pretty aqua/turquoise color. Try muslin and a neutral for the cornerstones, LOL. I wish I DID have something that color but I don't, nor am I purchasing any.

I do NOT do the sashing they way they often show you in the quilting mags and books. They will often instruct you to make a long skinny string of sashing and apply that whole little thing to a row of blocks with sashing in between the blocks. Nope, I do what I call "pre-sashing" the blocks.

Let me see if I can explain this. Are you familiar with a block called Children's Delight? (Horrid coloring on the quilter's cache site but you can see the picture anyway.) Basically it is a Puss in the Corner block with the sashing and cornerstone added to two sides of the block. When I first saw that block, the light bulb went off and it changed the way I do sashing forever. Put a sashing strip on the bottom of every block. Then you can strip piece the cornerstone color to however many strips of sashing you need to cut. (Count it out from the picture) Sub-cut the strip sets whatever width you wish across the WOF. I prefer it cut 2.5---you should get 16 cuts across 40 inches of usable fabric. Usually I add the strips to the right hand side of each block. Whichever block I deem to be the first one in the row I add the sashing/stone unit to the left side. When I piece the top row, I put the sashing/stone unit on the top of it as well. Then just join the blocks to form rows. BUT you will need one cornerstone all by its self, no sashing to complete this. Treat them the sashing and cornerstone units just like part of the block---which they are. Way easier to get it all to match up across the long row, less worrying about the seams nesting across the width of the quilt.

I got a call from a reader (hi, Mom!) last night. She told me that she had thought about doing that Staggered Brick quilt in the past but she was sure that the rows were done horizontally. Maybe because there appears to be one long continuous strip of the same color across the quilt top for each band. She had it all drawn up but the piecing was a bit complicated so she had never tried it. I think HER lightbulb went off when I was trying to explain how I did the vertical rows, just staggering over other strip up a half step. I may need to edit those instructions I gave you to say "vertical" We both were giggling about it---laughing with her, not AT her. Here she is my mentor and the one I ask---how do you think "................(Fill in the blank)" was pieced. Easier than you thought.

And sew it goes------


  1. i was saying YES... shes right, thats so much easier! (im working on something now and the first attempt i tried the strip and well, it doesn't always match up right but if you do it this way you can square up your block afterwards and then sew them together and it looks great!)

  2. I also use the same sashing technique--much easier!!......but then it was probably you that told me about it!! LOL

    You know, I am with your Mom, I thought about doing the staggered brick quilt at one time too. I didn't realize until your explanation that it wasn't assembled in horizontal rows. Sometimes it is hard to think "outside the box" or "outside the row" as it would be. LOL


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