Tuesday, March 12, 2013

String Block

One of the loveliest blocks I know is the simple string block.
It's colorful, can use up scraps, good size and most important it is easy.

Yesterday I was making up one for a swap 

Him:  You use the phone book?
Me:  All the time.
Him:  But you are always telling me to 'goggle it'.
Me:  Oh, well I never use it to look up numbers, that would be slow and cumbersome.  Have you picked up one of these things?  It weighs a ton. 
Him:  Ok, I'm afraid to ask - why are you using the phone book?
Me:  The pages are thin and rip off easy.
Him:  You're sewing it?
Me:  Yes!  What else is a phone book good for these days?
Him:  What are you sewing?
Me:  You could google it.
Him:  I'm leaving.
Me:  (silently) Yay........

Here is how you can make some pretty string blocks 
Start with pages you rip out of the brick book and cut them to 6 1/2" 

Some people have asked about the ink - I haven't had a problem with it getting on the fabrics.

Your center piece is the important one - I cut mine 1 1/4" to lay diagonally down the center of the square page.
This is Kona White - but you can make it whatever you would like.
Some people might pin the white strip or glue it down in a spot - I just lay it on there and eyeball it.  
Chose a variety of prints in your colors or even scrappy, cut these strips a variety of sizes.
Lay a colored or print strip on one side of the white center and stitch through the paper.
Do the other side.
(this photo shows a second color strip added on one side - but you get the idea)

I press these open before sewing on the next strip.  Lay your next strips down, trim for correct length, and fold back the paper - only sew on the fabric not through the paper.  The paper at this point is just a guide for size. 

Press after each strip is added.
When you have the entire paper covered, trim down the sides to the 6 1/2" size of the paper square.

You can play with the placement of the squares to make your block after they are all trimmed. 
I only had 4 squares for this one, but if you are making multiple blocks you will have a lot more options.

Now pull off the phone book paper before you join the squares together.
The paper rips off very easily.

Finished Block

Here are a few that I made for a Flickr Swap.  In this swap we used a cut 1" Kona white strip.

Right now there is a new round in the Flickr group that is swapping this block Here.
They have guidelines for the center strip and the paper, so read about it, but it is open to anyone.

My finished string block is going to Amanda in the QAWII Flickr group.
Here are all her blocks so far, she wanted aqua and grey with a pop of color.  My orange is really popping!

There is still time to enter Quilters Blog Hop Give Away (until March 14th)

 Sunday 3/17 I will be setting up the Sew Sunday link Party - you can be sewing, crafting, painting - let us see what you are up to on Sundays!  

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Keep Calm and Quilt On!


tubakk said...

I really love your string blocks..... and many of the other things I find here. Nice to have found you.

Kristy @ Quiet Play said...

Haha love the phone book conversation!! Too funny!

Your string blocks are looking fab! Good to know about the ink - that was what I was wondering too :)

Kathy @ Kwilty Pleasures said...

Fun way to stabilize your strings.

Needled Mom said...

LOVE the conversation AND the block

heart of charnwood said...

Fab blocks, men have no imagination, of course we wouldn't use the phone book to look up numbers, that would just be silly! :o)

Tiffany said...

Awesome! Why have I never thought to use a phone book? We always end up throwing ours away. We don't get a newspaper either and I often find myself looking for something cheap to stuff around breakable objects when I'm wrapping presents. I think I'm going to keep the next phone book we get! Not to mention the fact that I still really want to make a string quilt someday!

Francine said...

LOL you & your hubby are hilarious :). I've never tried a string block, but I definitely will be following your example - thanks lady!