Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'd like to teach the world to string. . .

I’ve been surprised at the lack of response to “string-pieced” patterns from my own company as well as those from other designers, in my experience as a buyer for quilt shops. Something about the technique seems to be a little scary. My guess is, looking at a photo or diagram of a string-pieced project, it’s clearly not a strip-pieced pattern; in fact, it looks like a lot of small, asymmetrical pieces that require a lot of small, asymmetrical templates. That’s not to say there aren’t any quilters out there who enjoy sewing a project that involves a large variety of unusually shaped pieces, but I believe it’s safe to say they’re in the minority. And I’m also not saying that all string-pieced projects are alike in appearance or construction.  The general description of the technique that I’d like to encourage you to try is: sewing strips of many sizes to a base—fabric or paper—at a variety of angles. Depending on the fabric you’re using, the finished result can be very traditional or very artsy phartsy (my personal favorite).  Below is a photo of a mini-quilt--approx. 7" x 9"--that I string-pieced using mostly batiks, with an ornament attached to it. In the next post I’ll give instructions for making one similar to it. In the meantime, try doing a search for “string pieced quilts” and your interest may be further peaked. I recently added a string-pieced quilt to the Free Patterns tab of my website, which I hope you’ll take advantage of.

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