I found another drawer of scrap fabric that I had put away for string pieced blocks, and yesterday I decided to start on them. This is called string piecing because this type of quilt block was traditionally made using the narrow strips left over from other projects. Here is a picture of the fabric spread out on the ironing board:
That stack of red in the back is a bunch of 1.5″ x 12″ strips for the first part of the block. I cut those specifically for this quilt. Here are the foundation pieces:
Yep, they are used and ironed dryer sheets. Traditionally, the foundation was old newspapers or muslin, but dryer sheets serve the same function. I was collecting them for quite a while. These are all from before we left Florida. Even though they have already been used, just having them out makes the sewing room smell really nice.
So to start the block, you take one of the red strips and lay it diagonally across the dryer sheet. Then you lay another fabric across that right sides together with the edges aligned. Then you stitch along that side that is aligned. Press the seam open, and continue until you can’t see the dryer sheet anymore.
This shows a couple dryer sheets with the first two fabrics sewn on. Then you trim the fabric that extends over the edges of the dryer sheet. The next step is to sew four dryer sheets together to make a big X with the red fabrics, then you sew the X blocks together and end up with a wild scrappy quilt. Having the red strip in roughly the same place in all the blocks will help unify all the other fabrics. You can use any color – black, blue white, etc. – I chose red because I had a nice big piece that I didn’t need for something else.
Yesterday, I managed to sew the first two strips to fabric sheets until I ran out of red. I haven’t counted them yet, but I think I will work with these for now and see how much of the scrap fabric I can use up. I still have a lot of dryer sheets, so I may end up cutting more red fabric if I don’t have enough for a quilt.