Last week I did a post about how I sort out my scraps…for this I was referring to the small scraps that work for string blocks or crumb blocks. If you missed it, read about it here. I have buckets for scrap pieces that are cut into strips too. I’ll tell more about them another day. Today’s post is more about strings.
I talked about sorting into two buckets a white based and a cream based tote.
I had a wonderful response to that post. MANY people commented and wrote to me thanking me for the explanation. Today I have a follow up to that post. This one focuses on string blocks.
I’ve made LOTS of string blocks. Here are just a few of the string quilts I’ve made….
Roll Roll Cotton Boll….
Read more about any of them HERE.
I’ve learned so much form my first string to where I am today. For a long time I thought “Any string goes!!”. But I’ve learned it doesn’t…at least not for the look I’m going for.
Let me show you some of the red string blocks I’m working on right now for Bonnie Hunter’s pattern Hunter’s Star. I’m loving these. I love the quilt and can’t wait to see this together. If you take a look at these blocks you can see for the most part, the reds would be coming out of my “cream based scrap box”. The fabrics are darker…they even have cream accents in many of the fabrics.
Well as I was sewing on these I thought about the size of the quilt. I realized that I’d need to make another 24 blocks if I wanted to enlarge it. About then I remembered that I had bought a bag of scraps at the thrift store and in the bag were some red string blocks.
Well thanks to my recent sewing room clean up, I knew EXACTLY where they were. I pulled them out. I realized that the corners had blue on them and that these blocks were bigger than mine. I cut off the corners and added a piece of red. When I trimmed them I them the opposite blue corner wouldn’t be included in the block.
I took them to my cutting station and something didn’t look quite right.
Can you see the thrifted blocks on the left and my blocks on the right?
See how the thrifted block is mixed with “white fabric based” and “cream fabric based” scraps??
My blocks are “cream based”.
If I put one of the thrifted blocks with my blocks it looks like this….
I know if being picky…but I feel like the thrifted block looks different than mine.
Like I said, I know it’s picky but I won’t put the thrifted block in my quilt. Here’s why..
1-I think they are more white based. My neutrals that I used are cream based. I’m afraid if I only put these eight blocks in that look like this, they will stick out.
2-The thrifted block have five strings to each…my others have six or seven. Again, will they stick out?
3-Although some people don’t mind if their reds are all mixed together, I will admit, I do mind. This would bug me. I have OCD tendencies about some things…this is one.
I’ve made a few rules for myself when I make my string blocks. I try to have a variety of prints and pieces that solid or read as solid. When selecting the next string I try to make sure that it is different than the one already there in one of the following ways…
1-tone is different
2-print is noticeably different
3-strip size is noticeably different
I am WELL aware that a group of you are reading this and rolling your eyes saying- “Oh Jo, you’re too picky”.
I also know that people often compliment me on color selection and ask me about my view on it…so this is the general thought process that I follow. This is why I sort my scraps like I do…I want to quickly get to a string/crumb bucket and be able to start sewing. I don’t want a big mixed up box and try to work from there.
I think this is one of the reasons I can sew as many quilts as I can…it’s organized the way I use it.
For those of you who have been interested in how I sort and use scraps, I hope this gives you the next step in scrap sorting…