Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Secret Sister and string blocks

     I belong to the yahoo group Quilting On a Budget. We are having a secret sister exchange, six mailings during the year to the person we are matched up with. We don't send to the same person we are receiving from. I just received my first package from my secret sister and I am so excited! I got the cutest greeting card with a place to put a photo, a novel, my first ever charm pack, and fat quarter of fabric. I saw that fabric and my mind started to turn. I have some great fabrics in my stash to compliment the fat quarter, and I've been wanting to try playing with a charm pack. I've been trying to stop sewing earlier in the evening, and take some time to read so even the novel fits in perfectly with my latest plans.

   I finished cutting out the cat quilt, and I decided to make a charity quilt out of scraps from the flannel quilts, so now I am actively sewing on three quilts again. I still haven't cut out the extra pieces I need for the Double Delight mystery quilt, and there is a ugly fabric challenge on the Stashbusters yahoo group that is really catching my interest. So many projects, so many good ideas, only so much time. 
   Never the less, I did start yet another project. As I've been trying to tame the scraps, an ongoing battle, I started saving strings. For anyone who doesn't know, a string is a long piece of fabric left over from cutting strips, or squaring up fabric, or cutting squares or whatever from fabric. They are too narrow to cut into normal sized strips, and often not even. I have so many now, that I decided I either needed to start using them, or pass them to someone else who would. I'm starting with the strings I have left from cutting up the 100% cotton men's shirts I've been collecting. Here are my first attempts-

    I decided to make 3 1/2 inch squares, 6 1/2 inch squares, and that odd shape for Bonnie Hunter's String X pattern (when I get around to adding triangles to the long sides it will be a square, really). I'm sewing them onto paper templates, then squaring them up. I just got yet another delivery of phone books the other day. I think there are 4 different companies that deliver phone books to our neighborhood, so every year, I get at least 4. The company that left them the other day, gave me three copies of the same phone book. What a waste of trees! I have been unable to figure out how to get them to stop leaving phone books, and I never use them, I look up numbers online. Anyway, I just bought a new guillotine-style paper cutter, to use in my recipe card project, and I decided to cut up a phone book to use for the paper templates.. I got about 200 sheets of paper from the phone book cut to size in about 30 minutes, because I can cut so many pieces at once with that cutter. Finally, a use for those phone books! Any quilts I make from these blocks will be the ultimate in recycling. Phone books pages for templates, used shirts from thrift stores, and the odds and end pieces of fabric that are normally thrown away!

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