Saturday Scrap Strategy #11

How are you progressing on our Second Quarter’s challenge of cutting up your scraps into usable squares and strips? Just when I think I’m about finished cutting through one scrap container, another bag or box that needs attention surfaces. I am definitely going to need a new rotary cutter blade!

Beneath my sewing table sits an overflowing bag of strips and strings which I am gradually sorting by color into a large, shallow, plastic container. Most of the strips are too narrow to cut into squares. (The smallest square I save is 1 1/2.”) However, these strips are perfect for string-piecing projects, and I recently saw a “Churn Dash” comprised of lots of tiny, scrappy squares and rectangles on the Crazy Mom Quilts blog that I wanted to try. Do check out Amanda Jean’s blog post – her Churn Dash blocks are really cute!

I decided to construct the multi-fabric rectangles by string-piecing  on a phone book paper foundation. I trimmed the width of the papers to 6 1/2″ and sewed and flipped, sewed and flipped, until the paper was covered. Of course, I decreased my stitch length so the paper would be easier to remove. I decided to make 4 blocks, and figured I could cross-cut each fabric covered page in four equal pieces. Since each “Churn Dash” requires 4 rectangles, I needed 4 foundation papers.

Prior to removing the paper, I sliver-trimmed the width to 6 1/2″ and divided the height of the phone book page by 4. I found I could cross-cut the string-pieced fabric in 2 3/4″ segments. After cross-cutting and removing the foundation paper, I cut 2 1/4″ x 6 1/2″ white rectangles and sewed them to the 2 3/4″ x 6 1/2″ string-pieced units, pressing toward the white rectangles. Since these patchwork units measure 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2,” I cut 6 1/2″ white block center squares and made a total of 16 black/white half square triangles that measure 4 1/2,” unfinished. On my worktable, I laid out the components of the blocks and assembled them in three rows of three units each.

It was fun to see these four blocks come together! I gave them some “personal space,” separating them with white sashing and surrounding them with a white border. With so many strips and strings on hand, a scrappy string-pieced border is in order. I’ll post a picture of the finished quilt in a week or two.

Have you tried string piecing on a paper foundation? What have you found to be the pros and cons?


25 thoughts on “Saturday Scrap Strategy #11

  1. Aby, I had to write you right away — I am working on something similar but making a star block. This time I using batting as the foundation making it a QAYG project. Normally, I use Pellon’s tearaway stabilizer as my foundation. It has substance to it and is very easy to tear. Since I use it for my embroidery business I buy it in bulk. If you want to try using stabilizer I buy Pellon 806.

    Your churn dash blocks are so cute – can’t wait to see your finished project!

  2. Thanks for this great idea. I can’t stand to throw fabric away and have long strings that really don’t fit into blocks. I’ve also saved a couple of telephone books for paper piecing. This will be something to try out and use up scraps!

  3. Anyone who knows me is aware of the numerous quilts I have made from my extensive collection of scraps and strings. After experimenting with everything available, I recommend Sheer Delite. It is weightless; has no grain; does not need to be removed and is inexpensive. For me, removing paper creates a lot of dust and is time consuming – time that could be spent sewing. Some times you have no choice but paper, i.e., Judy Niemeyer patterns, but when I do, you will find Sheer Delite as the backing of my scrappy quilts.

    • I know exactly what you mean. Although this project used a fair amount of strings, there are still plenty of all colors in my container. Maybe I should have planned for a queen size Churn Dash quilt.

  4. Aby, this is a wonderful project idea!! I love it and I could use a project to tame my scrap piles. This looks beautiful!

  5. Pingback: String-Pieced “Churn Dash” Finished! | abyquilts

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