Saturday, January 17, 2015

String Theory Explained

String Pieced Spider Web block

Several people asked what a string quilt was. String quilting is a very old method where strings or strips and other small pieces are added to a foundation fabric to make quilt blocks.
Here is a tutorial on Craftsy to get you started. Here is a blog post about using this method of piecing to put your scraps to use. Here is a free pattern. for inspiration.

 I learned this technique from Gwen Marston's Liberated String  Quilts.  
Gwen's methods appeal to my no rules, no mistakes sensibilities.
If you'd like to see more string quilts, this Pinterest Board has some lovely examples.
  Our sewing grandmothers didn't waste a single scrap of fabric. Unlike now when we can easily buy whatever fabric we want, it wasn't that long ago when fabric was relatively expensive and hard to get. Our sewing foremothers were very clever at using every bit of what they had to make even utility quilts works of art. Making something pretty out of waste is a very green attitude. We don't give our foremothers enough credit for how they made useful things beautiful, just for the pleasure of it.(One more example of how "women's work" is demeaned throughout history).
  I like making a string quilt using the same methods as our sewing great-grandmothers. They didn't have rotary cutters! No long clear rulers! No computers and printers to print any pattern they might like. No access to millions of fabrics, threads and inspirational pictures. I sometimes wonder what they would think of my pretty room full of fabric and patterns and tools. A whole room dedicated to sewing! I'm sure they would be amazed at how easy we have it now. I try to appreciate what I have, in their memory.


badmomgoodmom said...

Very pretty. I like GM's liberated quiltmaking techniques, too.

Mary said...

I am not a quilter but admire the work. Thanks for the links-I realize now that I have used this idea when making coasters for the trailer (mug rugs).