Strings quilts have long been a favorite of mine and this project fits in nicely with my interest in trying just about every variation I can think of. My favorite quilts tend to be very scrappy and usually from traditional patterns and string quilts certainly fall in both categories.
My first string quilt was made from a pattern in the book Great Lakes Great Quilts (my version was not nearly as bright as the one in the book).
Although I love multicolored string quilts, I frequently experiment with color. The colors for this next quilt were chosen after reading a magazine article that discussed using fabrics from half the color wheel in a quilt. Well they used the *warm* side but I tend to like the *cool* side better so I pulled all my blue, green, purple and yellow strings for this quilt.
Don’t you love the scalloped border on this one? Anyone following my blog realizes that I do very little applique and no needle turn EXCEPT for these scallops (that means they’re really easy!). This pattern was in an issue of Quiltmakers All Time Favorites for Kids magazine.
Another experiment in color led to this next quilt. I was making blue string blocks and as I got about 1/2 way through making the blocks I wasn’t sure I was going to like the quilt. I searched through my books and came across an Hourglass string quilt in Gwen Marston’s book Liberated Strings and decided that would work just fine.
Once I started cutting and sewing the hourglass blocks, I changed my mind about the original quilt and made both. You can see my Blue Strings here.
A more recent experiment with color came when I decided to make a quilt using a rectangular block. I pulled a border fabric from my stash that I’d been trying (unsuccessfully) to use in a quilt for several years and rummaged through my strings for all the colors in the border. Here you can see the first 4 blocks along with the border. The final quilt top can be seen here
Some additional links for you to view:
I’ll warn you that making string blocks is addicting but if you’re ready to begin we’ll point you to Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltville site where you’ll find a String Quilting Primer to get you started.
If you plan to make blocks to mail in for HeartStrings
group quilts PLEASE read the guidelines
first as Bonnie’s blocks are constructed with a few differences.
However, if your plan is to make the top and request it be quilted by a volunteer quilter or if you’re making the entire quilt yourself then any method, any string pattern goes! This Basketweave Strings
is one of my favorites from Bonnie’s site.
Make sure you check out all the string quilt variations by clicking the links at the bottom of the String Quilting Primer
page and you can find more string quilts and instructions on making them by clicking these links:
When you’re ready for something a little more advanced, check out Bonnie’s String Spiderweb
Don’t forget to take a look around while you’re at Quiltville.com
, Bonnie has a lot of great non-string quilt patterns and quilts too and you can follow her current projects on her blog
Darlene is taking a break from string quilts for the moment but I have a feeling she’ll be dragging out her string bins before long. By the 31st of January she’d already mailed 247 HeartStrings blocks to Sue and we’d only officially begun the project the 1st of January.
She reported her progress recently and shared some of her finished tops. I love this first quilt where she’s used the narrow light strips on either side of the center green one. Notice the floral and novelty print versions below as well.
“Since the beginning of January I have made.
5 tops worth of blocks sent to Sue
9 quilt tops for Cricket’s homeless shelter project
1 quilt top for Quilts for Kids in Maine
1 queen sized top for myself
I’ve gone through a bolt and a half of 90″ wide muslin. I just bought another bolt, so I have it on hand when I am ready to pull out my strings again.”
Darlene and Cricket met the beginning of February and Darlene began working with Cricket on making quilts for the homeless.
Cricket tells me that these quilts will be donated to one of the shelters in Western Massachusetts, around Springfield. “The way I determine it is to see how many quilts I have, what sizes they are, and then call a shelter that uses those sizes. I give one quilt to each person in the shelter at that time, and the quilts are theirs to keep. I donate to 5 or 6 shelters in this area, depending on how many quilts I have. They are a treat to the residents and cause great excitement among residents and staff each year. ”
She reminded us all during a discussion about the attractiveness of our string quilts that these quilts will be valued by the recipients and she should know because she’s been making quilts for homeless families for 10 years as well as spending time volunteering in shelters. There’s still a lot of work to be done to make these tops into quilts but I can tell Cricket is up to the task.
I just realized that comments were set for registered users only. I’ve now corrected that and ANYONE can comment.
If you have a question for me, I ask that you include your email with your comment or use the link on the side of the page to email me so that I can respond back to you.
Kitty recently posted a photo of a HeartStrings quilt that she is donating to the Tampa VA hospital. She used the red center blocks made according to the guidelines on her quilt and it’s just beautiful. The top was quilted by a longarm quilter in her guild and she commented that she’d shown it at her guild’s show and tell and even included a photo for us to see.
Kitty also had a great tip for hanging quilts up to take pictures. She reported that she bought 3-4 large magnetic clips from the office store and used them to take a photo against her metal garage door. Great idea!
For those of you in guilds, don’t forget to take your HeartStrings tops or quilts in and share information about the project. You can refer people to the HeartStrings website and from there they can find links to the Yahoo group and this blog.
For more information about QOV – visit the Quilts of Valor website.
For the HeartStrings guidelines for making string blocks like those Kitty used click here.
At the beginning of the project Jane created a logo for bloggers to use to link their blogs to the HeartStrings Quilt Project. The logo has been reproduced by project members into quilt tops and I’m anxiously waiting to see the first one quilted.
Melva was the first to post a photo of her Sweetheart top pieced by her and her husband, Guy.
Jane went on to design other string quilt variations to share with members and even got her guild involved in the HeartStrings project by making it their February Block of the Month Project.
They currently have 3 tops that are in the process of being quilted by guild members from the blocks made and donated by their group. The first one is being pinned for quilting in this photo and the other two can be seen by clicking the links below.
You can see other string quilt designs by Jane by clicking on the links below.
The Logo and first String Heart Design and a 2nd variation
A group of star designs
A string Fish
Two more String Heart Designs
Michele contacted me by email to share her HeartStrings Project quilt. She’s participating via the HeartStrings Quilt Project website rather than the Yahoo group and I wanted to share the quilt she made to be donated to the Veteran’s Outreach Program in Salem, Oregon.