Not your Grandmothers method by Roger Eslick of Angel Oak Stitchery
I often get asked the question; what is a “string” quilt? So glad you asked. The “strings” could also be and at times are called “strips” but for one small detail. Strips are usually associated with all of the pieces being of a uniform width. Strings are of random or variable width that is your trimmings or cutoffs from other quilt projects. You do save your scraps right? See the bin or bag beside the cutting table in quilters sewing areas? That’s where the strips reside before we make something incredibly beautiful with them. Quilters don’t waste a thing.
In this article, I will describe a method of piecing string blocks that overcome the problems faced in the past. String piecing inherently requires pieces that are typically bias strips that require a foundation to minimize the stretching. One form of foundation was to use muslin, which made your blocks thick and heavy. Another form of foundation was to use paper. The paper used to come from old phone books or the Sears & Roebucks catalog (remember those?). After you finished the block, the paper had to be removed.
No more heavy quilts and no more removing paper foundations. The method we use is so much lighter and faster too. Let me introduce you to the best (and preferred) foundation for your string quilts. Sheer Delite! Sheer Delite is a nonwoven light and wispy foundation that is absolutely perfect for string quilts. It is extremely light weight, doesn’t have a bias, and the best part is you don’t take it out. It remains a part of your block.