what NOT to do

I keep coming across these neat string quilts all over the web, and finally decided to make one. They look fairly simple and easy to do, and give a neat kaleidoscopic punch once all the blocks are sewn together. There are two different ways to do it – cut the strips in varying widths and you don’t have to worry about seams and points matching, because they won’t. OR, cut the strips all the same width, which is what I decided to do. In this picture I have the first 2 rows sewn together.


I paper-pieced my blocks. It just makes it easier and more accurate. The problem came when I started sewing them all together. Mistake number one was taking the paper off the back of the blocks BEFORE I sewed them together. Mistake number two was when I decided I wanted my seams to “nest”, and in order for them to nest properly I had to re-press the seams on one half of every block to go the other way. Please, if you make this quilt, DON’T repress your seams. The bias stretched, very badly in some blocks, and I ended up spending more time re-pressing and spraying and starching the blocks than I did sewing them!


This is what happens when I start messing with the bias – my points quit matching up!

Now I need to see if I can press out the pucker, or if I’m going to be spending some quality time with my seam ripper.
I just love the colors in this quilt. Reminds me of rainbow sherbert. I’m sorry you’re getting to know your ream ripper on such a personal basis. However, if you just don’t want to look at this quilt ever again, feel free to send it my way!-)

3 thoughts on “what NOT to do

  1. I love the colors that you used on this quilt. So, you wouldn’t recommend re-pressing the top, and I understand why. How would you recommend dealing with the seams on the rows? I wonder that every time I see a string quilt with all of the seams on it.

    • Hi Gretchen,
      I made this quilt sooo long ago, and I’ve gained quite a bit of experience since then. Now I just leave the seams as they are. It helps if the block is scrappy enough that the seams don’t line up. If the seams really bug you, you can always add sashing. 🙂

  2. Instead of starting in the middle with your fabric strips, start in one corner. All seams will be pressed to one side as you move to the opposite corner. Just turn the block around when you put them together and they’ll automatically nest.

    Now you know why most of these quilts are made with variable widths, they rarely match up, so no nesting is needed. While I’m generally not a fan of pastels, this is a lovely combination of fabrics.

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