17 January 2007
Several years ago I stumbled on the book Spectacular String-Pieced Quilts: A Pattern Book. and fell in love with the "Diamond Strings with Lattice" and then these diamond beauties entered my life. Serendipity? I think so. You can view several of the String Quilts from the book at the String Pieced Gallery at Quilt Town USA.
String quilts seem to be the rage on the Stashbuster's ring at the moment. For my non-quilting readers, a string quilt is made with the very last bits and pieces or 'strings' of a fabric that are normally sewn down onto a foundation of either muslin or paper. If the string is not long enough then it is pieced together to make it long enough.
The first clickable image is a string pieced block from the 1930s or 1940s. This is one of 25 that has attached itself to my UFO stash. This block is unusual in that it is a diamond, whereas currently string blocks are either rectangular or square. Look closely and you can see how the quilt maker pieced together fabrics to make the strings long enough to go across the widest part of the diamond.
The second image is the back of another of these blocks. I have circled a couple of areas of interest. The top circle shows some needle and thread holes left when some embroidery was removed. The lower section shows not only more needle and thread holes, but bits of green embroidery floss and a bit of an iron on transfer of a daisy. This quilt maker used an old piece of embroidery as her foundation. She must have removed the embroidery so it would not be felt through the fabric. These blocks are all hand pieced.
I have three shoe boxes full of 1930 and 1940s fabrics. If I were inclined to, I could make more of these blocks. But do I want to? I suppose it would be a good take along project. I could even make them the same size as these as I have the quilt maker's original template also. Also, there is that unusal setting I just mentioned. Hmmmm...
Oh, yeah. Just what I need. Another project.
It's like an archaeological dig when I delve into this paint bucket. "Oh, that came from Ryan's quilt. That is some of the WOW fabric I just overdyed and where in the world did that red fabric come from? It's very 1970s now isn't it? And there is that very ugly black with sliver glitter fabric." In a sense this type of quilt is also an "I, Spy" quilt for children, especially if, like me, you put everything in it. I love these types of scrap quilts. They not only tell a story in the fabrics but a history of your quilting.
Update: Pam asked if I was collecting original 30's fabric or if the string diamonds were given to me. I didn't intentionally start out collecting 30's fabric but that's what has happened. I have only purchased one bit of fabric and that was a yard and half of 'that' green. I'll show a pic soon, I promise. The rest of my original 30's fabrics have been given to me. One batch contained these blocks.