Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stringing it together

Hi, I'm Wendy from Sewing in the Wendy City!
I am blessed and honored beyond words to be allowed to share at Stash Manicure!

One of my greatest stashbusting adventures was this quilt:
It's a string quilt, made using this tutorial.  It's fantastic.  Please go check it out sometime.  Try it.
You'll be glad you did. 

Here's the wonderful part about this quilt:  it requires very little measuring.  And very little concentration.  You just make string blocks like a machine.....

It was my husband's Father's Day gift, and the first quilt I've made just for him.  
{he loved it, by the way!}
He requested something extra long since he's a rather tall fellow and blankets are often too short for him.  
It measures 70" x 96".
Machine quilted on my trusty vintage Bernina.

I decided I'd hack up a lot of the fabrics I had been gifted, that I had purchased for other projects that never materialized, the fabric I got home and realized I didn't like, and the fabric that I'd swear someone else put in my bag because it wasn't even my taste the minute I got home!  
Ever buy anything like that?

But when it all comes together, it's lovely.  Well, mostly.  We'll get to that....
And so for this project all I bought was the muslin to base my string blocks on.  
And I used up piles and piles of strings.  

Acres of them. 

Metric tons of strings.  
And the back?  It was pieced using large things I had.  
Some gifted, some I'd bought for things but hadn't used. 

I keep the binding leftovers from all my quilts, and so for this one I cleaned out my binding scrap bag for a scrappy binding.  
Now... here it's true confession time.  
I cleared out a lot of scraps.  And I wasn't picky.
But then...  I got to the end.  
And there were some fabrics I just hated.  
Even in strings.  They drove me batty!

So I pulled out the blocks I didn't like and made this little quilt.  It measures about 30" x 40". 
I happily donated it to a silent auction to raise money for a worthy charity.

And then I had another realization.  A real "manicuring" realization.

And you know what, if I didn't like them enough to put in a string quilt, 
I was NEVER..
going to use them.

I packed up 2 priority mail boxes full. 
Stood on them to seal them.

and posted on my blog that if someone would claim them, 
I'd send them to whoever wanted them.  Free.  Happily.
I sent them on.  (This was back in March.)
And I felt better!  manicured, even.    

Thanks again for letting me post!  
Stop by and see me sometime....  
love from


  1. Good Morning Wendy...1st things have won a Riley Blake fat Quarter Bundle and you need to send me your address as one of the winners for our PLAN B ladies..Yeah...? Yeah?
    2nd "And I used up piles and piles of strings" explain this for you mean blocks are the strings, or are they the scrap pieces....???
    3rd, again I am not usually thought of as a scrappy kind of girl..but this is really very interesting,interpretation..= I like really, I really like it lol...What a great idea to managing your stash..hence the best blog to post it in...Yeah...and you posted it just beautifully..., sew the door is open for can return again and I need a cup of coffee..join me will you...
    blessings madame samm

  2. Great Post Wendy -- I am a scrappy girl and can't get enough of seeing these types of quilts. This is the best way to tame those rabbit-multiplying-scraps. Just wish there were more hours in a day, because these can be very addictive :)!

  3. I love this post! Yes, it is okay to admit that some fabrics just don't make your heart sing anymore. Or you just can't stand them anymore. I liked your solution. Move 'em out. Fabulous quilt too!

  4. Beautiful String quilts...I love to use my strings too to make String quilts.

  5. I'm usually a totally coordinated kind of quilter but seeing yours I might take the plunge.

  6. Tell us about how you machine quilted it on your trusty Bernina!! Is your Bernina on a frame?? Enquiring minds (or at least mine) want to know!!

    Nice job!!!

  7. Thank you everyone for such kind words!

    And Pat, my trusty vintage Bernina is just a tabletop machine. I have a nice table that it sits down in that carries a lot of the weight of the quilt, but no frame.

  8. Lovely quilts and lovely solution!

  9. Delightful post! It made me think about those scraps that I'm hanging on to that I don't even like and when you said that there were fabrics that you didn't even like enough to put in this quilt - well, that really opened my eyes. I think I can do some brutal stash manicuring now.......

  10. You are totally right. If you don't love it you should pass it on!!! Someone will love it and be thrilled to have it.



  11. I love your string quilt! I keep telling myself that I am going to make one some day. I looked at the tutorial and it looks very easy. I have TONS of scraps I could use.
    It was wonderful that you passed on your "unloved" pieces. You know what Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville says about ugly fabric, "cut it up and if it's still ugly you haven't cut it small enough." She cuts hers down to 1 1/2 in. sq. then puts it in her quilts. You can't tell what it looks like then.

  12. I love string quilts! I've made a few, even mini quilts. By the look of my scrap bin you can't really tell. Guess I'd better get to work.

  13. I've only made string blocks so far (for a bee) but I'm smitten and can't wait to make one for myself. And I love that you sent your un-needed fabric out into the world where I'm sure it was loved and appreciated and used! Lovely solution!

  14. You have made a beautiful string quilt! I just love it and I am sure that your hubby does, too. From what I can see, the machine quilting is very nice. Great stash busting!

  15. Those are BOTH beautiful quilts, and I do so love using what I've already paid for, don't you!

  16. what a fun quilt. great post. that's a great idea if you didn't like fabric enough to put into a string quilt to then pass it on!

  17. Isn't is amazing how the unloved can look fabulous in a string quilt. Now I want to make more.

  18. I love it!! I'm a scrappy kind of girl. My first quilt was scrappy. So this is right up my alley. Though I have never made a string quilt. I really should. I have a lot of fabric that I need to get rid of. I love that you got rid of all the fabrics you didn't like. Sometimes it just needs a new home. Thanks for sharing. This was a great post.

  19. Wendy I've made several string quilts and loved them all. Other people loved them too and I ended up giving them all away - now I need to make another for myself! I love your idea of packing up the boxes and "gifting" them to someone else - I have a tubby overflowing right now so I may have to do that too just to get some of them out of my house! blessings, marlene

  20. That's the best way to get rid of fabrics you don't like, give them away. You feel good and someone else feels good as well.

  21. I love string quilts. I am currently working on string borders strips - looking good so far. I also make strings and then cut out tumblers and applecores with my AccuQuilt GO - the tumblers work better than the applecore (having problems putting them together, must alternate solid with string for the applecores)

  22. Wendy, any time you want to get rid of really ugly fabric, you can send it to me! We have a church quilt ministry and so far, I haven't found any fabric we weren't able to use! Another use for really ugly fabric - teaching newbies how to free-motion quilt, or use a rotary cutter! But an awful lot of what we get goes into quilts - because beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder!

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful string quilt!

  23. Your string quilt is fabulous! I'm using the thought of making a string quilt as motivation to finish all my sewing projects before the end of the year. Making a stringie will be my reward!

  24. It's always amazing to see how good the scraps all look together...mushrooms with plaids it all works in a string quilt. Turned out great. Bet he loves it being so long. Great stash buster.

  25. Great string quilt; another thing on my "bucket list" Ha Ha.
    If anyone has ugly fabric they want "relocated" I can help!
    I am part of (2) groups that make quilts for Victorias quilts and we would gratefully adopt your uglies. When we piece quilt tops with "donated fabric", it really inspires us as we are "donating" our efforts too. Quilts that truly donated are the best.
    And such a worthy cause. If you are unaware of this organization please check out the website: (Canada)or (US) The comments in the guest book make me feel so glad to be helping....

  26. Wow, beautiful quilt. And I love your writing! Very entertaining to read. You have a new follower! I'm new to quilting and haven't even ever made one yet (just tote bags) so I don't have much fabric. I'm look forward to some day having enough scraps to have a beautiful quilt like this. :)

  27. I have so many scraps and fabrics that are just sitting around (for years) that need to be used. Thank you for the link to the tutorial. This is a 'definitely going to use soon' project!

  28. Great post, just like listening to a friend advise you on her way of stash manicuring painlessly and there was a project, or two, at the end to show for the effort! Love your string quilts and I've been thinking of fabrics that I'm sure I have no idea why I bought them in the first place and ones that have been gifted to me that I've thanked the giver for (well it was a nice thought to give me fabric!)and thought "how on earth will I use this?" Now I know, thin strings in a string quilt and I'll put wider strings of the fabrics I do like next to them!! Thank you :D.


You think they are just words...they are sew much more than that...your wee messages tell me, you are kind, smart and important...