Monday, 27 January 2014

Stash Bee - Foundation piecing string blocks

Have you seen the Stash Bee?  There are 12 hives, each working on a different block every month.  The Queen Bee for the month has to post a tutorial showing how to make the chosen Block which can be up to 16" in size.  I'm in Hive #10 and Stephanie our Hive mama chose a foundation pieced string block.  The block uses a paper foundation that strips are sewn onto to make a lovely colourful scrappy look.

The block is made up of 4 parts each 8" and strips of various sizes from 1" to 2" wide.  I really enjoyed pulling strips and seeing what happened.  The first block I pulled as I went, deciding on the go and then the second I thought I'd be a bit more organised and laid them out to speed things up.  It was great fun playing with colour!

I had made some string blocks as part of the Craftsy 2012 Block of the month and Amy Gibson's method was a little different.  Her method used a square of background fabric that you pieced the strips to and left the fabric in place.  This method uses lightweight paper which you remove before sewing the 4 pieces together.  This is what it looks like from the back once the paper is removed.

It is important to use a lightweight paper as the paper is torn out and to shorten the stitch length to make the seam stronger and denser to make it easier to remove the paper.  I'd normally use 1.5 as my length for paper piecing but I found it was bowing the paper and giving me a curve so I used 2.0.

There is a lot of bias on the edges once the paper is removed and pressing was tricky.  If I were to make this again with this method I'd use starch and press the finished block once the 4 pieces were sewn together.

I pieced mine in a diamond shape in the end, it was the most pleasing with the colour combination of the 4 pieces.

I really like it in this larger block size (Crafty BOM finishes at 12").  I think in the end to avoid all that bias I'd use the leave in foundation method to make these again.  I do like the look of this block and it was fun to piece and a real stash buster; brilliant for using scraps of all lengths!

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  1. great way of practicing straight lines! It's beautiful, though a little too advance for me! {:-Deb

  2. Those seams....WOW!!!!! LOL...I so need to improve in the area of seems!

  3. It's very nice work, I like the mix of the colours and the string effect. Thank you, Ruth, for the comment on my blog.

  4. Love pretty colours. What kind of paper do you use for paper piecing? I use greasproof paper but bit tricky.

  5. I love string piecing and your colors are fabulous--it really pops. Great work!

  6. They're STUNNING! Absolutely beautiful blocks. Lucky bee mama :)

  7. Such a fun block and fantastic way to use some scraps. I'm part of Hive #1 for stash bee. Lots of fun :)

  8. Lovely and colourful - I love FPP of any kind!

  9. Stripe blocks and foundation piecing is my favorite. I could make these all day everyday for the rest of my life. Yours are so your fabrics. happy quilting.


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