Waiting In The Wings

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

AHIQ Prompt January 2021 - String Tulip QAL - my dress rehearsal

Before I begin my post, those  who are unaware of the  AHIQ blog
 begun by
Ann and Kaja
a number of years ago 
please visit their blogs, links above, or click on the AHIQ logo
on my RH side bar.

Briefly, every six months a prompt or challenge is issued
and this time Ann has decided on the prompt in my post title.
Full directions will be issued by Ann but she kindly sent me an early set
to work through, the first step will be the string squares, so here I go,
visit the link below for an overview of the details proper.


and the link to the first month's notes from Ann

String Tulip Quilt QAL month 1

Below is one of the quilts made by Ann and  the inspiration for the QAL.

note:I was unable to contact Ann for permission to use this photograph
as it 10.45pm here in New Zealand and all good Texas folk will
probably be fast asleep.

The string blocks are made using paper foundations and I
went with 6 and 1/2" cut for a finished block of 6".

I used ordinary copy paper and cut squares at 6 and 1/2", as Ann
suggested I drew a few diagonal lines on them as a guide.

My string box was hauled out

and a few strings pulled out at random

Ann has lots of detail in her notes on strip sizes, sorting fabrics and cutting
and I followed exactly as she suggested.

At the sewing stage she suggests a shorter stitch length and I went with 1.5 on my Bernina,
and it certainly helped with paper removal!
I read carefully her instructions on placing the strings and followed them as she suggested,  not necessarily keeping exactly to the guide lines on the paper.

I found it easy to shift the second string a little to left or right in order
to create a slightly different angle to the lines I drew initially, I
 used a 1/4" seam, Ann has another method to try also.

After seam sewing the next step was to fold the paper back which
means the seam can be checked for excess bulk, and I used
an 'add a quarter' ruler to trim any excess fabric before straightening
the paper out again.

Then on to the third string and repeated the process of folding back paper and trimming.

I also pressed every pair of strings after sewing. I was concerned about 
the process of removing the papers later but they almost fell out!
Ann has a great tip for
ease of paper removal, you should definitely follow this one, you'll find it
on her last page of process notes.

The corners were no problem following Ann's notes where she
gives three methods, I found her method of using a rectangle a good one 
ensuring that all the paper was covered.

When this piece was flipped over the last piece was easily covered,
I then turned over and once again pressed the fabrics on the front of the block and
also the paper on the back.
When this was done it was time to trim the excess fabric, I used my 6 and1/2" square

You can see there is very little waste.

I made four blocks in total, block number one is below, this was made
using a real mix of fabrics and you can see that the orange check fabric with
the brown line in there really adds interest, I think my fabric mix was good
and that this block has the required adhoc look.

Here is my second block and I think you can spot the difference.
I somehow slipped back into my more regulated mode and veered slightly away from
Ann's suggestions.

I mentioned this to Ann but she said I really needed four blocks to see the effect

and as the master of beautiful string pieced blocks she was so right!!
This was my first time at foundation paper piecing and I really did enjoy the process,
as we progress through February with these blocks I think I will
become looser with my size of strips, not as regimented, but I do think seeing the four blocks
together has me feeling much happier and looking forward to sewing up more.

Ann has written an amazingly thorough and easily understandable set of  instructions
full of great detail and tips for us, much more than I am obviously able to share with you here, 
but I hope I have
given you a peek of my first step of the the process.

I would encourage anyone who is interested to
jump in and join us all, we're going to have an exciting few months.

Thank you so much Ann!



Julierose said...

thanks Maureen--I will be trying out four blocks to see if I like them..
I regularly seem to "jump into" SALs and then tend to flag...don't want to do that on this one...I really like the finished quilt so I will give it a try...

Only 16 more log cabin blocks to finish up--so by week's end I should be able to begin--today I will cut the telephone book pages for piecing...thanks Hugs--wish me luck Julierose;)))

Kaja said...

I'm glad you're joining in with this, Maureen, and really like your first four blocks. I'm excited to get started too.

Debbie said...

Thanks, for the info on this. I have some strings I need to deal with. Haven't done this style before, so I want to try:)

Ann said...

Thank you, Maureen, for testing the instructions and posting your beautiful work. The block you didn't like is amazing as part of a foursome. It winks in and out with the scattering of darks and lights. And of course, your fabrics are glorious.

Linda Swanekamp said...

I love the look, but I have a hard time liking foundation piecing. The sound of the needle going thru paper makes me cringe. Your colors, as usual, are stunning.

Cathy said...

Wow! You are off to a great start!

O'Quilts said...

This is awesome Maureen....I was intent on UFO finish..but have already started more..how can I add this...as fun as it looks...will have to visit ann again xo

Linda said...

Great minds think alike, Maureen! I had earmarked this String quilt Tulips project to take part in. Imagine my surprise when I discovered in the instructions a note that you were road testing the instructions. I’ve made lots of String quilts using telephone directory paper backings (following Bonnie Hunter’s examples) and love them but the idea of putting 4 blocks together to make that X really appeals to me. I can see some of these blocks in my future! Soon!,

Janie said...

Fun piecing! I like the exciting color mix too, you're off to a good start Maureen.

Julie said...

That looks like a fun quilt to do, Of course your scrap bin will probably not get any lower.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Your blocks look great!