Saturday, January 8, 2011

Flying String Stars

Strings are among the humblest of scraps.  Long skinny strips of fabric of random width get tossed into the bottom of scrap baskets and forgotten.  With a little time and effort they can be turned into fabric again.  That fabric can be pressed flat and cut into any shape.  I wanted to turn my strings into stars using flying geese made from 2.5 inch strips.  These geese are 4.5 inches long, so I squared my strings to squares of this size.  I used my GO cutter, but before I had this nifty tool I used a simple square up ruler and it worked just fine. 
If you don't have strings (or don't save them), think about using 1.5 inch strips for this pattern.  You could use 2 or 2.5 inch squares as well by just increasing the size of the square and the geese.  I've seen similar stars done with postage stamps in the middle as well as crumbs or novelty prints. 
Step 1: Collect together all your blue strings.  Don't they look like pretty blue spaghetti?
Step 2: Choose 2 strings that are about the same length, make sure at least one edge of each is straight.  Place the straight edges right side together and sew using a standard seam.
Step 3: Choose another string the same length or cut a longer string down to this size.  Sew it onto the original strings, again with right sides together.  Continue until your strings are about 6 inches in width. 
Step 4: Iron all the seams in the same direction and make sure your string fabric is nice and flat.
Step 5: Use a bias square ruler or similar tool to cut out squares that are 4.5 inches large.  This can be done with the strings running from side to side or diagonal.
Step 6: Prepare flying geese units using your favorite method.  I chose a companion angle and easy angle ruler in order to cut both portions from 2.5 inch strips.  The white geese will form the background and the blue portions will serve as the star points.
Step 7: Add 4 2.5 inch squares of background fabric and sew the subunits together as you would for a nine patch.  Notice the orientation of the flying geese in the picture. 
The string fabric can be cut into any shape.  I also made a diamond star using a different GO die. There were a lot of seams in the middle so next time I think I'll alternate strings with plain blocks so that they will lie flat.

11 comments:

Cherry Red Quilter said...

Love your scrappy stars. I am thinking of making some of those for a swap I am in! Also,I really like the idea of storing all my scraps in big jars. How many do you have and what do you do with scraps that are hard to classify into colours?

Amy (lilme2_99) said...

Ooohh! I LOVE the diamond star! Ummm.... 3:01 AM!??!?!?!?

Linda said...

I have to stop reading your blog!!! There are so many things you do that I would like to learn and try. I love these scrappy strips made into stars and diamonds. I will try to teach my self to do the strips.

Quilter Kathy said...

Oh my goodness...you are on a roll over there! So many cool ideas for using up scraps! I'm working on my old blue UFO...slow but sure!

gardenpat said...

I absolutely love the flying string stars!!! Great way to use some of my scraps!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

Just One More Thing said...

Your flying string stars are absolutely gorgeous!! I can't imagine ever being able to make something so beautiful.

Andra Gayle said...

I love your string stars!!!!

sophie said...

I love string stars and yours are great.

I used some blue strings as part of the design for my scrappy blue mug run--I must get that quilted and share it this weekend.

Anita said...

These are great ideas, thanks for posting. Now I want to try.

katelnorth said...

Funny thing, I just blogged last night that I hoped you'd suggest some ideas for using strings and strips (besides the standard string block) and lo and behold! I love the diamond star idea. I might have to do a quilt which has several different colours of diamond star with the sections made from string pieced units. (I like the idea of alternating with plain fabric to make seams easier.) Hmm, another one for The List!

cq4fun said...

Great ideas. I love the sawtooth star for using scrapped up things in the middle. I have bunches of bits and pieces blocks I'm ready to put into some stars. Soon. Not blues, mostly, though.