This week, I stitched up this little Quilt As You Go sampler piece. The blocks are 12" square so it finishes 36"x48". This size is requested by the group Quilted Embrace, which gives wheelchair quilts to folks in nursing homes, so that's probably where it will end up.
The strings were sewn one at a time directly onto both batting and a backing piece. I tried to include at least one fun novelty print in each color, so there are chickens, chiles, cupcakes, basketballs, dogs, trumpets, flames, fishbones, race cars, seahorses, snakes, horseshoes, asparagus, bicycles, butterflies and hot air balloons. I hope that will amuse the recipient.
I followed Fiona's tutorial to join the blocks together. Her method has no hand stitching, which is exactly what I wanted. She wisely used black sashing on her piece and it convinced me to stay with a dark, solid color instead of the black and white stripe that was in the back of my mind. This photo shows the machine stitching that attaches the sashing in the front. Navy blue thread on navy fabric disappears nicely into the background and hides the wibbles and wobbles.
For the backing pieces, I chose fat quarters in roughly the same color as the front so you can kinda sorta still see the rainbow effect.
The actual quilting stitches show on the back, and I used the same neutral beige thread on all the backs. The sashing looks almost the same as the front. Because I sewed the sashing down from the front, I missed the back pieces by a hair in a few places. I used navy top and bobbin thread for the sashing, so the near misses show a bit on the lighter fabrics like this grey and teal medallion print. However, since it is just a line of blue thread closely paralleling the blue sashing, I decided to leave it.
I also used the same navy blue for the binding, to make the whole piece look more like stained glass. My usual method of machine sewing the binding was fast, but in hindsight I should have switched back to the beige bobbin thread. The line of bobbin stitching always shows in this method and that doesn't bother me, but using the navy blue made it stand out more. Not too bad on the purple, but pretty obvious on the pink.
All in all, it was a fun, quick project. String blocks are so rewarding, and it was nice to have the quilting finished block by block. Attaching the sashing is fiddly and clearly I could use more practice to get it to line up more evenly. I don't know that I'll use this method very often, but it's nice to have it in my tool kit.