Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hope Valley String Quilt

I've been seeing string quilts around blog land recently and I really wanted to make one.  When I fell in love with one a fellow guild member was working on one featuring Hope Valley fabrics at our PMQG sew day a while back I knew I had to do it.  So I hunted around the internet until I found some Hope Valley and was able to get myself some (and on sale!)  That's one great thing about trying to find older fabric. If you do manage to find it, it's usually on sale, so I got a great deal!  I ordered from Hawthorne Threads, one of  my new on-line favorites. 

I was able to get all the colorways....



I wasn't sure exactly what I was doing, but after a few false starts I wound up cutting my foundation papers at 9 3/4".  I knew I wanted my "middle" string (I'm using gray Quilter's Linen), to be thinner than the Hope Valley strings.  I wanted them to finish big enough that you could really see the prints.  I wound up cutting the middle strings at 1-1/2 to finish at 1" and the Hope Valle strings at 2" to finish at 1-1/2".  I know a lot of string quilts use varying sized strings, but I'm a very symmetric girl so wanted them all the same or I'm afraid it would make me twitch.

So, here I go...some strings cut...



I first thought I'd use some "applique paper" that I found at a quilt show about 10 years ago that I absolutely had to have and have never used.  So, I cut some up to use as my foundations.  Didn't work too well. I didn't like the way it went through the machine, it seemed to "pull" as I was sewing.  It just didn't feel right.  It's shiny on one side (kind of like freezer paper - heck, it probably is just freezer paper that I over paid for).  So, I spied some packing paper from a fabric order I had laying around that seemed like the perfect weight for my foundations (and plus it was free!).  So I cut it down and it worked like a charm.  But I only had enough for about 10 blocks.  So I asked hubby if he had any packing paper at work I could use and he did!  Awesome!  And it's still free!



Here are the first two blocks...
You really have to "design as you go" with this one.  It's kind of like putting a puzzle together, which made my stomach churn at first, but now I'm getting the hang of it and it's fun.  I also found out it's better to stitch these using my walking foot.  I'm really enjoying making these blocks.


Here's what I've gotten done so far.  I had to interrupt my progress for the time being to work on the red & white wedding quilt.



I can't wait to get back to Hope Valley!

12 comments:

Linda at Roscoe's Ma said...

This is amazing! Love it!

Lynn said...

Very pretty! And I love the grey Quilter's Linen. I also recently ordered from Hawthorne Threads. It was my first order but I had a great experience - good price, reasonable shipping and it arrived on time!

Becky said...

oohh, it looks fantastic. I love that your strings are all the same size rather than haphazard.

Karin said...

It's looking GREAT! Love it!

charlotte said...

Well, I guess I shouldn't have looked at your post today Denise. I saw that beautiful fabric and ended up buying some from Hawthorne Threads as well. I am so easily influenced. Maybe there is a 12 step program?

gill said...

I've only recently discovered Hope Valley and it's hard to find in the UK - thanks for the link to Hawthorne Threads, I'm off to see how much shipping costs are!!

Karen said...

It is going to be beautiful and worth all the extra attention.

Ivory Spring said...

Oh my goodness, those blocks are spectacular!

Darlene said...

Wow, I love this one, Denise!!!

I've never used paper but have used muslin as a foundation.

Barb said...

Oh I really like your blocks, and your explanation of the process! Normally I use muslin for the foundation...but I have not tried it with the walking foot, I like that idea, I must try it! And I am going right over to the Hawthorne Threads site and check them out, thank you for that info! Also a PA gal here, have a great weekend!

Susan in N. GA said...

Wonderful string quilt. Old phone book pages also make great foundations. One time I made blocks without a foundation, just heavily spray starched the fabric, then cut strips and laid them on top of my square up ruler until it was covered, then sewed them together and squared the block up with the ruler.

quiltnlady said...

This is gorgeous. One of the prettiest string quilts I have seen. Now I want to make one. Too many project - too little time!