Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dryer String Series

Still no sewing ... I've been cleaning and organizing my sewing corner after all the finishes from last week. So I thought I'll show you my Dryer Strings for the last two years and work-in-progress (WIP) ...

When I first discovered Quiltville, Bonnie's String Quilt pattern really interested me. About the same time, I heard from somewhere the many uses of those dryer sheets... it's not just for your laundry... it's for cleaning your iron, dusting, bug repellent, air fresheners, glass/mirror cleaner, thread detangler, etc. I'm sure that you probably could name a few uses of it yourself. But, my favorite use of all is to use the used dryer sheets for foundation piecing!

Also, at the same time, I was in a few fabric swaps to build up the varieties of fabrics in my stash. There were plenty of 'strings' after all the trimmings, and they started to overflow from my baskets. So this is where I merged it all together to make my first "dryer string quilt".

I started in 2006 and completed this quilt by Christmas 2006 for my nephew, Victor. The blocks are rectangular because the sheets are rectangular shapes. The blocks finished at 6"x9". I did the blocks as Bonnie's leaders/enders technique. It took about eight months for me to do all the blocks for this quilt and another two months to finish it up. I pieced leftover strings for the binding too. It is 1/2" binding, not the usual 1/4" binding, due to the thickness. It was a blast making these string blocks, not to mention that it was also mindless sewing. I like to do them when I need not to think but just power sew.... just pick up one string and sew to the foundation, then add another string, then another string, then another string...

The result is another strings flimsy, Hidden Stars. This one took from the beginning to the end of 2007. It is waiting to be quilt. I'm planning to put this on the quilting frame next once I have the back and binding prep. Also, not quite sure how I will quilt this one... any suggestions?? Maybe simple arcs from corner to corner?

Hmm... this photo was taken right after I finished with the top last year and is dark because I snapped the photo just as the sun was setting... will have to take another one.

Well, after I finished with Hidden Stars, I made it my personal challenge to make a quilt every year by recyling those dryer sheets. Less stuffs to fill up the landfill is a good thing ... not to mention, all of those skinny strings are used up.

The most recent and for 2008... (yeah, top done before the end of the year!) ... is Don't Throw It Out! Finished back in June... just didn't get a chance to post.

Since I had to buy new rulers for Bonnie's Carolina Crossroads (the quilt above in the banner), I might as well use the rulers for other quilts. The Companion ruler was used to make the blocks. Here's the quilt top...The funny thing about this quilt top is that while I was piecing the blocks for the last row, I ran out of dryer sheets! I couldn't believe that I actually ran out of sheets! Do you know how many loads of laundry a family of five need to do a week?!! A lot! But here I am with no dryer sheets, so I was constantly looking for a laundry load to do. As it turned out, the kiddos forgot to save them for me and have been throwing out the sheets when they do laundry. Then I was constantly reminding them to not throw it out, hence, the name Don't Throw It Out! :-)

This is the back side to show your those dryer sheets...


I have a couple more quilts dancing in my head for this series, but first, I need to do lots more loads of laundry... LOL

10 comments:

Candace said...

I love string quilts, and somehow using dryer sheets it seems like getting a beautiful quilt for nothing. Except a lot of time and work, of course.

Julie said...

I will have to give this a try!

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

Wow...I have always wanted to do a string quilt, they are all lovely Rhonda...I really like the last one.

Jeanne said...

That's a great series of string quilts, Rhonda! I especially love the setting of the last one. Great recycling and using up in all of these quilts.

scraphappy said...

I know exactly how many loads of laundry a family of five needs every week! It is endless. What a great use for all those dryer sheets. Best of all, the quilts look great!

Mary said...

WOW, I love all of these and you know string quilts are my favorites.

Elaine Adair said...

My word - what a great bunch of string quilts. LOVE your banner with that "quiltville" pattern - good job!

You're going to get a lot of visitors as you've been mentioned on a yahoo list for your amazing string quilts.

meggie said...

Wow! you are amazing! I came over from Mary's to see your wonderful quilts.
I love your dogs too, I am such a sucker for dogs.

Marilyn said...

I have been doing string quilts on Bounty paper towels but this is much more economical. I will be saving my dryer sheets from now on and calling on family and friends to do the same. Love all the quilts on your blog. You are a great inspiration.

Tamara said...

I have been trying to figure out the setting on that last quilt and how to use the companion ruler. How about a photo tutorial? Pleeese.