String Theory

As a quilter, I have a collection of fabric, known as my "stash".  My main stash consists of fabrics that I have purchased for a specific project, or just because they were fun.  Usually these are in pieces at least 12"x22".  Then you use those pieces for a project, and are left with a small "string".  Too big to throw away, but too small to try to keep in your regular stash.  I started this quilt as a "beginner and ender".  Meaning that when I was chain piecing other blocks, I would start and end each chain with two strips of fabric from my string bin.  This eliminates long thread tails, and makes for easier piecing.  I have large tote in my basement, nearly full of strings for use "someday". These pieces of fabric are many difference widths, from 1" t0 2" wide, and lengths.  I would use what I needed, and put the rest back into the bin.  My rules for this quilt were that I had to reach into the bin without looking, and pull out a strip of fabric.  I couldn't look for anything specific, and if they clashed, oh well, too bad.  The point was to get as much fabric out of my bin as possible.  I was allowed to put a strip back in the bin and choose again only if I was about to sew two of the same fabrics together.  Once the piece was large enough, it was cut to a 6" square on the diagonal.  Squares were sewn together into blocks of 4 squares and then sewn into rows and finally an extra long twin sized bed quilt.  As I was sewing this, it was fun to try to remember what project the fabric was originally purchased for, or to try to remember who had given me the fabric.  I think that if I have ever made anything for you, there is probably a remnant of it in this quilt.  The entire quilt is made up from leftovers that otherwise would have remained sitting in the house, gathering more dust.  The backing was made from 2 pieces of flannel that I had left over, and even the batting was pieced from remnants from other projects.  The binding was made as I pulled out strings of fabric from my bin, and found that they were already pieced and pressed for use as binding.  Those were set aside, and used to bind this quilt.  If you are a quilter, this is a great way to feel good about using up those little bits of leftover fabrics, but I have to say that it didn't even seem to make a dent in the bin in the basement.  In fact, right now I have another string to add to the collection. Oh well, guess I will have an excuse to make more string pieced quilts in the future. This has already gone to the police for their charitable works.

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