Wednesday, August 19, 2020

String Diamonds

Currently in the works is a string diamonds quilt based on the "Diamonds Are Forever" pattern from the book String Quilt Revival by Virginia Baker and Barbara Sanders.

I've had the book for a few years, and the instructions call for using a stabilizer called Sheer Delite to sew the string blocks onto.  It doesn't get removed, just becomes part of the quilt.

Well, try to find that stuff now.  After spending (too much) time searching the internet, it seems to me they may not make it anymore.  Or maybe it's sold under a different name.

So I figured I'd just use my trusty, old faithful phone book pages as foundations.  I have to remove the papers, of course, but I'm no stranger to that process and don't mind doing it.  It's a good thing to do while listening to an audiobook.  I just finished The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho through my local library, using the RB Digital app.

In searching for information on the stabilizer for the quilt, I happened upon a YouTube video tutorial by Tea Quilts. She was also using paper foundations to piece her "Diamonds Are Forever" quilt.  Excellent tutorial, by the way, and she includes instructions to make the kite-shaped template in the description box below the video (click on "Show More" to expand the box).

I use a diagonal line of Elmer's washable glue stick to secure the kite shaped piece to the diagonal of the paper, then just line up my strings along the straight edge and sew away.  No pinning required.  I work on about four blocks at a time, chain piecing them through the machine.  It hasn't been a problem to remove the paper where the glue was.  Even after pressing the block, the glue releases cleanly and there's no problem with tackiness on the fabric.

At first I was going to use black for the background fabric, i.e. the fabric you cut the kite-shaped pieces out of.  But after I made a few sample blocks, I wasn't in love with that color scheme.  Nothing else in the quilting fabric stash really grabbed my attention, but luckily I spotted a big piece of teal colored linen-like fabric that I'd bought to make a dress.  Well, the dress never happened and wasn't going to happen, so I tried making a few string blocks with the teal fabric and loved it!

I think it's cotton (or mostly, anyway).  I remember buying it at JOANN years ago from among the garment fabric bolts.  The weave is somewhat coarser in texture, but it drapes and presses well.  It seems to be doing very nicely in this quilt.

Man, there are some weird, wild, and wonderful fabrics in this baby!  I'm just grabbing from the scraps and strings buckets and bins as I go, trying not to overthink anything.  It's pretty amazing how little of a dent I've made in the strings so far.  Hopefully by the time I get done, I'll notice a reduction.

I've also prewashed and pressed fabric for another quilt that I need to get started on soon.  A whole lot of batik fat quarters here.  This quilt will need to be ready to gift in several weeks' time, so I may have to interrupt the string diamonds quilt to work on that.

I'm probably not going to be able to reveal much more about the batik project while I'm working on it in case the giftee reads this blog.  But I'll be sure to take lots of pictures that I can show after it's all done and delivered!


  1. Love how the teal makes the scrappy fabrics "pop". The variety of fabric strips creates an interesting quilt. I started a kite paper pieceing quilt a while ago, and never finished it. Now may be the time to bring it out and finish. D. Weeks aka Momma Llama

  2. String Diamonds have been on my To Make list for a number of years. Your quilt is going to be gorgeous! I like the teal background in place of the black. Hmm... I've got a bolt of aqua that might look good. Perhaps, I should start digging in my string bin!

  3. Love your scrappy string diamonds, that teal really pulls everything together beautifully!

  4. The string quilt is coming along beautifully. The teal is really showcasing the colorful fabrics in the diamonds wonderfully.

  5. Oh wow, your teal colored background is inspired! Love it with the scrappy strings.:)


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