Here's a quick rundown of what each week will entail:
Week 1: sort scraps // choose a color scheme // gather materials
Week 2: start sewing the string blocks
Week 3: cut the background fabrics // finish sewing the string blocks
Week 4: assemble the quilt top // quilting ideas
I dumped out all the strings from the box and started sorting.
In this photo, the top pile is strings to give away. They are fabrics that I've used over and over again or ones that I just don't care for or I don't see myself using. I plan to pass them along to someone who will be excited to use them! The center pile of strings are ones I plan to cut into squares. (They are all wider than 2 1/2", so I will cut them into 2 1/2" squares.) The bottom pile is the multi-colored pile...fabrics that don't have a predominant color. I also took out any odd bits and any very short strings. (Scraps take a lot of maintenance. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!)
The remaining strings are sorted in color order. Man, that is so satisfying!
Choose a color scheme
The next step in the QAL is to choose a color scheme. When I made my June quilt for the book, I started sewing the string sets together first, then I chose a background color. It worked out alright, but this time I am recommending that you choose your background color first. The main reason for doing this is so that you can avoid using the background color IN your string blocks. If you were to use a red background fabric, and you used a lot of red in the string squares, there will be a lack of distinction in colors and the pattern of the quilt would get lost. If you use a red background fabric, you can still use red fabrics in the strings, but I would recommend doing so sparingly. Or, at the very least, make sure that there is a value difference between the two.
Here are some ideas for background fabrics:a quilt with various red and white polka dot backgrounds. I used a black and white polka dot fabric in the quilt that I made for my craftsy class. It's hard to go wrong with dots!
I'm a big fan of red and white polka dots, too! It's a bold choice, but it would make a super fun quilt.
I'll be giving instructions on how to make a baby quilt, which will measure 51" x 51" and a lap size quilt, which will measure 51" x 68". (I realize that is a little large for a baby quilt, but it is the best size option I could get with an on point setting.) If you want to make an 85" square quilt, as shown in the book, by all means, please do! :)
For the background fabric you will need:
1.3333 yards for a baby size quilt (there will be about 2"-3" extra)
2 yards for a the lap size quilt (there will be about 5" extra)
I recommend buying a little bit extra yardage than listed above, but I'll leave just how much extra up to you. That is why I specified how much wiggle room there is in the yardage listed above. (I hope that isn't too confusing!)
For the cornerstone fabric you will need:
1/3 yard for a baby quilt (there will be only 1/2" extra)
1/2 yard for the lap quilt (there will be 2" extra)
Again, buy the additional amount of fabric that you feel comfortable with. I'll leave how much up to you.
For the quilt in the book, I used two different fabrics for the cornerstones, but for the lap and baby sizes, I am assuming that you only will use one fabric for the cornerstones. Feel free to substitute in a second fabric if you wish.
Of course you will need plenty of string scraps, too! Select scraps that are at least 1" wide and 2" wide or less. Scraps should be at least 4 1/2" long. If you don't have a lot of variety of string scraps, you could chop up a bunch of charm squares into 1 1/2" or 2" widths. That would give you a lot variety without spending a lot of money.
I'm undecided about what kind of quilt to make myself, but I have two options that I came up with...
I have an awful lot of low volume scraps and I know that they would be lovely paired with this red and white polka dot. I have more than enough fabric to make a lap size quilt.
This is the second color option that I came up with: all the colors of scraps except reds and black & whites, paired with Essex linen. (Ironically, I have the most red scraps! Ha!) I have just enough background fabric to make a baby size quilt.
Unless I come up with another brilliant option, probably will make both options listed above. Because if it isn't ridiculous, it isn't worth doing, right? Ha!
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. I'm excited to see what you come up with for your quilt!