Thursday, September 24, 2015

string piece with foundation

 I'm teaching the string piece on foundation technique in Newfoundland next month.
This is the technique used in Mended World, one of the Manitoulin Circle Project panels. (detail shown above)
The 'strings' in this technique are long and narrow strips of fabric.  These yellow ones (and the ones in the Mended World panel) were cut with a rotary cutter and a ruler.  However, one could use scissors, or a cutter with no ruler.
Claire Wellesely-Smith wrote about Mended World in her new book, Slow Stitch.  She says:

"Using a sewing machine, four or five long narrow strips of a variety of textured damasks (from recycled tablecloths) were sewn together along their long edges to create a new striped fabric. This fabric is then re-cut several times and sewn back together to make a wide piece of new fabric."
This striped fabric is then cut with scissors to make new strings that have many seams.
These new strings are then stitched into a new sheet of tiny squares using the stitch and flip method on foundation.  The light weight foundation used in this yellow sample is harem cloth.  The foundation used in Mended World was cotton lawn.  
Daughter April used this string piece on foundation method for her multi coloured quilt.  A difference is that she worked from scrap and made each of her strings all by hand.  She used the flip and stitch method to attach her unique strips together, her foundation cloth is a thrift store cotton sheet.
How to sew:
Begin with two strips right sides together laid in the center of your foundation.  Sew them together along a seam through three layers.

Open the two strips out. Flatten with your hand.  Lay a third strip face down along one of the strip sand sew along that seam line through all three layers.   Open out.  Repeat.  Work your way with alternate sides towards the edges of your foundation cloth.
I wrote more about the book Slow Stitch here.
Also, may I direct your attention to Karen Thiessen's blog, Day In & Day Out where she has begun a series of reviews about the meditation panels.  The first one is here.  The second one is here.


  1. thank you for this walk through your flip and stitch technique Judy, have been eyeing off "Slow Stitch", your review clinches it!

  2. Judy, thank you for showing this technique and the interesting links!

  3. oh my, haven't thought about this method in years! I used it 30+ years ago to make *very* eye catching baby clothing for my boy--could find him *anywhere* :)

  4. Thanks for sharing your latest work - an interesting technique... thanks also for the link where I can see even more artworks and the book Slow Stitch. I ordered this book a couple of months ago and I'm still awaiting delivery of it!!

    Enjoy Newfoundland Judy. Happy stitching from Jill :)

  5. Wow, I love this!

  6. Thank you Judy. This is an inspiring little tutorial.

  7. Yes, very inspiring. Makes one think 'I can do that', and realise just how much work it is! Thank you Judy xx.

  8. Anonymous7:10 am

    Just got Claire's book.

  9. Anonymous7:25 am

    I've been collecting smallish scraps of cotton leftover from projects -- this gives me a good idea what to go with them.

  10. What a wonderful tutorial, thank you! :)

  11. This will be a fun project when I retire! I can hardly wait. Thanks, Judy, for the tutorial!

  12. Love, love, love this method.

  13. Thank you everyone for the enthusiastic comments.

    This method works well for making large pieces that have a lot of surface interest with a limited palette. It is an old technique. I love it because it can be so painterly.


  14. Thank you so much for the tutorial! Hello from Jude - I'm so glad she brought me your way!


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx