Today I am so excited to share a finish that I have been working on for a little while now. It has been my "ender" project as I squeak in a few strips each time I finish another project. I decided to call it Scrunchy Strips and I took some pictures along the way for a little tutorial :)
First, the inspiration for the quilt :) A little while ago, I decided that my daughter needed a new bedspread as the one she had was quite well loved, so I figured I could move it to the top bunk and make her a new quilt using the same fabric and then I would have a somewhat matchy quilts on the bunk bed :) The fabric in the original was Sunkissed by Sweetwater and the only fabric I could still find of it was 2 Scrap Bags, so I started thinking of ideas to work with long randomly sized strips and this is what I came up with :)
To make a twin sized bedspread that measures appx. 65" x 82" you will need
A Stack of strips. This is a great way to use up your string scraps. The strips can be any length but the longer they are the less piecing you will have to do and you will want them to be at least 1 3/4" wide. Leftovers from jelly rolls or scrap bags are ideal :)
You will also need 3 2/3 yard of a solid to use as they whole cloth background. I used Bella Solid White.
For the backing you will need 4 yards and for the binding you will need 1/2 a yard.
And lastly, you will need a "pinking" rotary blade for your rotary cutter.
So, once you have all your supplies you can move onto cutting. Insert the Pinking Blade into your rotary cutter. Using your rotary cutter, trim each size of your strip to pink the edges. I ranged the size of my strip widths from 1 1/2" to 2 3/4" and everything in between. Be sure to cut similar fabrics the same width though so you can make long strips from them :) Repeat for all your strips.
Sew strips end to end so they make at least a 78" strip. Trim the excess of the strip past 78" (Although, if you want your strips a little more scrunchy you can do longer strips and if you want them a little less scrunchy you can do shorter strips, I just found 78" was just about perfect for me :)
Repeat until you have about 40 strips. (give or take a few depending on how close together you want your strips on the bedspread.) I choose to match colors for my strips but there are several in those piles that are made up of several different prints. Don't be afraid to get scrappy with it.
And now you are ready to prepare your strips. Set your machine to a straight basting stitch, (the longest stitch it will allow) Sew down the center of the strip, you don't have to measure this perfect just eyeball it.
Continue to chain stitch all of our strips sewing down the center of each. Just be sure when you move from one strip to the other that you leave a decent size tail to cut between so you have enough on either side to gather. Clip the threads between all your strips and then set your strips aside for a bit.
Now it is time to prepare the whole cloth background. Cut your 3 2/3 yards of fabric into 2 equal pieces each measuring 66" x WOF. Sew them together along the WOF using a 1/2" seam. Trim off the selvages and square the top up to 66" x 83". (You will get some shrinkage with all of the quilting :)
Piece you backing in the same manner but cut the backing into two 2 yard pieces. Make a quilt sandwich with your backing, batting, and whole cloth top and baste it. If you are new to quilting and need a little more instruction on how to do this you can see my video tutorial on basting here :)
Now go ahead and quilt the entire whole cloth quilt sandwich. If you are brand new to quilting and need some general directions on free motion quilting you can see my basics quilting video here.
I decided to do a straight line quilting using my free motion foot rather than my walking foot to give it a very organic feel. Starting from the center, just back and forth with the lines from one end to another to you reach the edge. Then return to the center and back and froth again in the other direction. To see a video on Straight Line Quilting using a Free Motion foot you can go here. It is pretty much the exact same except you don't echo in, you just go back and forth across the whole quilt. And you don't have to do the same pattern I did, just make sure the whole thing is quilted pretty dense :)
Now, you are ready to add the strips :) First though, lets add some markings to the quilt. Now these don't have to be perfect so don't stress to much. At the center of the quilt (use the fold in the quilt and the center seam to find) mark a reference point. Then mark additional reference points every 10" away, moving to the outside of the quilt in either direction. Repeat this process on both sides of the quilt.
Now, you are ready to "scrunch" your strips. Pulling on one end thread gather half the strip. Now pulling on the one thread on the other end of the strip, gather the other half. You will want to gather your strip to about 65" long. (you won't have to measure after the first few, you just get the feel of it.)
Using the center and end reference points, lay your strip across the quilt. Adjust the gather as needed so that each end is directly along the edge of either side of the quilt. Pin in place. Be sure to pin pretty generously or you are going to have some major movement in your gathering while stitching.
Repeat this process for all of your marked reference points You should have 6 strips now pinned to your quilt. Just eyeball that they are straight, don't stress to much as this quilt has a very organic feel to it. Time to sew :)
Using a normal straight stitch, sew down the center of each strip, trying to stay on top of that gathered stitch line as much as possible. I found a walking foot and my quilting gloves to be a great help for this task!! It also helps to pull the gathers to the side while stitching to prevent things folding over. Sew all of your pinned strips in place.
Now, it is just simply filling in the holes ;) Starting at one end, fill in the white spaces with 3-4 strips (depending on how close you want them) pinning them in place. Once again, just eyeball this. The varied strip sizes just go with the feeling of varied widths apart. Once you have a set pinned in place go ahead and stitch them in place. (I recommend not pinning more than a group or 2 at a time or you end up with lots of pin scratches down your arm :)
Continue this process until you have covered the entire quilt. Now just simply trim your excess batting and backing along the edges of the quilt.
And then cut 7 strips from your binding fabric to create your binding strip. And then use that binding strip to bind your quilt. Once again, if you are new to quilting, you can see my binding video here ;)
And now, just sit back and enjoy your beautiful Scrunchy Strips bedspread!!
Don't you just love the texture!!! So fun!!!
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial :) And if you decide to make your own Scrunchy Strips bedspread I would love to see it. You can add a picture of it to my flickr group here or email me one :)
Note** Many of you asked what this will look like after washed. The answer, just as scruncy and sweet as ever. You can see more at this post ;)
Linking this finish up to Amanda's :)
Linking up to The Festival of Strings - Check out all of the other great String Quilts :)
Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!