Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday Tool Tip: The Phonebook

This one isn't really news, but I wanted to share it just in case you hadn't heard about it.
There are so many tutorials out there on making different string blocks.  I will just cover this one tip.  If you want to learn more, go check out this great tutorial from Bonnie Hunter.  First, start with a nice thick phone book that the phone people will give you even if you never, ever, ever intend to use it to look up a phone number.  I recommend you take a look at how many of these end up in the landfill and make sure that if you don't recycle them for foundation paper piecing you at least make sure it makes it into the recycle bin.
I cut my squares to 6.5" by 6.5" for a finished block of 6" by 6".  This is a great size for ease of sewing and for making charity quilts.
When I sew these blocks I do not mark.  I grab a mostly straight sting and pin it to the center of the paper along the diagonal.  This is the only piece I pin.  I find that the paper is a little slippery and the first strips might become a little wonky without the pinning.  By pinning, I mean I stick two pins in that center piece just long enough to stitch it and the next strip down.  I work on two or three at a time, adding from the center out.  I do press with my iron but finger pressing will work if you don't want to take the time.  This is my personal preference.  Do what makes you happy.
Once I have covered all of the paper with my strings I press the block and trim from the backside to my desired measurement.  I made up a few blocks and set this project aside for a while.  I have plenty of strings to work from and I'll use this a quick project I can pick up when I don't have much time.  Pulling the papers off will be a good project on game night.

Have you been working on any scrappy projects to work through some of your scraps?  I would love the hear about it.


  1. I will never again throw out a phone book!

  2. Great idea! Now to find that old phone book at home or at the office!


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