An FQG Sponsored Workshop
Stash Busting String Quilts
by Stephanie Alexander
February 20, 2016


Workshop Description:
Learn how to tame your scraps and turn your ugly fabrics into the most beautiful quilts ever. If this is your first or your 50th quilt, you will learn how to transform an ever growing chaos into a beautiful quilt. Once you learn the basics, you will be flipping and turning and creating dozens of different layouts from one simple design.
I will share my scrap management techniques with you which will help take the mystery out of string piecing.
There are no formal patterns for the quilts we will be creating. I encourage you to take photographs or notes of any of my work.
Warning, scrap quilts are addictive.
I will provide multiple layout options for the pattern we will work on.

Class Information:

  • Skill level - Beginners and everyone else will enjoy this class
  • Class Length - 8 hour class + Lunch

Supply List:

  • 12” or 12 ½” square ruler
  • 6 ½ X 24 ruler if you need to cut yardage
  • 4 X 12 (4 ½ X 12 1/2) ruler will be helpful but not mandatory
  • Rotary cutter with new blade for fabric and trimming
  • Cutting mat 18X24 or larger
  • A rotary cutting mat will make squaring up easier, helpful but not mandatory
  • One of the stabilizers mentioned below
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Template plastic or something to make a template with. Old cutting mats make great templates.
  • Pen & paper for note taking and/or your cell phone to photograph the steps
  • Basic sewing supplies to include your machine and the power cord
  • It is a good idea to bring a cord reel or extension cord.
  • 2 ½ yards of fabric for star points. You can make scrappy fabric stars as long as your fabric is the same value. A dark or light fabric will work for your star points.
  • Scraps, scraps and more scraps, in 1”, 1 ¼” and 1 ½” widths. Cut a few ¾” strips for more interest. Light, medium or dark, large or small prints, geometric, floral, stripes, everything goes. It is not necessary to cut all of your fabric at once. Consider swapping scraps with classmates. You do not need to cut all of your strips prior to class. If you have some already in your scrap bin, bring them. The great thing about string quilts is that your strips do not need to be accurate. They might be 1” on one end and taper down to ½” at the other end.
  • String quilts present a great opportunity to use what I call ugly thread. Anything goes because you will be sewing so many different colors. Now is a chance to use up all those half-filled bobbins.
  • Stabilizer for backing. Dixie Kabnet Wax Deli paper (Sam’s Club, $14.28 for two 1,000 sheet boxes); muslin, or 6 1/2' yards no-show mesh stabilizer (brand name Sheer Delight.) You will need 7 1/2” square stabilizer blocks for this quilt. (If you use Sheer Delight, it is 30 inches wide which will yield you four blocks across.)
  • 5 yards for backing. The backing is not needed for class. You can purchase this later. Consider piecing your backing with scrap yardage.


Short Biography:


Stephanie Alexander
Columbia, SC

I am from Columbia, SC, and have sewn all of my life.  My love of fabric and all things handmade came at a very young age. My mother gave sewing lessons to other women in our neighborhood.  As a young child I was given the scraps which I made into doll clothes.  When my grandmother passed away, each grandchild was allowed to pick one thing to remember her. While all my cousins rummaged through her jewelry box, I spotted a quilt on her bed and asked if I could have it.  Who knew how this would evolve 50 years later! 

Bonnie Hunter was the recipient of all my scraps and uglies when she lived in Columbia. We belonged to the same guild and often saw each other at other quilting events. The day Bonnie thanked me for $50 worth of fabric, pieces I would have thrown in the trash, it clicked. I remembered the quilts my grandmother made with all the small pieces of fabric and I started to play.

Then I became the recipient of everyone else’s scraps and uglies. The more I teach, the less I receive.

Workshop Information:

  • Open to FQG members
  • Cost: $35 ( Pay Robin Parton, either at a Guild Meeting or mail check to 125 Pinkwood Drive, Rutherfordton, NC 28139
  • Location: Ascension Lutheran Church Building
  • Time: starts at 9 am and lasts until 4:30 pm with a lunch break
  • Note: Robert will provide a simple Turkey/Ham sandwich, chips, and drinks for lunch for everybody.
  • Note: Stephanie had a very good suggestion some of you might want to do......swap fabric scraps to expand your stash of fabric choices for your quilt.  Robert will plan to open the room at 8:30AM.  So, if you are interested in swapping fabrics, please come a little early.