Sunday, July 03, 2011


MUCH MORE sewing was accomplished at Karen’s yesterday! I finished up and trimmed my yellow string blocks and de-papered them!

And yes, that is MY "Troll Sister" right there with my blocks! Last year when I visited Sharon near KC, MO....in our antique jaunts, I found a whole BAG of trolls ((For $10.00-- bargain of the century!!))...and brought them home to hand out to my bee. So when we get together, the Trolls have to come too! I think I have a picture of them SOMEWHERE....

Here we go! I found it!


I played with these trolls when I was little…I envied my Aunt’s collection of them…..seeing these brings back my childhood! Fun Stuff….So back to the sewing part!

Now, every time I post about using phone book pages for my foundations and actually taking the TIME to REMOVE THE PAPER ((Oh gasps, and horrors!!)) I get comments asking why I don’t use muslin, or why not use thin interfacing…or….have I heard about this nifty trick about using dryer sheets as foundation?

We all have our own way to do things. My big thing is that I don’t want BULK. There are a LOT of seams, because I use some really skinny stuff in my string blocks.

The only thing the phone book paper is there for is to add a bit of stability, and it gives me a size to shoot for…so I know where I can use my longest scrap strips, and where I can use the smaller ones, and finally using left over crumbs and triangles for those corners.

Not all my strips and strings have straight edges…and that’s another good reason for having the paper there…I can lay things at an angle and sew, or put a straight piece on top of a curved or raggedy piece and the shape of the paper helps me still keep things in the direction I want to go.

I don’t use dryer sheets for a couple of reasons. They shrink if the iron is as hot as I want it to be, and I get residue all over the bottom of my iron. I have to be careful with fragrances, some give me migraines, and yes I know there are “unscented” dryer sheets, but there is still residue, and I am limited to the size of the dryer sheet. Do I want to sew them together to get a foundation big enough just so I don’t have to remove it later? Doesn’t thrill me. :c)


And the laundry product I like to use best is that Purex 3-in-1 sheet that goes from the washer to the dryer, and it is more like a curvy sheet of poly batting with soap in it! LOL! Do I want to string piece to these? Nope! But Jeff did tell me once that I should zig zag them together and use them for a batting…..uhhhhh….no thanks, son!

Phone book paper is free. It stitches easily. It doesn’t melt. It has no perfume. It removes with ZERO effort…..I just make sure my stitch length is set very small so that it is easy to remove.

I don't have any "ink transfer" problems because I use OLD phone books...and I don't use steam in my iron. I iron with the tip of the iron just on the seam....I'm not mashing the whole block, I just want that seam to be flat and crisp ---the tip along the seam works great for me.

And I like to trim up my units and remove all my paper BEFORE I sew the units together, this way there is not also paper in the seam allowance, and additional stitching that crosses the seams.

Once I get the paper out of there, it is as simple as doing regular patchwork. Once the blocks are pieced, I don’t need a foundation in there.

And my final reason for using phone book pages, or reject printer paper, or deli wrappers….or…..left over cruise flyers from the cruise that Pat Sloan and I are doing in November--- Yes Pat! I’ve been using our faces as foundation too! LOL! Is because I like to hand quilt many of my smaller projects.

house 011

Do I want foundation in anything that I’m going to hand quilt? Nope. It doesn’t need to be there. There is no reason to have extra fabric, extra weight, extra fragrance, extra ANYTHING beneath the strings once they are pieced.

I even LIKE the process of removing the paper! If you do it the way that paper is removed from a notebook…start at one edge and remove it from one seam, then loosen the next edge by running your finger under the paper to lift it from the seam, and remove that piece, then loosen the next edge, etc…it’s really fast!

We’ve had a busy morning Chez Quiltville --- We’ve painted Jeff’s room! It looks so much better! I’ll have some pics of that experience to post later, but right now Hubster and I are thinking it’s a great day for a matinee movie and a big bucket of popcorn!

When it gets THIS hot out in there….we hunker down and STAY IN! Not sure what’s playing…I’m on my way to go found out and decide --- Do you think there is a chick flick I can get away with?!


  1. I hear Bridesmaids is funny!

  2. I heard Bridesmaids was hysterical but have not seen it myself yet. Also heard the new Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts movie is supposed to be cute! Whatever you do, have a great day!

  3. I saw Bridesmaids and it is very funny and raunchy enough for guys to like it too. BTW I have a little blue troll I carry in my purse that my sister gave me years ago.

  4. Anonymous12:36 PM EDT

    Bonnie, about those trolls. My husband is a collector also, and he has about 150 of them. Now I know where all the rest of them are in the world, in NC. Ha, ha.

    Stella in sunny SO. CA
    stella_ca2001 at yahoo dot com

  5. Anonymous1:03 PM EDT

    Bonnie, do you de-paper first or trim first?

  6. I'm with you on the paper but how does the ink react to the iron? i've had some of the ink transfer to my iron? what happens with phone book paper?

  7. Bridesmaids was disgusting. My friends and I were very disappointed. Avoid it unless you like seeing women degrading themselves and other women.

    I'm looking at rain and the mid 50s for weather the next week so enjoy some of that "hot" for me!

  8. You have really been "stringing things along" these days!! I had trolls when I was younger also. I don't know what happened to them. My Mother never threw things away and we have gone through all her stuff. That must mean they are packed up with the stuff I can't throw away!!

  9. Anonymous2:21 PM EDT

    My hubby and I saw the Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts movie "Larry Crowne" last night and thought it was excellent. I don't remember the last time we went to a movie.


  10. Anonymous2:23 PM EDT

    A good movie bet might be Water for Elephants. The book had lots of interesting history of the circus and the story just pulls you in. A good combination for going to the movies with husband.
    Stephani in TX

  11. Phonebook paper = genius! Thanks for the tip!

  12. I use Gwen Marsden's Liberated String Piecing method--no foundation at all!

    But to each her own...!

  13. I'm with you, Bonnie, on the paper foundations. I just finished trimming and de-papering a stack that was done on catalog pages! String piecing is my go to project when I don't feel like doing anything else or my shoulder hurts too badly to cut anything. I use up all the paper that comes into this house.

  14. Anonymous5:36 PM EDT

    i think I will start using all the credit card applications that are mailed to me .....as foundation for string quilts! Now there's a great use for "junk" mail!!! Joy in Alaska

  15. I went to the new Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts film yesterday. It was good.

  16. yes I too use the phone book, spray with water and remover is easy pleasey

  17. So when you hand quilt through a lot of layers do you shoot for tiny 8-12 stitches per inch, or do you do a "big stitch"(4-6 per inch?)?

  18. I had a 'beautiful' troll when I was a girl; it had hot pink hair and just the tip of it was black....so glamorous! And we knew them as Wish-nicks....did you ever hear that name?

  19. I have been informed that dryer sheets are flammable and may make quilts more flammable to include them. I have always hesitated because of that. I like the idea of a removable foundation. Thanks for sharing your techniques.

  20. You found trolls!!!!!??? I had a Robin (as in Batman) troll when I was little... and have no idea where it went. I love trolls.


  21. Love your trolls! I have a big collection I keep meaning to take out of the box. Maybe I will! :-)

    I've had more than one doctor tell me he wished they would take dryer sheets off the market. Goodness knows what you are breathing in every day that is coming off your clothes. Ick. I have trouble with the smells too. My clothes come out of the dryer fine. I don't know why we are supposed to "need" all that extra stuff anyway. IMHO it's all hype. :-)

  22. Phone books is one of the things I heard was going to disappear from our universe --- along with landlines, libraries, newspapers, etc. Oh no! Something else I will need to start collecting!!

  23. My Mom always used on pages of the Sears and Roebuck catalog. She only used the black and white pages. She would not use the colored pages. I didn't understand then, cause I thought the colored pages were really pretty. I think of her alot when I'm quilting or piecing.
    Kaye (TN)

  24. My mom used to use the Sears & Roebuck catalog for her paper. She would, like you, pull the paper off before she sewed the blocks. I've been using old phone books for years now. It really works well and tames those strips down.
    Kaye (TN)

  25. Kathleen Whipple12:22 PM EST

    Hi what size telephone book do you use.


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