Saturday, August 9, 2008

String Quilt Block Tutorial

Several readers were asking how to make the string quilt blocks so I decided to make a quick tutorial. If your planning on hand quilting your quilt you need to make sure all your fabric is 100% cotton, otherwise it becomes just about impossible to get your needle through. I gave up on hand quilting after taking almost a year to quilt a queen size double wedding ring (it came out looking great but too much work) . You need to collect a good variety of fabric scraps, no knits and they need to be about the same weight. If you can easily see through the fabric it's too light.
I use old sheets, solid light colored fabric or muslin for the foundations, this fabric can be light-weight and see through.

Cut your foundations to about 1" larger than you want the finished square to be. Mine will be 6" in the finished square so I cut mine to 7".
I cut my fabric scraps into strips (or strings) that are between 1 1/2" -3" wide, I leave them however long they happen to be and cut them as I add them to the block. I vary the width of my strings but they can be made all one width, it depends on the effect you want. I also keep the smaller scraps and cut them into triangles for the corners. This keeps me from having tiny little pieces in the corner.
To start building the block, take two strings, place one on the foundation from corner to corner, then place the second one face down on top of it matching up the edges. Sew with a 1/4" seam onto the foundation. Iron flat and add strings, ironing after each one, until it's almost covered. Then add the triangles to the corners. it should look something like the block above.

Then your going to trim the block to your finished size. Since the blocks are going to be 6" in the quilt and I'm going to be using 1/4" seams, I'm trimming this block to 6 1/2". There are a lot of things that can be done with strings for quilts, this is one of the easier ways I've found to do it. The blocks can be set any number of ways to make a variety of quilts.

Here's some links to some of my (unfinished) string quilts.

Denim and Strings

Purple Strings

No Hearts and Flowers

OK, so I forgot to take a pic of that last one before I sent it off. LOL


Betty said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

This so cool! I can't wait to get going on mine! I have tons of scraps plus I buy muslin by the bolt for making ear candles and wondered what to do with all the scraps.

I actually cut strips 1 1/2! wide with a rotary for the candle making so have lots of it!

If you ever need muslin checkout my Etsy shop.

Would love to exchange links with you and feature you on my blog.

Grandma Betty

MissyM said...

Thanks for the tutorial and the pictures. I have started on mine, using vintage fabric and new fabric. I didn't think it would go together (I have read and hear, there are "no ugly quilts") but it looks great. I have more squares to do on it, but so far have 16 done.