Wednesday, 25 May 2016

String Block Tutorial

For my reign as Queen for do good Stitches Cherish Circle I am going with one of my all time favourite techniques - string blocks.

It's no secret I love scrappy and I absolutely love string blocks.  They are fun, fast and you can use a ton of scraps.

For this quilt, I am going to try and jazz up the string blocks using the Quick Curve Ruler.  I have an image in my head so I hope it works out as I see it!

But my little worker bees don't panic, I will do all the curvy stuff. All I want from you are the string blocks.

For those of you who may not have done string piecing before, there is a multitude of tutorials on the interweb but here is how I did mine for this project.

  • Paper foundation cut into a 11" x 8" rectangle (I use general A4 copy paper or tracing paper for this purpose).
  • Fabric strips between 0.75" and 2" wide and about 9" long in a variety of bright colours and prints.
  • If you have an old needle I suggest you use it in your machine for this project as paper piecing will dull your needle.
  • Keep your stitch length at around 1-1.2.  A small stitch length will help to perforate the paper making it easier to remove and will prevent the seams from unraveling when the blocks are trimmed.
  • Neutral thread.

Draw a few reference lines across the short side of the paper which will be used as a guide to keep your strings straight.

Starting somewhere in the middle place your first fabric strip right side up along one of the marked lines.

Place a second fabric strip on top of the first right sides together aligning the raw edges.
Sew 1/4" seam along the edge through all layers from top to bottom (no need for backstitching).

Flip the top fabric strip open and give a quick press (I use a handkerchief or teflon sheet when pressing so the pencil marks are not transferred to my iron).

Place the next fabric strip on top of the strip you just added right sides together aligning the edges and sew your 1/4" seam from top to bottom.

Continue adding strips across the paper foundation until the paper is completely covered.

It's that easy.  You do not need to trim your blocks (I will do that when adding the curves) but it would be appreciated if the paper is removed please.  If you used a short stitch length the paper should tear away fairly easily without putting too much stress on the seams.

I need a total of 48 blocks so if you can manage 2 or even better 3 blocks that would be awesome. Terrible picture but this is where I am heading with this quilt.  I am aiming for a fun, bright and happy quilt for a little boy to be donated to the Keep Safe Quilts program being set up by Jackie Gillies (a follow on from #quiltblockstohealtheviolence).

Happy string piecing!


  1. I loved this one Sue can't wait to check out what comes together. They sort of look like easter eggs don't they?

  2. great work - really looking forward to seeing this one completed :)