Thursday, May 21, 2020

Step by Step String Block

I've been asked how to make the string blocks that I used in my Zig Zag quilt I showed last week. Photo step by step as follows.  Here is the finished block. 

Choose what size you want your block to be and cut your solid square that size.  It can be any size as long as they are all the same.
Mark a line 1/4" away from "corner to corner"  as your guide for your first strip. 

Now your base is ready to go. Notice the line is NOT corner to corner, it is offset by the 1/4"

Take your first strip and lay the raw edge even with your DRAWN line.  Make sure the strip extends over the block on each end.

Stitch using your usual 1/4" seam allowance and this will start your string side of the block.

Press over the stitched seam and your corners should be covered by the strip.  Your strip will overhang the edges.  DO NOT TRIM.

Put your next strip down, RST, and line up the edges.  Stitch with 1/4" and flip it over.

Pick your next strip and repeat.  DO NOT TRIM any of the overhang.  You will do that at the end.

I dug through my scrap bin for a triangle shape for the last piece.  Make sure that last piece overs the whole foundation fabric.  Remember that you will be sewing your blocks together so having thin strips right to the corner can make for bulky seams when you join the blocks.

Here is my finished block with all the strips stitched down.  I do press with an iron along the way, and I don't worry if my strip is not exactly straight.  A little wonky adds to the charm of strip piecing.

Flip your block over and use the base as your guideline for trimming.

Using your ruler, trim the overhanging strings right to the edge of  your base.

Both sides are now trimmed,
Flip your block over and admire your new string block.  It's that easy!

The bigger the base, the more strips you will need.  Make your strips various widths for interest.  Set the blocks in any pattern that uses 1/2 square triangles.  I have used different blacks in my piece.  I do think it's best to stick with one color for the base block, but using shades and tones of the same color can add some interest.  Be careful though, these blocks are like pototoe chips, you can't just make a few!

Keep stitching,


Janet O. said...

I have done these blocks on a paper foundation before, but I like the way you use the solid for the foundation as well. Very clever.

Karen said...

I loved your strip quilt from your last post, so showing us how to make it is such a treat! I will have to try this looks fun and easy!
Thanks for sharing your talents with us, Sharon, it's always appreciated!

Kim said...

Thank you for the great tutorial....your quilt is just lovely.
Happy Sewing