Thursday, April 25, 2013

String Style Strip Blocks

I love the look of string pieced blocks! I love the busy eye-catching look of various widths of strips all snuggled together in a block. However, I'm not a fan of paper piecing, or foundation piecing, or anything that involves taking zillions of tiny bits of paper off the back of a block. Call me lazy, but I would rather be sewing something! So imagine how pleased I was with myself when I dreamed up this little trick! (It has never taken much to impress me, I must confess.)

String Style Strip Blocks:

1. Choose at least 12 fat quarters and trim off the selvage (save for later, or send them to me!)

2. Press the fat quarters and layer them 3-4 on top of each other. Using a ruler along the length of grain (same direction as the selvage) cut strips of various widths. (I cut mine 1", 1 1/4", 1 1/2", 2", 2 1/4", 2 1/2")

3. Choose 10 strips to sew together lengthwise (or enough to make 13" wide panel)

4. Trim the ends even. Cut a 12 1/2" segment and square it up. Cut a 4 1/2" segment to use later.

5. Now cross cut the 12 1/2" square on the diagonal from corner to corner.

6. Flip the pieces as shown in the photo.

7. Add a 1 1/2" x 15" strip of a contrasting fabric for the middle strip. (You'll need two)

8. Sew these units together with the strip in the middle, lining up the points as shown.


9. Trim the corners and square up the block to 8 1/2".

You will have two finished blocks! That's right, one strip set will make two blocks!

For more variety, you can make multiple strip sets, and then mix them up for a scrappier look. I may or may not have made 16 blocks last night. *grin*

I hope you enjoy this fun little method of non-string-piecing-blocks that have the string pieced look.
No waste, no mess, no picking, no bother!

Enjoy every stitch!


  1. LOL - but the whole point of a string quilt is to use up all those leftover strips that you have in your scrap basket -- not make new ones! I have heard but haven't done - use a piece of very thin muslin and sew your strips to it and you don't rip anything off the back just leave it as is.

    Interesting block though and your method is a good one.

  2. I use muslin squares and sew my strips to it. Just trim them to size when done and you have a stable strippy block. You can cut it on the diagonal as you have shown or sew them together to create a secondary pattern.

  3. I have been eye-balling those string blocks lately. I love the scrappiness of them.:)

  4. Very fun - that's a LOT of polka dots! Thanks for the tutorial

  5. Great tute and a good way to use up those fabrics that " seemed like a good idea at the time..."

    1. yes, that's exactly what I was thinking! lol

  6. I love this tute! I have SO many fat 1/4s that I have collected--esp'ly pinks! Great way to use e, up! thanks for sharing your very creative "string" piecing--and no paper to remove or muslin to quilt through! Julierose


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