We will start out with a basic string block that contains a common center strip. You can make as many blocks as you wish, I will finish up at 20 blocks which makes a good size lap throw without borders.

Here is a sample of what we will be making:


Foundation: string strips are sewed onto a foundation square made from fabric, paper, interfacing, dryer sheets. For this project we are going to use fabric foundation that will remain inside the quilt. You will need 20 - 9" squares cut from a lightweight fabric such as broadcloth, leftover scraps in light colors. Just about any cotton or cotton blend fabric can be used.

Fabric Scraps: This is a wonderful project to use up those scraps that accumulate rather rapidly. Do not worry about coordinating color, designs, etc., everything works! Take your scraps and wash (if stored for a long time) them and iron them nice and flat. I often shop at thrift stores for fabric and it always gets a good wash and press job. I want everything to be fresh and super clean.

Waterbase Glue Stick: A cheapy one you can find in stationery depts.

Squaring Up Ruler: A 12 - 1/2" square ruler is an excellent investment if you plan on doing more quilting. It is not necessary to purchase this ruler, we can make a square to square up our blocks after sewing. We will discuss this more after we get our blocks made.

Cutting Mat, 6 1/2"x24" grided ruler, rotary cutter with extra blade, sewing machine, sewing

Prepping Your Foundation: Now that you have cut 20 - 9" squares from your foundation fabric, we are going to mark the center of one diagonal(corner to corner). Take one of your squares and fold it diagonally forming a triangle. Using your iron, press a crease along this fold. This will mark the center for your first diagonal strip. Do this to all 20 squares.

Prepping Your Fabrics: If you have not done any cutting with a rotary cutter, I would suggest you practice cutting some strips on your fabrics you will use for piecing your blocks. This does not include your center strip fabric. If you need help cutting, google "Rotary Cutting or Cutting with a Rotary Cutter" and you will find a lot of good instructions. You will choose 1 fabric, preferably a solid, that will be the center strip for all your blocks. You will need a piece of fabric approximately 12"x 42" for your center strips. You will fold your 42" width(width of fabric or WOF) in half. Laying a your long ruler along the edge of your fabric and lining up a ruler mark along the crease, cut a small strip off to straighten your fabric. Now you are going to cut strips 1 1/4" wide. Carefully turn your fabric so the cut side is facing your left hand and the extra fabric faces your right hand. This is for a RH person, if you are LH, reverse these cutting instructions. Now lay your 1 1/4" inch mark on your ruler along the straight edge of fabric. Line up your measuring mark just so you can see a couple threads past that 1 1/4" mark. This will give you an accurately cut piece. Now using pressure with your left hand and your rotary cutter in your RH, cut your strip. Use your ruler and check the width of your piece in a few places to make sure it is accurate. This is important only for your center piece. You need to have 20 - 13 1/2" pieces. You can get 3 strips from 42" so you need about 12" of 42 wide fabric for all of your strips.

Gluing Your Center Strip: Now we are going to glue these strips to your foundation squares. Using your glue stick, apply glue along your center strip on the wrong side (WS) of the fabric. Turn your strip over and using the pressed folded center crease, lay your center strip along that crease and press with fingers in place. Make sure you have some overhand at the ends of each strip. Do this to all 20 blocks.

Now if you get this all done really quickly and are game to do more, you can take pieces of fabric you are going to use for the strips and cut them various widths from 1" - 2". This is good cutting practice and your accuracy in straight cutting is not a critical, but you should strive to cut straight. You will need lots of strips of various colors and patterns. Unitl next week, have fun. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have and you question is too silly to ask. If you are joining in, please leave a comment as it will be nice to know how many are do the blocks. This small quilt will not take long to do and then we will move onto the Diamond String Quilt.


hope everyone is ready to put together some blocks. We will be doing a flip and sew technique starting at your center strip. Place a new string on top of you center strip matching raw edges and sew a 1/4" seam from top to bottom. Open out your newly sewn strip and press, then continue sewing on strips until that half of the foundation is covered. It is good to have a little bit of extra hangover for when you square up your block. Now turn your foundation around and do the same process on the other side of the center strip.

Do this to all 20 blocks and mix up your strips so you have a variety throughout. Give your blocks a good press job.

Once you have all 20 blocks done, it is time to square up your block. You cut a 9" foundation piece and we are going to square up to 8 1/2". This is where you will use your 12 1/2" sq. ruler or make yourself a 8 1/2" template. This is a bit tricky so take your time and check all corners to make sure they are where you want them to be before you cut. We are going to square up using your center diagonal strip. Place your sq. ruler on so the 8 1/2" mark is in the center of each end of your strip.

The crease you pressed along the diagonal on your foundation makes a good mark to follow. I can still see mine a bit and as you can see in the picture I have the top left hand corner at the 8 1/2" and the bottom right corner on the pressed crease at the 8 1/2 mark. This is very hard to show in a picture. You will trim up the right side and across the top. (For left handed-reverse procedure) You will have your strip laying top right and bottom left. After the first trim, turn the block around so you can lay your 8 1/2" marks along your cut edges on the left going up and across the bottom. You may have a bit more to trim off again on the right going up and across the top. You should have a perfect 8 1/2" square. All your blocks will need to be squared.

Now you can see how pretty your blocks are. Take 4 and lay them out in a block with your center strip making a block on point. I am trying something a bit new to me by putting a stripped fabric on each side of my center strip. I have seen this done and it gives a nice design. I have some thin cottons I want to use up and one is my stripped border.

You can lay out your blocks 4 across and 5 rows down. I would have the diamond in the center for row #1, row #2 will have 2 diamond shapes and these 2 rows will be repeated. Your quilt will measure 32"x40". You can call it done at this point and just do a binding or you can add some borders to increase the size, which is what I will do. Next week I will post a lesson on doing the borders and binding. I hope you are enjoying your sewing and like the results of your strings.


I hope I am not making anyone feel rushed to keep up with the posts. Remember, this can be done in your time at your pace. I have my small quilt top completed. I added a 1`` finished purple border and then a 3`` outer border. I think a 2`` inside and a 4-6`outer border would look excellent. I chose my sizes because my backing is dictating what my finished size will be.

Here is how I did my borders:
Border: measure across the middle of the quilt both directions. This will give you the measurement for how long each border needs to be. Starting with the side borders, cut your lengths what you long measure was- one for each side and 1 1é2`wide. Find the center of your border strip and the center of your quilt. Pin these 2 point together and then pin each way to the end. Sew these two strips to each side of the quilt. Now do the top and bottom in the same manner. For the larger border do the same measurements and cut the borders 3 1é2`wide.

Once your borders are on, you can add your batting and quilt backing. For quilting, I quilt on each side of the center strip. Then I add a 2 `` quilted square to the center where the 4 blocks join. Then I outline the inside border and do some meander on the outside border and it is complete.

Hope you are enjoying making your blocks, it is so exciting to get them laid out to see the design they make. This quilt, I added a 2 inch striped strip to each side of the center strip. I have seen this done several times and thought it gave a new dimension to the quil