Today, it’s all about string piecing. Why do we love string piecing? These projects are often stash-busters, they allow quilters to express their creativity in a personal way, and they have a unique look to them that is unmatched by any other quilt design. Marianne Fons’ quilt, Rock Island Campfires (pictured above), for instance, is unlike any other. She chose the amount of fabrics that were right for her and pieced away!
There are several different techniques for string piecing your quilts. Let’s take a look at the technique that uses foundation paper to put these string pieced blocks together and then we’ll talk about string piecing resources that are quite fun and extremely helpful. But, first, the Sew Easy: String Piecing on Foundation Paper tutorial shows you how to use strips of any width to create your string-pieced quilts. As we say, the more the merrier!
Below are 6 easy steps (including tips from Marianne) that will provide you with the information you need to make successful string-pieced quilts…
- Place 1 strip, right side up from corner to corner, atop 1 paper foundation square (Photo A).
SEW SMART™ TIP: Use a dab of glue from glue stick to hold first strip in place. ~Marianne
- Place second strip over first strip, with right sides facing, aligning one long edge; pin. Stitch with ¼” seam allowance (Photo B).
SEW SMART™ TIP: Shorten stitch length when piecing on paper foundation. ~Marianne
- Press open to reveal second strip (Photo C).
- Repeat this sew-and-flip process, ending with squares or rectangles in opposite corners until the foundation square is covered (Photo D).
- Trim squares to desired size (Photo E). Trim squares for Rock Island Campfires to 4½”.
- Remove paper.
Simple, right? String piecing is so much fun and quilts with string-pieced quilt blocks have a signature look. In Ruby’s Garden (our latest block of the month quilt), a string-pieced star really makes a statement in the overall design, but blends in beautifully with this queen-/king-size quilt. This block of the month quilt starts shipping in October, so you’ll want to take a closer look at this project (video tutorial included), to see what you think!
Remember how I talked about string piecing resources earlier? Apart from Ruby’s Garden, I suggest you check out the following for a true string piecing bonanza: String Me Along by Dodi Poulsen, Kin Coterie by AnneMarie Chany, and Katie’s String Star by Katie Porter. If you’re looking for FREE quilt patterns (who isn’t?), you’ll find three free string quilt patterns available as an instant download.
For more quilting video tutorials, check out the free quilting videos on our website and this great longarm quilting series, Quilt It!, brought to you by Handi Quilter, Fabri-Quilt, and Hobbs Binded Fibers. They’re incredibly helpful when you’re looking for guidance.