Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Scrappy String Block Tutorial!!

Hello there quilty friends!
I just know that ya'll have
 leftover fabric strips. 
Am I right?!

 They are just waiting to become
 super cute Scrappy String Blocks...
so I'm going to show you how I make them!

I love creating wonderfully 
scrappy blocks and quilts from my stash.
As a girl...
I learned from my grandma 
and her sisters(my great aunts) 
lots of good ways to use up
 bits of leftover fabrics... 
and making string quilts 
were one of those ways!

I've done several scrappy blog posts and tutorials over the years.

All about how I buy fabric...
store and organize my leftovers...
 and more importantly...
how I actually USE my scrappy stash.

I have it ALL documented in
 step by step detail inside the
 "Tips and Organizing" 
section of my 

It's important to be organized 
with our quilty stash 
because then we know what we have...
where it is... and can easily get to it 
and make scrappy happy projects:)


Here are 16 of my 
Scrappy String Blocks 
on the design wall.
I will be making many more 
for this quilt...
  not sure exactly how many yet.

These blocks are not sewn together...
and this is only one possible way 
to set them together.
Although over the years 
I have made a total of
 3 string quilts and have set
 all of them this way.

1. Super easy to make.
2. Use leftover fabric strips.
3. Scrappy Happy:)
4. Addicting.
5. Super cute!

Let's get started:)

The first thing that you need to make my
 Scrappy String Blocks: 

 for the foundation.

Cut -  9" x 9" squares...
ONE for each block.

Each package will make 24 blocks:)

For this block I started with a 
2 1/2" wide strip 
that I grabbed from my 
2 1/2" scrappy strips basket.

I lay it face up on top of the
 interfacing on the diagonal like this.

Make sure to center it.
I cut off what's leftover from the
 strip end and put it back 
into my basket to use another time:)

Pin it onto the interfacing like this.

Grab a 1 1/2" wide strip 
(or however wide you want) 
and lay it onto the right side 
of the center strip...
 with the edges aligned like this.

Each end of each and every strip 
should be about 1/4" longer 
than the interfacing.
Trim off the bottom end before sewing:)

Sew the strips together going
 through the interfacing too:) 
Remove the 3 pins - 
(I only pin the center "starter" strip)
and add a strip to the 
other side in the same way.

Press those seams towards the 
outside strips and continue adding 
a strip onto each side....
trimming the ends and placing them 
back into their baskets.
(if you like to stay organized lol)

I use the edge of my presser foot 
as a seam allowance guide.
This presser foot is wider than
 1/4" so that is how wide my
 seam allowances are.

Continue adding new "string strips"...

And to press each "string" away 
from the center as you go along.

Keep adding strings 
alternately onto both sides:)

When I get to the end I like to 
grab my leftover squares basket
 and add a square to the corners. 
This one is a 2 1/2" square.

Make sure that your square measures
 at least 1/4" longer than the 
interfacing on both top and bottom.

Another 2 1/2" square for the other side.

Test which size square
 to use by folding it over
 before sewing to make sure it will 
cover the last of the interfacing.

All of my strings are
 sewn for this block...
I use mostly 1 1/2" wide fabric strips
 for my blocks because I have 
a lot of them right now 
and I need to use them up!

This is what the back of my block looks like after sewing but before trimming.

Grab an 8 1/2" square Trim-It Ruler...

and center it onto the
 back of your block.
Make sure there is interfacing
 sticking out beyond all four sides
 of the ruler before trimming.

The ruler and a sharp rotary cutter
 make this step 
fast...easy... and accurate!

FUN and DONE!!!

Aren't they just the cutest?
They make me SEW HAPPY:)

Super Stacked Scrappy Strings!
Say that fast 3 times lol:)

Just in case you are wondering...
I leave the interfacing in.
It adds some stability and body
 to your quilt and because the 
interfacing is thin...
It is not too bulky at all.

Some of my blocks have a 
3 1/2" starter strip 
down the center and 
3 1/2" squares on the corners.

These are more blocks with 
2 1/2" strips down the center.

Some I have made with 
all 1 1/2" strips 
and various sized squares 
for the corners.

I think it makes 
the quilt more interesting 
to vary the width sizes...
and also allows you to use up 
lots of your scrappy stash:)

I hope you've had fun with my latest 
"Scrappy Happy Tutorial"
Stay tuned for more!!


Little Quiltsong said...

Never thought to use the Sew-In Stabilizer for the back of String Blocks - what a great idea. I need to make another one using your method now :)!

Rosa said...

Great tutorial and beautiful fabric combo.Thansks!

Rosemary B❤️ said...

Dear Lori, you are such a doll and really an inspiration to me.
I do indeed have a lot of scraps. I do need to organize my scraps, or at least gather them all together.
This block is really great. Thank you for sharing all of your inspiration.❤️

Mom of Three Quilter said...

Wow! What a gorgeous quilt this will make! And yet to make a couple of squares would be quick for times when hours in the sewing room is not possible! I love it! Thank you for sharing!

CheriC said...

So pretty and neat! Now I have to gather my scraps and make this! I like the interfacing better than telephone book pages.
Love your designs!

Lynda Adair said...

Thank you for posting this tutorial. The back stablizer is the trick to making this block lay neat. I have tried paper, and was not to successful with the finished block. This is a good project to start if time allows only to make a block or two in short sewing intervals. Love the scrappy look it gives!

maggie said...

Dear Lori,
I love doing string blocks and Have been doing them just as you have shown for a long time. I find it so relaxing, especially after finishing up a more intricate pattern. Sometimes I want to just sit and sew without much thinking involved.lol but Since I love scrap quilts these are so much fun to make
Thanks for sharing yours, Your fabrics are so pretty.

Tanya Quilts in CO said...

Great tutorial! I have never made string blocks, but you sure are tempting me to try them.

lovetostitch said...

Thanks, Lori! I've got to get started!! I've always used the papers or fabric that I don't love any more as a base, I've never thought to use the sew in and like that idea so much better!!

corners of my life said...

Oh my this is so fun and charming as well.

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