a string quilt block tutorial – paper pieced method

I’m so blown away by all the wonderful comments on my string quilt, now aptly named ‘Kaleidoscope’ (many thanks to Kerri who was the first to suggest it, followed by 9 others of you who had the same thought!) I think it’s just perfect.

And now, a quick tutorial – I had a few requests for a tutorial on making this type of quilt, so I figured I’d oblige (it’s the least I can do, right?). This shows the paper piecing method, which is my preferred method.

To start, you’ll want to decide on the size of your blocks. For the Kaleidoscope quilt, my blocks were 11″ square. In this tutorial, I’m using 7″ square blocks. I use cheap copy paper, but you could use anything you have on hand – I’ve heard pages from phone books work! – just as long as it’s not a heavyweight paper.

Cut squares of your desired size from the copy paper and set aside.

Decide on your fabrics and cut strips of a variety of widths. I cut strips of 1″ – 2.5″. I like the way it looks with a variety of widths, but you could also cut strips all the same width if you’d prefer. Set these aside.


I wanted to have a small strip of white separate the squares in my quilt, so I cut 1″ strips of a solid white fabric. You could opt for any other solid color – I used green in this baby quilt, or you could use one patterned fabric to tie everything together, or you could skip it completely.

Next we’ll temporarily attach the white strips to the paper squares. With the fabric right side up, lay the strip diagonally on the block. I use a little glue from a glue stick to dab on the back of the fabric strip so it will stick to the paper. You want to make sure that each strip is centered on the diagonal so that your strips will line up with you sew the blocks together. I eyeball mine (’cause I’m lazy!) but you may want to use a ruler and draw a pencil line through the diagonal to help with placement.


Now you can start sewing on your fabric strips! The first strip should be long enough to cover the section of paper right next to the piece glued on the diagonal. You’ll lay your first strip right side down on top of the strip glued to the block.


(please ignore my wrinkly fabric! I’m not much for ironing!)

Align the edges and sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Very important: be sure to reduce your stitch length! This will allow you to easily remove the paper from the back later. My machine is typically set at 2.5 – I’ve found that reducing it to 1.5 works well.


Sew along this edge (right through the paper), then iron open with a dry iron. (some may want to skip the ironing, and just finger press – that’s up to you).


Repeat this process, aligning another strip to the strip you just attached, again, right sides together.


Iron open and repeat until you’ve covered the entire paper square. It will look something like this.


Now you can flip the square over so you can see the paper square on the back. Using your clear ruler and rotary cutter, trim the excess fabric, using the paper square as a guide.


And now you’ve completed your first block! I leave the paper on my blocks until I have them all completed.


Repeat for all your paper squares. Then you can arrange them as you like –


When you have your blocks completed, you’ll want to remove the paper from the back. If you’ve reduced the stitch length, the paper should appear almost perferated. I fold the paper along the stitch line and then tear away.

Sew your blocks together and admire your lovely quilt top!



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360 Responses to a string quilt block tutorial – paper pieced method

  1. 1
    Mal* says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! Bookmarky bookmarky. I really think that white stripe in the middle is what makes your quilt great. I mentioned before that I tend to not like string quilts but your Kaleidoscope is just gorgeous.

  2. 40
    Kristy says:

    Love your color combinations. What a great tutorial! I wondered how paper piecing was done. Thanks =)

  3. 41

    I agree with Mal. The white stripe is like the whipped cream on top of the banana split–perfect. Thanks for the tutorial.

  4. 42
    Holly says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial, I never understood what the point of the paper piecing was. It really makes everything line up I see. I really want to give this a try! Your Kaleidoscope quilt is just lovely, like all your wonderful quilts! Did you ever think about starting your own Etsy shop?! You’re amazing handmades would be a sure hit! =D

  5. 43
    Sue says:

    Thanks for the tutotial, I’ve heard of using muslin on the back, like this better. Love your work!

    • 44
      Lois says:

      Did this as charity quilt and used any ugly fafbric instead of paper and then did not put batting in when finishing them. Was told the original used newspaper and it was left in for insulation.

    • 46
      Susan says:

      I washed up some old white sheets I found at the Thrift Store and used them as backing then I didn’t have to deal with paper afterwards, but either works great. I make these whenever I get too many scraps, I cant stand to throw out any left overs from projects.

    • 47
      Betty. Knoll says:

      I use old sheets for the foundation. I cut the sheets in 10 1/2″ squares. That way the bias edges don’t stretch out of shape because the sheet is cut on the straight of grain. Then you turn the blocks face down, and trim with a 101/2″ ruler again. That makes every thing square. Fun to make.

  6. 48
  7. 54
    heather says:

    Thanks for that!! Great job. I think I’m going to give this a try!:)

  8. 55
    Jenny says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! I have looked at every tutorial I could find and paper piecing never clicked until yours. Great pictures, too, as usual 🙂 And Kaleidoscope couldn’t be a more perfect name!

  9. 56
    Leslie says:

    Thanks so much for the tutorial! I can’t wait to try it.

  10. 57
    Rachel says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I was wondering why people use this method. I need all the help I can get lining things up!

  11. 58
    Ann-Marie says:

    oh yeah!!!
    I love alllllllll your quilts, and this one is beyond cool!
    thanks for posting this!!

  12. 59
    aimee says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I couldn’t work out how you perfectly centered the white… I love your quilt – beautiful!!!

  13. 60
    willy-nilly says:

    Wondering about the white too? Amazing quilt and another to add to the list.

  14. 61

    Thanx for this. I’m thinking I might actually make one of these because it’s kinda mindless sewing. And I loved reading your directions…I think we’re similar “relaxed” quilters. 🙂

  15. 62
    Whitney says:

    I was surprised to find myself reading this intently like I might actually do it…and now I’m surprised to be admitting this to you! Impressed that you may have converted me? Well, you should be.

  16. 63
    Sara says:

    Oh thank you! I’ve been sitting here for days wondering, how did she do that?

    And now I know! Thanks again!!

  17. 64
    Beth says:

    I was also curious to know how you made something so beautiful – thanks for sharing your technique. Your directions are so clear and straightforward. I may have to give something like this a try. I also really like the idea of sewing with paper!

  18. 65
    Sonja says:

    Thank you soooo much for your tuto!!!

  19. 66
    Casey says:

    thank you for the tutorial!!

  20. 67
    Leigh says:

    beautiful! And it makes so much sense! I KNEW I was saving my scraps from some good reason…

  21. 68
    hannita says:

    Can I just say that I have read about 5 tutorials on how to do this and this is the very first time it made any sense? Thanks for that!

  22. 69
    Kate Dixon says:

    Thank you for the tutorial. Your blocks love gorgeous, they colourswork perfectly together.

  23. 70
    Rachel says:

    I like this one, very pretty! I’m all about cramming as many different fabrics in as I can, I can never discriminate! I’ll be linking.

  24. 71
    Ellen says:

    Thank you Thank you! An easy tutorial for a great scrap user!

  25. 72
    Allison says:

    Thank you for the tutorial, I love love love this quilt. Its on my quilting to do list next. 🙂

  26. 73
    AntipodeanJulie says:

    I love paper piecing and do most of my patching / quilt tops this way.

    I also love reading all the different ways people use it and explain it.

    One thing I’ve always found useful not matter which pattern is to use a bigger size needle in the sewing machine. It makes the paper holes bigger, increasing the perforations and gives more wriggle room, letting the papers be removed easier (and therefore not putting the stitches under any stress). I think I read it years ago in a magazine (way before all these blogs!) tried it and found it worked!!

    I love your white strip and am eager to go sew together a jelly roll incorporating the dividing stripe now. Thank!!

  27. 74
    Kelly says:

    Thank you for the tutorial!!
    I can’t wait to try this out, when i have enough scraps that is!

  28. 75
    Sophia says:

    This is wonderful quilt! Thank you for the tutorial!!!

  29. 76
    elektra says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I’ll try this method this evening. Your Kaleidoscope quilt looks so modern and fresh – just great!

  30. 77
    Zarah says:

    Stupid question… what is the benefit of paper piecing vs. just sewing the strips together?

    • 78
      admin says:

      The paper piecing provides a foundation and can help stabilize fabrics. I find it helpful because there’s no need to measure your strips – you already know the area you need to cover. It also allows for more precision, especially if you’re creating a quilt similar to the one I’ve shown that has one constant color running through it – by using the paper, you know exactly where the fabric needs to end up. That being said, it certainly is possible to just sew the strips together… I happen to really like the paper piecing though!

  31. 80
    Jackie says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I think I see a string baby quilt in my future.

  32. 81
    vanessa says:

    muito lindoooooo

  33. 82
    Jenna Z says:

    When I strip quilt, I use muslin squares instead of paper. No paper to tediously rip off and you get the same stability and helpful strip placement guide. 🙂

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  35. 91
    joanie says:

    This is beautiful, so inspiring. Apart from the central white strip, it looks like there’s no need to be particular about which fabrics you use, just throw them together – I love that!

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  37. 93
    amandajean says:

    thanks for the tutorial! i’m hoping to start one of these today!

  38. 94
    Kerry says:

    What a great way to use up scraps! Thanks for the tutorial.

  39. 95

    The quilt is beautiful, and this paper piecing technique looks like a lot of fun! I am thinking this will be my next quilt, thanks so much for the tutorial! I just recently found your blog, I am really enjoying it : D

  40. 96
    Whitney says:

    Love it!! I started my first quilt when I was in my early teens and it was a paper pieced string quilt…now I’m 22 and still have yet to bind it…need to get on that. Your photos are beautiful and inspired me to dig out my old quilt and finish it 🙂

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  42. 98
    Erin says:

    Thank you for the tutorial! I’m going to make one.

  43. 99
    delaneysduds says:

    so cool! I will definitely use this method!

  44. Pingback: Unveiling.. « Thursday Rendezvous

  45. 100

    Thanks so much for this tutorial — I used it for a very small project to test it out because I wanted to so quickly!
    Blogged: http://thursdayrendezvous.wordpress.com/2009/05/09/unveiling/


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  47. 101
    Susan says:

    Love it, and I had to try it. I’m so pleased with your tutorial, and I’m happy with how my pillow turned out! Thanks!

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  49. 102
    Sandy says:

    Nice tutorial. Although I have to admit I would never use paper …. it’s so ugh to remove and can cause the block to get wonky. You can sprits the paper, wait a minute and then remove. I just use thin fabric … I’ve made a ton of string quilts. Love your blog … I want to give the bento idea a try. Thanks.

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  51. 103
    jackie says:

    Hi I used pages from an old telephone book, very thin and easy to remove, fun quilt, great results without hard thinking about color! thanks

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  53. 105
    Pat says:

    Hi All, I love making these string-quilt blocks-sometimes they are called “sew & flip” blocks. I have made quite a few quilts this way–I use squares of bleached or unbleached muslin to sew the strips onto. that way I don’t have to remove anything, and it works well for me. It also gives a little more support so I can use a thinner batting. thank you very much for all your sites, I love learning new ways to do things.

  54. 106

    Hi There! I just wanted to say I love this quilt! I’m currently working on it (as my first quilt ever!) I linked back to this post on my blog (thedabblingcrafter.blogspot.com). Keep up the beautiful quilts!

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  56. 107

    Paper piecing never made sense to me in any of the tuts I’ve read. I thought it was a waste of time and something I’d never want to do.

    HOWEVER – this tutorial changed my mind forever! I love the idea of knowing exactly where to cut your strips off on the back and the easy way you explained this. I cannot wait to go try it out! Thanks for the inspiration and the simple illustrations. 🙂

  57. 108
    Rachel says:

    Hi Ashley,
    I am using your tutorial to make a string quilt. It is so easy! Thanks for the great instructions. I posted the first few blocks on my blog.

  58. 109
    Alicia says:

    Thank you for the tutorial! I saw your Kaleidiscope quilt and instantly fell in love with it. I started making one last night and will let you know when I finish it. Thanks for sharing your expertise!

  59. Pingback: The QuiltWoman.com Blog » Blog Archive » A String Quilt

  60. 110
    HeatherL says:

    Thanks so much for the fantastic tute! I wanted to try paper piecing for a complex project but thought I’d never find a good explanation. The other projects I’ve found online have been strange animal shapes I am quite sure I’ll never do….this is fun, purposeful, and creates a beautiful result!

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  62. 111
    Sharon Young says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! Now that I have actually seen how to do it, I can’t wait to work on my stash! Seeing it in pictures makes paper piecing seem much easier to do than I thought!

  63. 112
    Julie says:

    Bookmarked! Thanks for the tutorial. I am going to start on mine today.

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  65. 113
    Deb in AZ says:

    My niece sent me one of those page a day calendars for C-mas. I’ve been saving each page as it is torn off daily. Now I know what to do with all the pages- use them for a string quilt foundation! Each page is about 6″ square, perfect size for my shorter scraps. With 365 pages there will be a couple nice large throw string quilts in the future! (One for my niece too).
    Thanks for the tut!

  66. 114
    Leanne says:

    Thanks for that I have not visited you before but love the quilt. Thanks for sharing.

  67. 115
    Betty says:

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I’m almost finished with my first baby sized one and I love the pretty design! I’m using muslin instead of paper. It’s adding a nice weight to the cotton fabrics. I live in a hot climate so I always just use flannel on the backs of my quilts and no batting. The muslin is giving it just that extra weight that it needs. Thanks very much for these easy to follow instructions!

  68. 116
    deb says:

    When I first started quilting -27 years ago- we called this pattern “brain dead” quilting because it could be worked on those evening when life was so challenging that you couldn’t think – you were mentally brain dead.

    It’s a great ongoing project.. and one of my favorite string quilts.

    Putting this one in my list for a future BlogHer post.

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  70. 117
    Kristi says:

    Your Kaleidoscope quilt is one of my favorite quilts ever–I love how the thin strips of white make the colors pop. Thanks for the fab tutorial. I can’t wait to try it!

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  74. 118
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  78. 119
    Gail says:

    My bee group’s 2010 block exchange is a string block, which is a new technique for some. May I please print and distribute your excellent tutorial for our bee members?

  79. 120
    christine says:

    oh my… thanks for this. you just made a beginners day.

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  81. 121
    Anita says:

    I am beginner and have not made a quilt yet but did make an “Ohio Star” block. I would like to try this but have a question. What about frayed edges? Are the strips turned under?

  82. 122
    elisa hernandez says:

    Wow, thanks so much for walking me through this. I will be trying this with my mom…were going to have a great time.

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  84. 123
    Katie Trott says:

    love this! I was wondering why there was a white scrap of fabric down the middle – now that it’s finished, I see! I’m guessing that this is the “rope” part. I just love finding a way to use my scraps 😀

  85. Pingback: an Anna Maria Horner string quilt, in voile – Film in the Fridge

  86. 124
    Meg says:

    Ashley, I know I’m late to the party on these, but I finally tried out a few of these for a mini swap this month. Oh gosh, these are addictive!!! And is it just me, or do strings seem to multiply instead of decrease, the more of these blocks you make?

  87. 125
    Mallory says:

    These are beautiful – thank you so much for sharing this tutorial!

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  90. 126
    maureen wynne says:

    I just love this technique. Have made several using scraps of fabric given to me by others and also my own. After showing my friends what I made I don’t think they will be handing me their scraps anymore. I also used a black and a cream side by side in the centre. this gives a lovely double diamond, light and dark effect when finished. I love it.

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  94. 127
    Minette says:

    Thanks , this is a great tutorial!

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  96. 128
    Ladypennyjane says:

    I made a quilt as you go reversible string quilt, where instead of piecing onto paper you cut squares of batting instead and sewed strips on both sides at the same time, which had the same effect but you have to be careful with the colour choices as double sided these babies can be a bit much!

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  104. 129
    Shara says:

    I have been saving my left over strips and bits for a while, now I have a great pattern to use them on thanks to your tutorial! I plan on whipping up some of these quilts for my nieces and newphews for Christmas this year!

    • 130
      Louise B says:

      I do not use paper, I feel its a waste of time and effort but I use “Muslin material” use quilt as you go method, it holds real well and easy to handle, I made covers for my car seats to protect them, you can also use your Selvage pieces along with small pieces of material, actually is very interesting to see the writings or numbers from the selvage pieces.

  105. 131
    Linda says:

    Thank you for your very clear Tutorial. I have just completed a String Quilt, following your instructions but using squares cut from an old white cotton nightie and pillowcase for the base. Thrilled with the result which you can find on Flickr under Koshka2.

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  111. 133
    Kristin says:

    My daughter has been requesting, bugging really, that i teach her to quilt. We started with your tutorial. While she ended up getting tired after 4 blocks, we came up with a creative solution, her school bag. Check out her tote here. http://thecraftyquilter.blogspot.com/2010_08_01_archive.html#8103312914287884292
    Thanks for your inspiration!

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  115. 134

    Hi, I love making these, they ARE so addictive, mindless fun stitching.

    Since I hate tearing out paper I’ve now been using a really inexpensive muslin or even an ugly/thin fabric that snuck into my stash (but on the wrong side so colors don’t show thru) as the foundation for the strings. It makes for a nice soft yet secure base for the strings.

    Love your tutorial, keep em coming.

    warm quilt hugs, sue in CA

  116. 136
    Ellen Hurd says:

    Love this! Thank you!

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  118. 137
    Molly says:

    I love how easy this looks.. I mean, not incredibly easy like a four piece block quilt.. but pretty simple! And the finished product is so intricate. Can’t wait to try with all my leftover pieces. Kudos for such a great idea.

    Antique Jewelry

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  125. 138

    Thank you for sharing this – I have just started on my own bedspread.

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  127. 139
    Elise Klink says:

    Thanks-I realize now I had no clue what paper piecing was before! This makes so much more sense than what I saw in my head! 🙂

  128. 140
    Elizabeth says:

    I love string piecing quilts.It is a wonderful way to use up scrap strips and pieces of fabric.I found using leftover squares of cotton flannelette, or even light colored cottons as a base for the string pieces worked out even better than paper, because you have an “instant” battin for a summer weight or decorative quilt, or if making a quilt for warmth, you only have to add a really thin batting or another layer of flannelette as a batting.

  129. 141
    Vivian says:

    How do you quilt these when you sew the squares together??? I love to hand quilt.

  130. 142
    camila says:

    It’s a wonderful quilt, but it takes a lot of time and effort, hope it looks as good as yours, or at least good, hahaha, thanks for the tutorial

  131. 143
    Joan says:

    I am new to quilting and I am doing this one. Love the idea of the white in the center. Thanks so much for your information.

  132. 144
    Geraldine says:

    Thank you so much for this turorial, I am going to try in so I can start to use up my never ending mound of scraps.

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  136. 145
    Zuhal says:

    Wonderful tutorial, thank you so much for it! I tried it and made 7 blocks, just to see that it is indeed very important to have a plaincolored centre.

    But I will use the blocks for potholders, so it was not for nothing.

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  138. 146
    Amy says:

    Alert! You’ve been blogged 🙂 Ran across your blog when I was writing a little post on string quilts, so I included a link to your tutorial. Hope you don’t mind. Happy quilting!

  139. 147
    julie ong says:

    Hi, I’ve been looking thro your blog almost everyday since I discover it bout 2 weeks agovvand I just can’t help it! I just love it. Your blog is simply wonderful. I love patchwork and quilts. I got alot of fabulous tips from your blog. Thank you so much BRAVO for the good job done!

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  141. 148

    Thank you so much for this tutorial, the end result is beautiful. I really love all of your work and your giraffe rattles has to be my favorite. I will have to try out a lot of your tutorials soon.

  142. 149
    Kristin says:

    THANK YOU for this tutorial! I just recieved 5 garbage bags of quilt cotton and scraps on Freecycle and wasn’t sure how to use them all now that I’ve sorted them. THIS is what I will be doing with them for sure! LOVE IT! Thank you for sharing!

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  144. 150
    Tonya says:

    Thank you for this lovely tutorial! I have spent an hour or so on your blog this morning after finding it on stumbleupon! I will definitely be back. You make such beautiful quilts! I’ve done paper piecing in the past but didn’t think about shortening the stitch length…genius!

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  146. 151
    Kim H says:

    I absolutely LOVE this tutorial. It’s going to the top of my list of things to try. Thanks!

  147. 152
    Rita says:

    You are amazing. All of your pieces are so inspiring!! When I found the string quilt tutorial I rushed to my room & pulled all scraps & started cutting. What fun & so quick! I love your colors!
    Thanks for your blog…..I enjoy all of it!

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  150. 153
    Allison says:

    Thanks for posting this tutorial. I have seen many quilting tutorials in recent weeks and they all seem really complex as the instructions are really wordy but this has to be the most simple one to follow that I’ve seen! I am in the mood for having a go at this now!

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  154. 155
    Cindy Nelson says:

    I so like your photography, quilts, tutorials and would love to have that pile of scraps…

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  157. 156
    Jackie says:

    I’d love to win, I’m looking through books/magazines trying to decide what my next quilt project will be.

  158. 157
    Lindsey says:

    AWESOME tutorial!! I did a block while my kids were still asleep this morning (so nice and quiet) and it came out perfectly! Thank you so much!

  159. 158
    Fran says:

    Wonderful string quilt tutorial…the way you lay down the white strip makes the block so special….I also like the idea that you cut strips and not just sew down any random piece of fabric like I have seen on another site! Your design beats out the best!

  160. 159
    Kit says:

    I’m about to begin my first string quilt project. I love your quilts and this tute, but I have a question: do you always use the paper pieced method for your string quilts? – and – do you have any problems with the exactness of your squares after you’ve removed the paper foundation? I know it was two questions! Thanks.

  161. 160
    Lournetta says:

    Oh this is wonderful. I love how the mixed materials come together in this block. I need to make a baby quilt. My nephew is having his first child this summer and this is perfect. Especially since they want to wait to know the sex of the child.
    Thanks for the tutorial

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  163. 161
    Diane says:

    I love the quilt and started cutting my papers. Before I start sewing I have 2 questions:

    -when you press the seams, do you alternate (out & then in)?
    -I am assuming only the center whites line up

    As you can tell I’m a noivce.

    Thanks, diane

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  167. 163
    Sylvia says:

    Using paper is a great idea for the backing. A great place to pick up paper is at your doctors office. When you leave the exam room the nurse usuallly tears off the paper covering the exam table and throws it out. Do her the favor and tear it of your self, fold it up and take it with you. Most times it is not soiled. I told the nurse and she thought it was great. Its not going into the land fill, at least not b4 its used for something else. Can’t wait to use up the many boxes of scraps I have. Thanks.

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  173. 164

    This is the best website I found for string Quilt. Now if I could just watch it being made. Thank you so much.

  174. 165
    gail says:

    I never knew until I read this what paper piecing was and I didn’t think it would apply to a new quilter like me — thanks for giving me an education!

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  179. 166

    HI Ashley, I have decided to use your wonderful scrappy tutorial for my December Quilting Sew along, for the Justice and Liberty flicker group, the quilt will be donated to the charity for military families. I love this fun funky block and have enjoyed the flicker group too. I have directed everyone to your tutorial blog. Thank you again.

  180. 167
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  183. 168
    mary cyrus says:

    Nice tute. I just wanted to say that after I use my gain dryer sheets, I save them and use them instead of paper for strip quilt blocks.

  184. 169

    Thank you so much for all your fantastic inspiration.
    This tutorial is brilliant.
    I just wondered if I could make a similar block but using a selvedge either side of the central strip, followed by more strings. Would that work?

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  186. 170
    Judijo says:

    I have never tried quilting before (beyond a hotpad) but I have at least 15 sheets of paper at work that just get thrown in a shredder. I began cutting away the 2.5 inches of “personal information” and taking them home and sewing strips of scrap on them. Then I started buying remnants. THEN I started buying custom “remnants” on Ebay. Now I am an addict. LOL

    There is NO rhyme nor reason to the size nor the angle of the strips, as long as they attach and remain a square when I tear away the paper. I have about 60 squares done. 45-50 more to go. It will end up being a “Senior” quilt for my daughter to take with her to college. (my son got a knitted afghan…this is MUCH easier, so far.)

    Thanks for the inspiration.

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  190. 171
    mickey says:

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. I have looked everywhere for nearly 13 years for a easy to understand tutorial (my mother was teaching me this when she passed away and I couldn’t for the life of me remember how she showed me to do it) So again, thank you very much~

  191. 172
    jen nock says:

    This is so informative, thank you. I’m going to have a group start a string quilt for Quilt of Valor, we are just starting, we will have to buy fabric. In all instructions that I’ve checked out scraps are being used, but I want to make sure we have enough fabric. If we do a 64″ by 96″ about how many yards do you think it would take with 1 1/2″ to 3″ strips
    how do I figure this out with all those seams ??

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  196. 173
    Yesha McKenzie says:

    If instead of paper you use a square of backing fabric topped with a square of batting and sew the strips onto this, the same easy method is used but it becomes a “quilt-as-you-go” square. All that is left to be done is the joining of the finished squares!

  197. Pingback: A String Quilt in the Making, Part 3 (Coming Together) | Stitches and Sweets

  198. 174
    Carrie says:

    Yay! A project for my scraps… psych! I HAD to feature this on my blog at http://whittskitsfabricscrafts.blogspot.com/2013/03/find-it-for-free-on-friday-5-free-quilt.html and can’t wait to try it!!

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  200. 175
    Suzi says:

    Try using used fabric sheets for your base —— not only do they hold up well washing after washing but they also add the bonus of a soft fragrance. Press each sheet and either use them as rectangles (I do) or cut them into measured squares. You’ll be amazed and totally hooked. Thanks so much for the tute ….. clear and concise!

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  202. 176
    Lindielee says:

    Love the thin lattes strips on this quilt. Is there a tutorial for that? Is it Quilt as you go method?

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  204. 177
    Darlene Lehman says:

    I am amazed!! Thank you for the tips. I have shied away from quilting recently because of all the fine-finger work and stitching involved; this sounds do-able!!

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  210. 178
    Janice says:

    What sort of paper do you suggest to used in strip patchwork quilting?

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  217. 180
    Reba Bever says:

    i noticed this on Pinterest. its very similar to what i do (but i never thought of consistent center). the only difference is i use material instead of paper therefore eliminating tearing away because it becomes part of the quilt. an old threadbare sheet or scraps that i cute into the size blocks i want work great.

    • 181
      Paula says:

      That is a great idea. Especially if your quilt will be used as a wall hanging, and not for warmth. And if you do need to use it for warmth, what a nice heavy quilt you’ll end up with a nice heavy quilt. Do you ever have trouble with bulky seams doing it that way?

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  219. 182
    Mary Pitman says:

    I have a quilt made this way that a little lady gave me to quilt. She had made the top. It is one of my greatest tresures. Just love the way it looks, with the strip in middle, made it look so neat. I wondered how it was done.

  220. 183
    Barbara says:

    I would very much like to make your Ruby Strings quilt but I’m not able to understand how the pdf chart works. I know how to make string blocks, and I’ve read your instructions over and over and I’m unable to relate them to the chart. Can you unstick me, give me an interpretation of the blocks on the chart? Thanks a bunch.

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  223. 184
    Elena Boen says:

    My grandma does this, except she uses phone book paper, which is much easier to rip after the block is done!

  224. 186
    Kathy Fraser says:

    I have been waiting for a tut that I could use all my small pieces with. Thank you so much.

  225. 187
    Ivy says:

    Otima explicação. Bem didática e esclarecedora!!!Obrigada

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  229. 188
    Meg says:

    Thank you so much! One month before she left for college, my daughter asked me to make a quilt that she could take with her that would fit her XL Twin bed. I was able to put this together and quilt it in 2 1/2 weeks! It looks great. The white edges on the squares is very distinctive.

    I like it so much, I’m planning to make a quilt for our house/dog sitter that will include some of the novelty fabrics featuring dogs and cats – along with colorful fabrics from my stash. Great gift. Thanks so much for sharing this quilt.

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  237. 189
    Marie says:

    What a great idea! We’re getting together a bit of a charity quilting bee to support ‘Siblings Together’ and I think this method would suit it perfectly (enabling people with little experience to get involved) I’ll definitely be linking back to this 🙂

  238. 190
    Connie says:

    What size are the finished blocks for these potholders? They are so cute! I can’t wait to start! Thank you so much for sharing! Connie

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  241. 193
    Darlene says:

    Would it work out if you used lightweight interfacing and left it on? I think for a wall quilt that would be perfect. For a quilt that would be washed regularly it should still be okay. What do you think?

  242. 194
    Wilma Pike says:

    I love the tutorial. I have all 100 squares sewn. I used tracing paper from the art department at Hobby Lobby, on sale so it only cost 2.49 for 40 sheets and then I used a paper cutter and cut mine to 9X9 square. Now I need to make sure that the way you connect them is just sew a 1/4 inch seam to attach them together?

    • 195
      Marilyn Hargreaves says:

      Hi Wilma

      Would you know how much yardage is required to make this quilt please?

      I would like to make a twin/lap size, and have lots of Fat Quarters and scraps I would like to use. However, I want to be sure I have enough fabric. Thanks.


  243. 196
    Diane Maloney says:

    I Just Love the clear directions on the tutorial, However I just printed it and unfortunately
    all of the comments/replies came along with it. Is there any way for future printing to just get the tutorial ????

  244. 199
    Prudy Court says:

    i am making these blocks but using batting as a foundation so my squares are already quilted. Found the method in a YouTube tutorial.

  245. 200
    Arlene says:

    I did this once and fell in love with it. I would like to make placemats for my daughter’s new log cabin and I can see how to do it but what could I use to make them a little firm and would be washable. I appreciate your help. As soon as I saw your tute it all came back! I would like to make them for Thanksgiving. Thanks!!!

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  247. 201
    Loral says:

    I made a comment but I don’t think it went through. My mother made many many quilts this way only she used soft used fabric for the backing-like old sheets etc. Iv’e made several, using various sized strips and shapes.

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  249. 202
    Donna says:

    This technique is ages old. My Great Aunt taught it to me in the 60’s. She said it was how she learned. I love it, makes the prettiest scrap quilts. I am glad it is coming back in fashion.

  250. 203
    Yoka says:

    Love your quilt The Tiny white strip is awesome. I made my first one with a 2 inch strip but like tours much better. Will make one again i Am in love with scrap quilts. My 2 Westies love my OLD quilt iT was The first one i made in 1992. Thanks for showbink your beautiful quilt. Happy quilting. Yoka

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  252. 204
    Margie says:

    Paper piecing is nice but if you use fabric as your foundation, you won’t have to take the paper off of the back. Works very nice.

  253. 205
    Becky says:

    Bounty makes a paper towel that is 10″ x 10″. That’s what I use.

  254. 206
    Huckleberry says:

    This pattern has given me many free quilts. I work with the local church ladies to make quilts for the needy one day per week. There are often leftover scraps which would be thrown otherwise, but I take them home along with scraps of filler that I sew together for the batting. I can either place a backing of a plain sheet or another scrappy quilt cover on the other side.

  255. 207
    Jennie says:

    I do this but instead of paper or muslin I use batting. You can do it as a QAYG quilt, or quilt it when it’s done. I just cringe when I think about stitching thru paper.

  256. 208
    Peggy in Tulsa says:

    I learned this years ago and it was called a “typing paper quilt” I used to use cover sheets from our printer at work (this was back in the ’90s) I had trouble getting the paper to let go sometimes. doing the same on squares of fabric works well, too. I have also done it with triangle shapes.

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  258. 209
    Sally from Indiana says:

    I’m working on one right now with plaids which I collected for over a year. Will have sashing with 3 fabrics and a 9-patch cornerstone. It’s a pattern from a book that I adapted to fit the pre-cut paper that I’ve had for a long time. Will be very eye catching (IMHO) when finished! Thanks for your tutorial so I know that I’m not standing out in left field! LOL

  259. 210
    dakota scout says:

    you can get kitchen wax papers at sam’s club for minimal cost. I feel these don’t dull your needle as quickly as some papers might. 500 in a box so last a long, long time.

  260. 211
    Rita Silveira says:

    Thanks for sharing.God bless you.

  261. 212
    Nancy says:

    Why can’t you just sew the strings together? What purpose does the paper serve? I’ve never tried this.

    • 213
      Susan says:

      The paper helps you judge how long each strip needs to be. It is a great way to use up every tiny piece on the edges. Using a paper or muslim base also stabilizes the shape of each block. Without a base the strips can stretch sideways.

  262. 214
    Fay hager says:

    I made a quilt using this method about 30 years ago. Still using it

  263. 215
    Katie wong says:

    I guess all that is left to say I’d DITTO! I will try that for sure, thanks.

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  265. 217
    Susan says:

    String quilting is a great way to use up every bit of fabric while creating something really beautiful and unique. Thanks for introducing this technique to so many people!

  266. 218
    Linda K says:

    My grandmother taught me to quilt using this method. She used old newspaper or whatever old paper that was available to use as her foundation. This is a great way for beginners.

  267. 219
    Claudia says:

    I saved used dryer sheets…. Square them up, sew strips on them, and do not remove the dryer sheet. Makes sturdy blocks

  268. 220
    Laura says:

    Wow. Originally posted in 2009 and people are still referencing this site 7 years later. As other people have said, this is a great idea to use up your leftovers. Using other fabrics, dryer sheets or batting (quilt as you go) are great variations to try.

  269. 221
    Vicki McKeown says:

    You can also do this “quilt as you go”. Instead of paper put wadding and backing fabric about an inch larger all round than the finished size you want, start in the middle and work outwards from the middle to each side. Turn it over and trim to required size. I recommend you check out this link which shows you how to make these string blocks http://sewmanyquiltstoolittletime.blogspot.co.nz/2009/02/quilt-as-you-go-block-tutorial.html. Next check this link to see how to join the QAYG blocks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji8BLS2rNHA. Happy stitching.

  270. 222
    Mary Davis says:

    I do use telephone book pages and find they work very well. When I’m sitting “watching” TV it is time for the paper removal.

  271. 223
    Tina says:

    Wow, thank you for all the tips above, newspaper sounds great, got plenty of that!

  272. 224
    Rachel says:

    This is amazing! I hope I can find some time, so I can make one of my own!

  273. 225
    Deb E / Oregon says:

    Instead of paper, I use old sheets that I pick up cheap from a thrift store. I bleach the sheet (run hot water in washer, add lots of bleach and soak a hour or so) and then wash as normal, and dry to make sure I have CLEAN sheets. I had scraps from sheets as I’d used them to back some drapes I made for my grandson’s play room (and to block out sun, as it got HOT there!). The left over strips were about 18″ wide, so I cut those up into the size blocks I needed, and made strippy blocks on the sheet blocks. Keeps everything lined up properly and I don’t waste paper or time tearing it off. I go ahead and make my top and add the batting and backing & just quickly machine quilt. Doesn’t have to be lots of quilting as the lengths of fabric are short, I just quilt to tie everything together nicely and protect the batting. I either do a loopy machine quilt or wavy lines from side to side, alternating the direction I go. I do all the one direction at one go (leaving space in between each wavy line) and when that’s done, I turn the quilt and do the quilting in the other direction in those spaces.

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  275. 226
    JoAyn says:

    I have made many many of these quilts using different sized muslin squares and other shaped foundation and never tire of them. I am always excited to see the final block after the trim. Each one is as different as snowflakes. I have not tried the white strip in the middle so I will have to make some more I guess. Thanks for the tutorial.

  276. 227
    Morgan says:

    I’ve never tried paper piecing and think I may start with this tutorial. One question, I see you attach the white strip to the paper, but when you add the other colored strips, do you also attach those to the paper or just sew it to the white fabric only?

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  277. 228
    Rhonda Kirby says:

    i have used this technique twice now to make a red white and blue quilt here is what i learned make sure you back stitch every row so that when you go to pull the paper away your not undoing your stitches. and as i has a row of fabric i would put in place and cut it with just a little hanging over the edges and press a lot less waste of fabric . i have made two flag quilts using this method and they look fabulous

  278. 229
    Marty says:

    I use this method all the time. However, I make my quilt sandwich square and the quilt as you go method. Great for table runners, table squares, placements, hot pads, etc.

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  280. 230
    Jo Owen says:

    I made a string quilt using the technique you show, but the first (think center) strip I made using a white 1 1/2″ strip which made a lovely secondary pattern when the blocks are all sewn together. I love scrappy!!

  281. 231
    Kaye says:

    I would like to try the pape method, but have many times made quilts with a 3 way plan. Top strips over wadding and then the backing material. It is sewn all in one. Then I joined each block together with strips. Ver easy. Stil I will try this one to be different.

  282. 232
    Debby says:

    Missouri star quilt company already has a utube tutorial of this method of quilting strips. You can also sew your strips onto a thinner fabric instead of paper. This gives the quilt a slightly thicker feel.

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  284. 233
    Jill McNeil says:

    I just built a new house and I wanted to make a special quilt for my new bed and your tutorial caught my eye. Instead of paper I used muslin squares and the result has been great. Seams from the “strings” are flat and and are neatly tucked inside the squares. Also, I love the added weight from the extra layer of muslin. I cant wait to finish it to enjoy all winter,

  285. 234
    Jannalee says:

    Has anyone ever used a light wieght down blanket vs batting? I am thinking I might try it.

  286. 235
    Peggy Steele says:

    I’ve made string quilts for many years. I use muslin for the foundation instead of paper. I have used sashing between blocks sometimes but I have also just sewed blocks in rows—both pretty. Add as many border strips as you like. I use batting for the whole quilt top and I used to hand quilt to finish. I now have to use the sewing machine to quilt. Good way to use up lots of scraps and I love putting different colors together. Easy to make any size you like as well

  287. 236
    Mayo M Striegel says:

    I much prefer to use old sheets or flimsey fabric for the foundation. Don’t like tearing off the paper. Then continue as if you had used paper for the foundation.

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