the thing about string quilts…

I had big plans to make a queen sized string quilt using 5 1/2″ squares.

It didn’t happen.


The thing about string quilts is that I love looking at them (and I’ve made quite a few!), but if I’m going to be honest, they can be a bit tedious to make. Back in July, I asked you if I was crazy to attempt it, and I think that most all of you said I was not. Though I’m thinking now that someone should have! My original plan was to make 10 blocks a day, which would have given me enough blocks in about a month and a half. Well, by the end of August, I was only at 85… clearly this wasn’t going so well. I set them aside until just recently, when I finally was forced to realize that there was no way I was ever going to have enough for a queen sized quilt.


So I sewed together what I had. And you know what? I think this size is perfect. Just what I wanted. (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself!)


The tutorial for string blocks can be found here, in case you’re interested!

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49 Responses to the thing about string quilts…

  1. 1
    Shannon says:

    I think it looks lovely just the way it is, and plenty big! 🙂

  2. 2
    Julie says:

    I agree! It looks stunning.. and looks like a great size 🙂

  3. 3
    Jody says:

    Looks great Ashley…don’t feel bad because I still haven’t finished mine either:)

  4. 4
    Laurel H. says:

    Agreed; this is a GREAT size! It looks like it will be about 50″ by 60″?

  5. 5
    Deanna says:

    Better a finished, modified project than an eternal UFO!

  6. 6
    Faith says:

    I also thinks it’s the perfect size! It is really stunning, the colors really catch the eye.

    And I’m happy to see there’s no snow in the picture! 😀

  7. 7
    Sarah says:

    That is a gorgeous quilt! I don’t think I’d ever have the patience to make one, so I’ll just enjoy yours! And I like the size – perfect to snuggle on the sofa with!

  8. 8
    Zarina says:

    Yes, the size is just enough. You can add borders to make it queen size – I think borders totaling 10-inch per side? That’s what I would do if I were you.

  9. 9
    Denise :) says:

    LOL! It’s *perfect*! 🙂

  10. 10

    It is absolutely glorious, and it looks like the perfect size to me!

  11. 11
    Mary says:

    I think it looks beautiful – whatever size it is!

  12. 12
    aseemlylife says:

    Believe me I know exactly how you felt. My goal was not as lofty as yours. My goal was 1 square a day which gave me 3 months to finish my 100 square feet of string squares. I felt like giving up a few times too. Glad you finally finished, you will be glad you did. I love looking at mine. So much so that I have just left it on my bed as a spread.
    Your quilt is very pretty.

  13. 13
    Stephanie says:

    It’s great! I have contemplating making a string quilt for my mom for Mother’s Day (she’s a fellow quilter…but more traditional than mod). Anyway, I love string quilts but I hesitated because of the tediousness. Thanks for your honesty, I’m probably going to stick with something slightly easier.

  14. 14
    Heather says:

    seriously funny Ashley!! now i know your human and not a quiting super hero! haha!!! i would have pulled my hair out long ago!! LOL the quilt looks amazing 🙂

  15. 15
    holly p says:

    queen sized or not, it still looks great!!

  16. 16
    whatupduck says:

    love it! mine is now almost king sized and now i’ll just have to finish it! you inspire me 🙂

  17. 17
    Wendy says:

    Yes, it looks plenty big to me. That’s a lot of work there! 🙂

  18. 18
    Keriann says:

    Well had I been a follower when you first started this I most definitely would have said you were crazy but good luck!!

    That being said I think it turned out wonderful!! Even if it’s a tad smaller than planned!!

  19. 19
    Peggy says:

    Here’s to high expectations, may we always be happy with whatever the restuls!

  20. 20
    Walden says:

    It looks wonderful! I wish I had the patience to make one of these.

  21. 21

    I think it’s beautiful. Just the right size.

  22. 22
    karo says:

    sigh. that looks like heaven to me. 🙂

  23. 23

    I had the same thing happen with mine. I eve added a 3″ border around it to get to the size I wanted. I love string quilts, but man. I will never try to make one bigger than lap sized.

    It turned out beautiful!

  24. 24
    Britt says:

    I love yours! Wonderful colors. I am making a king size one in blue with a yellow center strip. My blocks are 10 inches finished but I still find making 80 blocks to be about 20 (30?) too many! I’ve worked on other quilts when I need a break. Bigger is better with strip quilts IMHO if you want more than a lap quilt. Of course that makes it harder to use up the little scraps… 🙂

  25. 25
    Audrie says:

    They’re extremely fiddly… I’ve been planning to make one for a while but after a few blocks I had to set it aside and rethink the size. I’ll eventually get to it but I’m in no hurry!
    Yours looks gorgeous though 🙂

  26. 26
    Suzanne says:

    Good for you for saying Uncle! You have another beautiful quilt.

  27. 27
    amanda says:

    It’s totally stunning. And I think it’s better to make something of it – rather than just let such beautiful blocks sit untouched in a closet! Can’t wait to see closeups.

  28. 28
    andi says:

    It’s gorgeous.
    Just the right size.

  29. 29
    Maritza says:

    That is stunning. And the size? Looks perfect!

  30. 30
    Terri says:

    This is awesome, no matter what size it ends up. I would love to make a large string-pieced quilt using fabrics from my scrap bin. Do you think it used up many of your scraps? Great job plugging away on this project!

  31. 31
    Em says:

    that one is TOTALLY BEAUTIFUL! def my fav!

  32. 32
    Carla says:

    Your fabrics are beautiful with the white constant as a sashing. It looks so summery!

  33. 33
    Caroline says:

    Well it’s gorgeous! And who says it has to be queen sized anyway? Perfect, now you have me wanting to try because i love the look of this one 🙂

  34. 34
    kate says:

    Am thinking of getting the Bee gang to make these! Share the pain a bit 😉

    Lovely string quilt!

  35. 35
    Jan says:

    I don’t know if it’s the perfect size, but it is PERFECT. I love it.

  36. 36
    Gari says:

    String blocks = a lot of straight sewing, a lot. But when you are doing you have a wonderful, colorful quilt. Good job!

  37. 37
    CitricSugar says:

    It looks fabulous – and the size is perfect!

  38. 38
    Kate Conklin says:

    Looks perfect to me. I love that size quilt – not too heavy, not too light. And you don’t have to struggle with it under the sewing machine. I think 120 blocks is much more than I would have finished.

  39. 39

    Stunning…I love all the scrappy goodness in it.

    Bet it will be the perfect size for curling up on the sofa with a really good book.

  40. 40
    Liza says:

    Tedious is definitely the right word to describe string quilts! I just finished one made of 72 9 1/2 inch squares. Hand-quilting the bugger is also quite tedious, but I think the effort will pay off in the end.

    Your quilt looks to be the perfect size. Beautiful!

  41. 41
    Erica says:

    It’s lovely, no matter the size!

  42. 42
    randi says:

    It is gorgeous! I love all the colors.

  43. 43
    Nicole says:

    I am making one now. I have made 46 6×6 blocks and I am sick of making them. I try to be happy, I try to keep trucking along. The end result is so worth it. But it is like pulling teeth at this point. I find myself talking myself into a smaller finished product, which I know I will not be happy with.

    I love yours!

  44. 44
    alissa says:

    Wow – this quilt is stunning! Every time I am on your site I want to go to my sewing machine IMMEDIATELY!!! Thanks for all the inspiration!

  45. 45
    jaybird says:

    that is a lot of string blocks!! … i think you made the right move… it’s just perfect in size!

  46. 46
    Jacque. says:

    I love the white binding…ties in all the white center strings. You did it again…another marvelous quilt!

  47. 47
    Casey says:


    Do you have any idea offhand how much fabric you were expecting to use for your queen size quilt? I am trying to grasp any kind of idea of how much fabric to buy to make a queen sized quilt of my own.

    • 48
      Kisha says:

      I’m trying to figure out the same thing. Did you ever get an answer? I’m about to start a queen sized (80×100) string quilt using 10.5 inch blocks. I’m starting with a little over 10 yards of fabric, but have a sneaking suspicion that it won’t be enough.

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