100 Quilts for Kids Quilt Along: Assembling the String Blocks

Assembling the String Blocks

Today is the third post for the 100 Quilts for Kids Quilt Along. All of the posts can be found here:

July 15: Quilt Along Introduction + Giveaway
July 19: Materials + Cutting Instructions
July 26: Foundation Piecing the Blocks
August 9: Assembling the Quilt Top
August 16: Quilting Tips
August 23: Quilting Tips from a Pro: Guest Post by Angela Walters
August 30: Finishing the quilt

I have three goals for this Quilt Along: 1. Have fun  2. Don’t think (too much) while sewing. 3. Donate your quilt!  Totally achievable, right? That’s what summer sewing is all about :)

100 Quilts for Kids Quilt Along! [+ giveaway]

Assembling the String Blocks:
1. Reduce the stitch length on your sewing machine.  You want the stitches to perforate the paper, making it easy to remove later. [I change my stitch from a 2 to just above a 1 on my Bernina].

2. Set up the iron near your sewing machine.  I lower my ironing board so I can easily press blocks without getting up from my seat.  (See that awesome ALEX Ikea cart with shallow drawers underneath my sewing table? I got one after visiting my sister-in-law and mother-in-law and discovering just how awesome it is.  I just learned they made the top of theirs into an ironing station. Brilliant. I’m totally copying.)

Pressing station

3. Organize (or at least lay out) your string blocks.  Add in solids (or tone on tone prints, like those on the left) if desired.

Strips for #100quilts4kids Quilt Along
4. Place center string (face up) diagonally across paper. Use a glue stick or pins to adhere the center string to the paper.
Sewing String Block

5. Place the next string face down, lining up the right sides. Stitch along the diagonal as shown above, using a 1/4” seam allowance. Open and press seam. [Note: I like placing solids/nearly solids on either side of the white center string, but that is just a personal preference].

6.  Repeat step 5 until you have covered the right side of your block with strings.

String blocks

7. Repeat process for left side of the block–place first string face down, lining up left sides. Sew 1/4” seam allowance on left side, open and press. Repeat until block is covered with strings.

String Block before trimming

8. Turn block over. Trim around paper–block should end up 20” or 12” square, depending on which size block you are making. This one is 20” square.

Trim String Block
Finished String Block
9. Repeat process, making 3  more blocks.
Note: I made these blocks without pre-arranging my strips. However, I strategically placed some colors/prints in the final 2 string blocks to make sure all four blocks looked good together. You don’t have to do this–the beauty of string blocks is that “random” always looks good.
10. Turn blocks over, crease paper, and tear off each strip.  This is a great task for kids, roommates, or significant others, who I am sure are always dying to help you sew. I keep a garbage bowl (a la Rachael Ray) nearby for the paper strips.

11. Arrange the blocks as seen below, so they form an “X”.  Take two blocks, right sides together, pin, and sew the blocks together. Press to the left side.

Arrange String Blocks

12. Repeat step 11 with the final 2 blocks, but instead, press to the right side.

13. Place the block pairs right sides together, and pin. Take care to line up the edges of the center white strings so they match. Don’t worry about the rest of the strings, because they are randomly sized and placed, they aren’t supposed to match.  Press well.

There are 2 weeks before the next Quilt Along post–Happy sewing! (And grab the button for your blog, if you would like!)


Quilt Along Schedule
Sunday, July 15: Quilt Along Introduction + Giveaway
Thursday, July 26: Foundation Piecing the Blocks
Thursday, August 9: Assembling the Quilt Top
Thursday, August 16: Quilting Tips
Thursday, August 25: Finishing the quilt
Thursday, September 20: QA Linky Party
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  1. Posted July 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I love your giant string blocks Katie! I really need to do this…been collecting fabric strips for quite a while now….great cause too!

  2. Posted July 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m so excited – just blogged starting the process on my blog!

  3. Posted July 27, 2012 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    So cute and not too difficult! A win – win!!!

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