String Block Tutorial

by Alisa and Benjamin

Start by cutting strips of fabric in random widths. Ours were between 1.25 and 2.5 inches. This is a great way to use of all your scraps. Also cut an 8 inch (or which ever size you would like your block to be) square from white cotton. We used a thrifted cotton sheet.

You are ready.

Lay your first strip diagonally across the square, right side up.

Then choose your second strip and lay it right side down on top of the first strip. Make sure one of the sides matches up. (They will probably be different widths.)

Now stitch down the matched up side with a 1/4 inch seam. I have a 1/4 inch foot on my sewing machine, but for a block like this the 1/4 inch seam allowance isn't overly important.

Press the seam open.

Sew on another strip, press it open. Repeat until you have covered up the white block.

It should look something like this when you are finished.

The back will look like this.

Trim off the excess so you are back to your 8 inch square.

And you are finished! Make more. Stitch them together to make a quilt. Have fun using up your scraps!


  1. Thanks Alisa. What a great idea! I love how there is no paper to remove!

  2. Thanks for sharing Alisa - it's a great pattern- it's in my favourites (to be done someday). You and the kids did a really nifty job!!

  3. I love this and really would like to make it . . . but was wondering how to connect these blocks with the extra backing thickness ~ do you iron the seams open or to one side as usual? Thank you for the great tutorial !!

  4. Marsha - I ironed the seams open. I usually do anyways but with this amount of thickness you will definitely want to. Have fun!

  5. Thanks Alisa, that clears up the "mystery". I've been wanting to make a string quilt for some time now, but you are the first to actually clear up this small detail. Probably "common sense" to a lot of quilters but I had to hear it myself from someone who's done it!!!