How to Make A String Quilt (Tutorial)

How to Make A String Quilt (Tutorial)

(upbeat music) (cowing mooing) – Hey everybody, it’s Deb
Luttrell with Stitchin’ Heaven and I have a got a really
fun tutorial for you today. This is on string quilts. Okay, what is a string quilt? A string quilt is a quilt
that you put together just using strings of fabric. They’ve been around for
many, many, many years. This was a favorite back in the day. They’re really forgiving, a lot of fun, and you can have a lot of different looks with your string quilt. The quit I have behind me
is called Texas on a String and it’s made using a
fabric foundation and fabric center cut at an inch and a half. All of these fabrics are
cut an inch and a half. And I’m gonna talk to you a
little bit about different ways that you can do your fabrics. But with this quilt, let’s get started. I wanna show you that you
start with your foundation and what I do is I put
my 1/4 inch sewing line from corner to corner and
then I mark 1/4 of an inch away and that is my placement
line, it’s not my sewing line. So you take your fabrics and
so I’m just gonna randomly take two of these strings that I have cut and I’m going to place them
where I’m gonna just cut them. I need them to be a little bit bigger than what my 8 1/2 inch square is. So I just cut them and then
I’ll place right sides together and I put them on my placement line that I drew a minute ago. Then what I do is I turn this
over and I’m going to sew… Well, let’s see here. I’m not gonna turn it over, sorry. You sew from this side. So you’re going to sew 1/4 of an inch away from where you placed your fabric. Hope that makes sense. And what it will end up being
is you’re gonna be sewing (sewing) from corner to corner. You just keep your fabrics
on that line that you sewed. (sewing) Your first one is really the hardest because once you get the first one done, the rest of them are just automatic. So when you open this up, you’re going to press it, doesn’t matter which way,
you’re just gonna press the top one open. Just like that. Then you’re gonna work on each side. So the next piece I wanna do, I wanna take one of my strings. Any of ’em will do. You don’t have to cut
these down ahead of time. What you wanna do is just make sure that they’re a little bit
bigger than what your square is. So I’m gonna take the next
one and I’m gonna sew it on the right-hand side. (sewing) Again, following 1/4 inch. (sewing) String quilts are done
a lot of different ways. Let me just show you this
before I talk to you about that. So I’ve sewn that one. And again, I’m gonna take
that to my pressing board and I’m going to press it to the side. Then I’ll take a different piece. So you get the idea of
what I’m doing here. Again, this one is going to
be just a little bit bigger than my base fabric is. Now, you guys make sure that
you don’t scrimp and get it too close because you’re
gonna be squaring these down. And you wanna make sure
that your fabric covers your entire foundation piece. So we’re gonna again
sew 1/4 of an inch out. (sewing) Now some people do foundation
string piecing on paper. I prefer to use fabric. When you use paper, the
advantage of using paper is that you remove it. That’s also the
disadvantage, in my opinion. I don’t enjoy removing all that paper. It makes a mess and I
just as soon leave it in. Plus I feel like if I
have a fabric foundation, it makes my quilt have
a little more weight, if that makes sense. I just like the feel of a
little bit heavier quilt when I do a string quilt made
with a fabric foundation. So I’m cutting this one
just a little bit bigger than my foundation square. Just start on the outside
of the foundation. (sewing) You’re wanting to keep going. This is really very forgiving. If your 1/4 of an inch is off
a little bit, it’s no problem. When you put your blocks together, you can let that, these don’t have to match
up exactly on this quilt. There’s some places that
these don’t match up exactly and that’s okay. You don’t really, really even notice it. I’m gonna have probably
two more pieces here to do and I’m gonna ahead and do
a whole one side of this before I show you what to do next. Then of course as these get
closer and closer to the end, your sewing gets shorter and shorter. Again, this is really forgiving. (sewing) Just you’re gonna have fun with it. (sewing) And you’re gonna have something
you’ve really enjoyed doing when you get through with it. We’re gonna press this open. Yeah, and we’re gonna have one more piece right there on the corner. Now, you can cut some pieces larger and only use, in the corners use a larger
piece if you want to. And then you don’t have
the little small corners. But that’s just up to you, depending on what you’re doing. (sewing) Now I think I can show you the next step without having
to sew that other side. So, what you’ll do is you’ll finish this and you’re going to go ahead and sew this side with strips as well. So you’ll have this whole
thing filled up with strips. Then it’s very simple, you
take a 8 1/2 inch square and remember that one that
you sewed the first time from corner to corner, well
that’s what you square up to. So you have that corner
to corner mark right there and you’re gonna sew, you’re
gonna square this up to, I don’t have a rotary cutter. (laughing) We’re go get a rotary cutter. And you’re going to square this… Thank you. Okay, so you’re gonna take
your 8 1/2 inch square, you’re gonna square it,
you’re gonna put your corner to corner line on the
first seam that you sewed. And then you’re square this
up to an 8 1/2 inch square. Take all of that away. (cutting) Then you just turn this. (cutting) So you see, when you’re
finished with this square, because you squared it up, you have a perfect 8 1/2
inch square to work with when you go to sew this together. Now, my suggestion to you, if
you’re interested in doing a, a string quilt, is to get some books and look at the different
ones that are out there. You’ll get lots of ideas. Bonnie Hunter is a very good
resource for string quilts. She’s got a book called String Frenzy and it’s just got a lot of ideas in it and a lot of information on string quilts. She likes to do string quilts with, Bonnie prefers the foundation,
the paper foundation method, so that’s different than this, which means when you do your string quilt on the paper foundation, you
have to take the paper out. Another great book is a
good book from Diane Knott called Strip Quilt Secrets
and this is a great book for ideas for string quilts. I wanna show you this quilt that I did. I did this years ago
and I love this quilt. I’m gonna show it here in
the overhead camera because, let’s see here, yeah, right here, here’s my block. See if I can show you, yeah, right there. Okay, this is just a really,
really fun, fun string quilt. What’s different about
this quilt is that it’s still on foundation, it’s
still on the cloth foundation. And again, you guys, if you’re gonna use the muslin foundation,
get the very cheapest, most inexpensive finished
muslin, cheap, cheap, cheap that you can find. That really works best. But what I did with this
one to make it so much fun is I cut different widths of fabric. Where this quilt has
got all of the strings are 1 1/2 inches, this
quilt, all of the strings are all different sizes. So I was able then to put my bigger pieces on these corners like
we were talking about, but there’s a little small one here. I did like inch and a half, inch and 3/4, two inches, 2 1/2, all different sizes of strings. And then I just randomly
put this together. And it turned out to be a
very, very nice, cute quilt. Let me see if I can show you part of it. This is kinda what it looks like. So if you have a kid’s quilt, if you like Kaffe Fassett,
this would be a great way to use those fabrics. So, that’s about it for today. I hope you enjoyed this lesson as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you. This is Deb Luttrell, Stitchin’ Heaven. Please subscribe to our channel and you will get more
information on what’s going on and tutorials and interesting information through our videos. I’ll see ya next time, bye-bye.


  • B W says:

    I love the colors in the quilt you made with different width strips. Gorgeous!

  • Delmarie Snodgrass says:

    I love the quilt you made with the bright multi width strips. You have given me ideas for my first quilt. Thank you

  • Belynda Mulloy says:

    Love both quilts. On my basket list. Thank you!

  • Sweet Trubble says:

    I have never seen this technique, but I really do love it. Gonna have to give it a try.

  • Christina MacNeal says:

    I'd like to $buy it.

  • towinbuddy says:

    They call this paper piecing. Same idea. Also you could quilt as you go by having your foundation piece the fabric you want on the back. Awesome, easy and quick

  • Dalaine Bloom says:

    WOW!!! This was my first time to Your channel!!! I LOVE IT!!! I am not a big sewer either. I wanted to see what a string quilt is?! I have seen them before just called strip quilts. I never had someone explain them and show how to make one so easily. You also made it fun to watch. You inspired Me to try one!!! YAY!!!! The only Other quilting show that I ever watched was with a lady whose first name; I forgot. She was on The first HGTV quilting shows called Quilting with ? Anderson. I think that She may have been on PBS too. You may already know whom I am speaking of now. Anyway, some of Her programs were fun but I guess She must have just been too serious for Me. You make it seem like You are having fun when You quilt. She was SUPER PROFESSIONAL but a little too much so for this Amateur sewer. It seemed so daunting to try to make one of Her quilts.
    Anyway, I LOVED YOUR SHOW!!! You seem to enjoy quilting and Your first quilt was SOOOOO FUN LOOKING!!! I love Your style and fun attitude. I think that I enjoy fun crafts,
    Her's was so serious and into the technical geometry of making a quilt it did NOT seem fun to make a quilt at all. I am going to try your style at a strip or string quilt. You made it look doable and like You thoroughly, enjoy making quilts!!! You also made it so even Someone like Me may be able to make a strip quilt or a string quilt. Thank You, So Much! I did give You a like and I have definitely, subscribed too. I look forward to watching more of Your videos!!! 😊👍🏼

  • Alice Walters says:

    Those are not strings – they are strips.

  • Sondra says:

    Love the quilts you made, it’s so colorful.

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