Tips & Tutorials

String Piecing on Foundation Paper

Today I am pulling scraps from my green and neutral strings bins.  Both are overstuffed and are begging to be put into a quilt.


Look at all those strings!

I decided to combine them into a dark/light half square triangle blocks.

First I cut foundation papers to size.  For this demonstration I used 6.5″ squares. I use phone book pages as my foundation.  You can also purchase foundation papers or use a fabric stabilizer if you wanted.


Next I laid a green and neutral strip right-sides-together diagonally across my paper.


I set my stitch length short, about 1.4 on a digital machine, and I use a regular foot, NOT a 1/4″ foot.

Then I fed the strings and paper through the machine, sewing right through the paper! I keep my seam allowances smaller than 1/4″ when I string piece.  There tends to be a lot of bulk in string quilts and smaller seams mean less bulk.


Press the strips open.  I use high heat with no steam.  If the paper gets damp it may tear before you are ready for it to come off of your block.

Next I added a strip to each side of the sewn pieces.


Add one to each side and press open.


Continue adding strings and pressing them until the paper is completely covered.


When the paper is completely covered and has been pressed, turn it over and use the foundation paper as a guide to trim your block.

After your block is trimmed you can leave it as is until you are ready to join it to another block, or you can remove papers right away.  I tend to make all of my string blocks before I remove the papers.  Then I can sit down in front of a movie and remove papers all at once.

When you are ready, simply turn the block over and remove the papers.  The papers should tear easily from each seam.

After the papers are removed your string block is done!


Until next time,

The Quilt Police