Traditional Tuesday - Block 9

String Block
Block 9 - String Block
This is such a beautiful block - or at least it can make a beautiful quilt! You've probably figured out that I like quilts with a lot of movement in them, and stripes provide a lot movement! I've mocked up some settings for this block and you can see what I mean.
The String Block can be set any way a Log Cabin block can be set. Here it's zigzags.
This is a flying geese-style setting.
By experimenting with color placement, you could get even more vibrant settings. My friend, Deb Rowden is part of a group that made a quilt using this block. Click here to see it. It's a beautiful contemporary version made from silk ties.

For today's block, I chose three fabrics: dark blue solid, a blue/gray batik and light blue near solid. If you can find a nice striped fabric with about 1/2" stripes you could "cheat" and use that for the center portion instead of piecing the stripes!

From EACH of the print and light blue, cut 4 - 1" x ~11" strips.
From the dark blue, cut 1 - 4 1/2" square. Cut in half on the diagonal to make 2 triangles. (This is over-sized for squaring up at the end.)

*Note: This block can be either pieced as I show below or by paper piecing. The template for paper piecing can be found here. If you are a paper piecer, feel free to use that method for this block, but I don't give directions here.

These are the fabrics I chose. I have tons of blue batiks from a quilt I never made. I love using them up!
I used the paper piecing template as a guide, but not to sew on! I found all those lines confusing so I wrote "L" and "D" on each to designate where the light and dark fabrics go.

I also used the template to sure my strips were long enough.  Next, I sewed them together in pairs, pressing to the dark.
Once all your strips are joined, you'll need to add the corner triangles. This is where a bit of precision piecing comes in.
Fold the pieced strip unit in half (eyeball it, it just needs to be an approximation). I gently pressed this with my iron, but you can finger press. We're trying to mark the center so we can line up the triangles perfectly.
Next, finger press to find the center of the triangles. The seam ripper is pointing to the crease made on the first one and I'm showing how to make the crease on the second one.

Then line up the crease on the triangle with the crease on the pieced unit and pin. Sew and press to the triangle. Repeat with the remaining triangle on the other side.
Trim the block to 6 1/2" and admire! I'm particularly fond of this block - maybe because I've never made a string block before!
Here's my first attempt at this block. I knew when it was done that it just wasn't what I was hoping it would be! When all is said and done, I might do a blooper quilt of all the blocks that don't work out!


  1. How large would your blooper quilt be? Mine would perhaps fit my king size bed!

  2. LOL! I'm thinking mine will be the flip side of the "good" quilt! I hope it doesn't get that much bigger!

  3. I have four blocks so far for the backside. Hope I don't bloop on any more, but am more than willing to risk it as I get more and more comfortable with working with such small pieces and strips. Having lots of fun with these samplers Jenifer. Thanks for hosting these quilt-alongs.


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