Strings for fun – May block for Siblings Together Bee 2


Voila! The block for Siblings Together Bee 2. Don’t be confused by instructions for another block for this month on this blog. With immaculate timing I’m monthly Mama for two ST bees this month! As far as I’m concerned double the happy mail.

When I’m thinking about which block to use for these Bees  it’s often prompted by what scraps I have. I love scrappy quilts and there’s nothing like a Bee to really multiply the number of different fabrics in a project.


Probably the most common type of scrap I’ve got are strings, those long pieces left after a block has been cut. Or  corner pieces when you’ve snowballed a corner. Well now they can shine!! Here are the instructions.

I would like you to make 4 times 8.5” unfinished square string blocks that then get sewn together as the block at the top. It does require piecing onto a foundation of paper.**

** That’s a lie! It’s slightly easier if you have a foundation to guide you when sewing but actually if you’ve got a good eye then it’s not necessary. I know how many of you in this Bee are expert quilters albeit not me! Most of the test blocks I did were without a foundation.  If however you want to have a foundation but this is new to you then the trick is to use a much shorter stitch length say 1.5 which makes it easier to rip out the paper  and just follow along with the pictures  When I first did piecing with paper foundation I thought it would damage the needle but it won’t although it may blunt it quicker. Any problems get in touch

You will need

2 x 10” by 10” squares of bright white solid OR 2 x 9” by 9” squares of bright white solid if you are not using foundation or if you’ve paper big enough to accommodate cutting out a 9” square.(A4 isn’t big enough)

4 x 1.25” by 14” strip of very dark fabric, it can be dark navy, black, dark red, dark grey etc, preferably a solid or reads as a solid. You can use different dark fabric in each of the hst as I’ve done

Other strings, any colour including paler/neutral fabrics and  cut to various lengths and width anything between 1.5” and 2.5”

Thin paper, ordinary photocopying paper is fine, for the paper foundation.

1. Cut each white 10” (or 9”) square in half along the diagonal  making 4 right angle triangles

2. Now prep your paper foundation if using paper. If you’ve paper big enough just cut out 4 times 9”  squares.  If you haven’t then you can just about squeeze out a 9” half square triangle albeit with a missing corner from an A4 piece of paper! With your A4 paper on the cutting mat place the diagonal of a quilters square ruler along the edge and cut from the right hand corner. I keep a rotary cutter with an old blade in it for cutting paper.


3. Flip it over and then mark 9” up the side.  Now with the quilters square ruler so that again the diagonal is on the long length  you can cut up to the 9” mark and making a right angle at that point. If you were wishing you’d paid more attention in your maths class hopefully the picture  should help!


4. Your foundation paper should now look like this. In effect half a 9” square with a small corner missing. Ideally the corner wouldn’t be missing but it doesn’t matter when we get down to sewing. You will need 4 of these.  Put them aside.


5. Now sew the dark string to the longest side of your white triangle piece. Scant 1/4”is fine



6. Now iron back the dark strip with the seam to the dark side as below admiring my scorched marked mat as you go


7.  If using paper flip over the fabric to the wrong side and put a few spots of fabric glue along the length of the dark string and then attach the paper triangle tucking it under the seam. Remember it’s missing a corner so make allowances for that. If you have a 9” square of paper again attach with a spot of glue.

The reverse should look like this…


And the front like this


8. Adjust your stitch length. With the right side up sew a string the length of the dark string using 1/4” seam. You will be sewing through two fabrics and the paper if you’ve used paper


9. Then keep adding strings as you go until the paper foundation has been covered or if without foundation paper by eye. You can iron each seam as go or finger press.


10. If using paper now remove the paper


11. Now iron the block then trim using your quilters square ruler to make an 8.5” by 8.5” square. Again use the diagonal line on the quilters square to ensure that dark strip is corner to corner




6. When you’ve finished your block should look something like this


13.  Now sew the 4 blocks together as above remembering to alter the stitch length back to normal. I also suggest you press the seams open when joining the 4 blocks together  to reduce bulk

If you want to make more then that would be wonderful but please leave them  as single blocks


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