Hello again! This is Karin from Cascade Quilts, and I am happy to bring you another quick quilt project! I have wanted to do a string quilt for years, but I just don’t care for foundation piecing – and all the tutorials I have seen to use strip quilting have not had the solid strip that goes down the *center* of the block. They always seem to have a seam down the center instead, which gives an entirely different look to the overall quilt. It came to me one night how to make the blocks with a strip pieced method with the solid down the center of the block (when trying to get to sleep, but can only think of current/future quilting projects!). I am *thrilled* how this quilt top came together! I have already started to make another one with this pattern I love it so much! My mom even started one after she saw my completed top. I hope you love this pattern as much as I do – and if you make a quilt from the pattern, I’d love for you to share it (or any of my other project patterns) on my flickr group 🙂
2 print jelly rolls (I used ‘Wishes’ by Sweetwater)
1 solid jelly roll (or 2 3/4 yards – I used Moda Bella ‘Porcelain’)
3/4 yard matching solid cut into 2.5” strips (‘Porcelain’- not shown)
3 yards wide backing (Bella solids in red)
All your seams will be 1/4” or scant 1/4”. Whichever you use, just be as consistent as possible.
Unroll you jelly rolls and remove 1 strip from each of the print jelly rolls (you will use 39 strips from each roll for a total of 78 print strips). Unroll your solid jelly roll – you will be using 26 strips at this point from the solid. Pair up the 26 solid strips with 26 of your print strips. Pair up the remaining 52 print strips into another 26 pairs. Sew each pair together along one long side. 26 print/solid pairs and 26 print/print pairs.
Now, pair up each print/solid pair with a print/print pair keeping the prints together and the solid along the edge. Press these groupings with the seams all going in the same direction (direction doesn’t matter, just as long as it’s consistent through all of them). You will have 26 strip sets now, with a solid on the outside and 3 prints.
At this point, I suggest squaring up one end of each strip set. Again, doesn’t matter which end, just be consistent for all of them. *I hope I don’t confuse everyone too much with pics of different print strip sets – I seem to have missed/misplaced pics of some steps the first time around, so I started with a second quilt to capture those missed steps. The fabrics in this second quilt is a collection from about a year ago called ”Seascapes” by Deb Strain*
Then pair each 4-strip-set with another strip set – making sure that you don’t sew the two solid strips together. Since the seams are all pressed in the same direction, your seams will ‘nest’ and help you align the strip sets. Sew along one long edge and press that seam in the same direction as the others.
You will now have 13 strip sets that are 8 strips wide. All seams should be going in the *same* direction. Solid, 3 prints, solid, 3 prints.
You are going to sew these into a tube. Sew the final seam to form the tube, then carefully press the final seam in the same direction as the other seams.
Once you have the 8-strip tube made, you will be pressing the tube so you are pressing the solids in half. Hopefully this picture explains what I mean. You will be able to ‘nest’ the seams of the prints as you press so that you can be sure that you are pressing the solids directly in half.
I’m guessing you just had an A-HA moment like I did?! 🙂
Now, you will begin cutting your blocks! You will get 5 blocks from each strip set ‘tube’, with a bit of leftovers.
Starting at the left side of the strip set with a 9.5” square-up ruler align the diagonal center of the ruler along one edge (the solid that is folded in half). Don’t do like I did in this pic – use the diagonal line on the ruler to your advantage (I did use the diagonal line in the next 12 sets, LOL).
Cut the side on the RIGHT side of the ruler *first*. Go ahead and cut all the way across the strip set. Move the rest of the strip set aside far enough so you can cut the second side of the triangle without cutting the remaining strip set.
Make the second cut along the left side of the triangle.
Open up that triangle, and you have your first block with the solid going down the center of the block! Yay!
Align the ruler along the edge that faces away from you, and cut your second block. It will only take a cut along one side for the second block.
Now, for the third block, you will have to move again to the folded edge closest to you – but you will need to move it to the right a little, so you get the full triangle. Again, cut as you did with the first block.
This will give you approx 1 3/4”-2” x 9 1/2” strip ”scraps”. But, don’t throw away those scraps, those will be used in our pieced border!
Keep cutting all of your 13 strip set tubes until you have a total of 64 blocks (you can get 65 blocks, but you will only need 64 for this pattern).
At this point, I highly recommend starching and re-checking square of each of your blocks. These are all on-bias, so will have quite a bit of ‘give’ to them.
Arrange your 64 blocks into an 8 x 8 arrangement and sew them together for the center of the quilt. If you arrange them right, you will be able to ‘nest’ all the seams so the seams line up easily!
Now, for the first row of the border, take 7 of your solid strips and sew them together into one long strip. Cut this strip into two pieces 72.5” long and two pieces 77” long (recheck the measurements of YOUR quilt center to make sure these are correct for yours). Sew the 72.5” pieces along the left and right sides, then the 77” pieces along the top and bottom sides. Press.
Now for the scrap pieced border! (again, had to use pics from the second set of blocks for the second quilt I’m making for this one)
You will need 36 pairs of these tiny blocks to make 36 ‘chevron’ blocks (9 for each side of the quilt).
You can keep them as they are already paired up, or mix/match them as you please. From the cut-offs that you already have, there will be 26 pairs (2 pairs from each strip set). So, from the tail end of each strip set, you will need to cut one more pair.
So, first measure your little ‘scrap’ pieces. Mine were 2”x9.5”
You will be cutting one more set from each end of the strip set tube. Go ahead and cut it as wide as your scrap pieces are. I cut mine 2” wide.
These ones will have to be opened up to cut them to length, so go ahead and cut them along the fold line.
Then, center the 9.5” ruler and cut off the ends – you are trying to make these the same as the first scraps, so make sure you center these so that the seams will line up when you pair them up with the other scrap strips.
I recommend starching these little cuties now too. Pair these up and sew them together into 36 cute little chevron blocks!
If you pair them up properly, the seams will again ‘nest’ and you will be able to match up the seams easily!
When you press these blocks, press half in one direction and half in the other direction so that when you sew them into a long strip, those middle seams will also nest.
Sew your 36 little chevron blocks into 4 long strips with 9 blocks in each strip. These will measure approx. 3.5”x81.5”. Depending on your final measurements, you might need to add one more partial chevron block to all 4 strips if you intend to do a miter corner like I did, or just to two of the strips if you don’t do a mitered corner. You should have plenty of scraps left to cut more if necessary.
This is what the seam will look like between the blocks:
Sew these long strips along the first solid border. I chose to miter my corners, but you could chose the easier route and sew left and right, trimming them to fit the length, then sew top and bottom, trimming them to fit.
Finally, sew 8 of your solid strips into pairs of 2 – and sew on for your final border.
You have completed your beautiful approx 85” square quilt top!
Now, baste, quilt as desired, and add binding (from your remaining 9 solid strips).
A beautiful 85”x85” quilt!
Ooooh, and how cool does it look with the sun shining through it from the back?!!!
Like stained glass! 🙂