This quilt idea is suitable for either precuts or a box of scraps, as you prefer. Enjoy!
NOTE: this is not a completely original idea (But, is anything?). I was particularly inspired by this quilt for the basic look, but added my own twist to the construction. OK–to begin.
STRING TWIST QUILT
Dimensions vary–this is more a block tutorial than a complete quilt tutorial
Finished block size: 11″
A lot of strings–or long, thin scraps of fabric at least 14-inches long. How many? Well, it depends on how big of a quilt you want to make. A shoe box of strings, at least a large shoebox, will make a queen size. Oh, come on, if you are a quilter, you have scraps! Just get them out and put them to use. Or, if you find yourself blessed with precut fabrics, a jelly roll will make a large twin/small full size quilt. A honeybun will make a nice throw quilt.
Fabric for block sashing. How much? Well, you need one 1-1/2″ strip Width Of Fabric (WOF) for each block. So, 16 blocks (throw size) will need at least 24″ or 2/3 yard.
Fabric for larger sashing and borders. How much? Well, you need about the equivalent of one 2-1/2″ strip WOF for each block for the sashing. Plus, you need plenty for your borders, depending on the border style you prefer. So, quite a bit! (If you want more specific measurements for your situation, e-mail or comment and I will try to help with the math.)
1. Sew strings of fabric scrap together until you have a piece large enough to cut a 14″ block from it. I measured my first piece to 15″ and then would sew a second piece on and cut it off when I reached the end of the first piece.
EDIT: Pat suggests ironing all seam allowances the same direction. It will help the block be flat.
2. Using your rotary cutter and ruler, trim the block to 14″ square.
3. Make a friend for this block, really a twin. It takes two blocks to create the diagonal effect you see in the finished blocks.
4. Lay the blocks right sides together with the strips perpendicular to one another. Meaning, one with the strips running vertical and one with the strips running horizontal. Line them up carefully. Pin if desired (recommended).
5. Using your quarter-inch seam allowance, sew ALL THE WAY around the block. This does not feel normal. I understand. But, really, sew all the way around.
6. Using your ruler as a guide, make two corner-to-corner diagonal cuts across the block.
7. CAREFULLY and without stretching all those bias edges, iron the cut sections open. Like magic, you have four wonderful string twist blocks. These blocks will each measure approximately 9-1/2″ square. Unless there is something seriously wrong, do not worry about squaring them up. That is the job of the narrow block sashing. Oh, and don’t forget to trim off those little ears from the opposite corners of the block.
8. For each of your small blocks cut a strip from your narrow block sashing fabric WOF 1-1/2″ wide. From this strip cut two pieces 9-1/2″ and two pieces 11-1/2″. Sew the 9-1/2″ pieces to opposite sides. Press. Set the 11-1/2″ pieces to the remaining sides. Press. You will create blocks that are 11-1/2″ square.
EDIT: Pat suggests PIN, PIN, PIN. If you have any problems getting things to work out, pins are your friend!
Again, you are sewing all bias. Don’t worry too much as the block will sort of ease into the sashing. The sashing then creates a strong, square edge to the block. Just press it in when finished and they look really nice and are easy to handle for the rest of the quilt construction.
9. Make as many blocks as you desire. Since each pair of strip sets creates four blocks, the quilt comes together rather quickly.
10. Add sashing and borders. I used 2-1/2″ sashing and have tried a variety of different border styles. The blocks are versatile and forgiving. Give a few a try. You will enjoy it! The quilt shown in the opening picture is made of 16 blocks, only four pairs of strip sets. It finishes at about 52″ square. A nice throw size. A throw size quilt is something you can make in a weekend for minimal cost, as all those strings are already paid for.
11. Ta-dah! Enjoy your quilt!
String Twist Gallery
I would love to see what you create using this tutorial. Here are some to take a look at…
my first version–this used a complete jelly roll. I used the leftover strips and little pieces to make the middle border with scrappy corners.
a second attempt by me, scrappy this time
Pat’s bright version
Susan got busy with her own variations.
Faye created and donated this String Twist top. Quilters are the most generous people.
your version here…