String Piecing Techniques & Quilt Patterns that WOW!

Rock Island Campfires Quilt
Rock Island Campfires by Marianne Fons

Today, it’s all about string piecing. You could even call it a string piecing bonanza! Why do we love string piecing? These projects are often stash-busters, they allow quilters to to express their creativity in a personal way, and they have a unique look to them that is unmatched by any other quilt design. Marianne Fons’ quilt, Rock Island Campfires, for instance, is unlike any other. She chose the amount of fabrics that were right for her and pieced away!

There are several different techniques for string piecing your quilts. Let’s take a look at the technique that uses foundation paper to put these string pieced blocks together and then we’ll talk about string piecing resources that are quite fun and extremely helpful. But, first, the Sew Easy: String Piecing on Foundation Paper tutorial shows you how to use strips of any width to create your string-pieced quilts. As we say, the more the merrier!

Below are 6 easy steps (including tips from Marianne) that will provide you with the information you need to make successful string pieced quilts…

  1. Place 1 strip, right side up from corner to corner, atop 1 paper foundation square (Photo A).
    SEW SMART™ TIP: Use a dab of glue from glue stick to hold first strip in place. ~Marianne
  2. Place second strip over first strip, with right sides facing, aligning one long edge; pin. Stitch with 1/4″ seam allowance (Photo B).
    SEW SMART™ TIP: Shorten stitch length when piecing on paper foundation. ~Marianne
  3. Press open to reveal second strip (Photo C).
  4. Repeat this sew-and-flip process, ending with squares or rectangles in opposite corners until the foundation square is covered (Photo D).
  5. Trim squares to desired size (Photo E). Trim squares for Rock Island Campfires to 4-1/2″.
  6. Remove paper.

Sew Easy: String Piecing your Quilt Patterns

Simple, right? String piecing is so much fun and quilts with string-pieced quilt blocks have a signature look. In Ruby’s Garden (our latest block of the month quilt), a string-pieced star really makes a statement in the overall design, but blends in beautifully with this queen-/king-size quilt. This block of the month quilt starts shipping in October, so you’ll want to take a closer look at this project (video tutorial included), to see what you think!

String Me Along Quilt
String Me Along by Dodi Pouslen
Ruby's Garden -- Block of the Month Quilt
Ruby’s Garden Block of the Month by Jean Nolte — Sponsored by Fabri-Quilt

Remember how I talked about string piecing resources earlier? I didn’t forget! Apart from Ruby’s Garden, I suggest you check out the following for a true string piecing bonanza: String Me Along by Dodi Poulsen, Kin Coterie by AnneMarie Chany, String Quilt Revival (13 projects) by Virginia Baker and Barbara Sanders, Katie’s String Star by Katie Porter, and the Bonfire Sampler quilt by AnneMarie Chany. If you’re looking for FREE quilt patterns (who isn’t?), you’ll find three free string quilt patterns available as an instant download from our friends at Quilting Daily. Don’t miss out on future string piecing quilt patterns! Subscribe to the Love of Quilting magazine to make sure you get all of our latest quilt patterns.

For more free quilting video tutorials, including the Sew Easy: String Piecing above, visit You’ll find all of our free Sew Easy videos on this site, as well as tons of other quilting tutorials and quilting series like Quilt It!, brought to you by Handi Quilter, Fabri-Quilt, and Hobbs Binded Fibers. I highly recommend you take a look. They are incredibly helpful — I speak from experience!

Carrie Sisk, Online Editor, Fons & Porter


Happy Quilting!

Carrie Sisk, Fons & Porter, Online Editor

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Fons & Porter Blog
Carrie Sisk

About Carrie Sisk

Carrie's first sewing machine was a gift from her dad—a better gift was never given. A crafter, trained pianist and experienced paintballer, when the opportunity arises, she's hiking in Yosemite or Rocky Mountain National Park.