String Showcase Block Tutorial & New Quilt Block Hop

Published Categorized as 2015 New Quilt Bloggers, Quilting, Tutorials 117 Comments on String Showcase Block Tutorial & New Quilt Block Hop

Welcome to day 4 of the New Quilt Block Hop sponsored by Fabri-Quilt! I can’t even believe how many amazing blocks everyone has showcased this week.

Fabri-quilt generously donated fabric for myself and all the other bloggers today posting new blocks as part of the hop. We had 6 fat eighths of this fun watermelon summer color palette.

Fabri Quilt Block Hop August 31 - September 3 2015

So today I get to share my block along with 15 of my dearest bloggy friends. Check out blocks on the blogs of all my other Fabri-Quilt New Block Hop hoppers to see the blocks they’ve created!

The block I made is, what I’m calling, the String Showcase. It finished at 12″ finished block and uses 6 fat eighths. It reminds me of those fun striped beach umbrellas, perfect for our watermelon summer color palette!

String Showcase 12" Quilt Block Tutorial - great scrap buster and spin on a simple HST layout

12″ String Showcase Quilt Block Tutorial


  • 1 fat eighth for the corners
  • 4 fat eighths for string pieces
  • 2 sheets of paper
    I use the Carol Doak’s foundation paper but you can use printer paper or newspaper, just make sure to drop your stitch length (I set my machine to 1.5)

Materials for String Showcase block

Sew String Piece Squares

Step 1
Start off by cutting a piece 2 pieces paper 7 1/2″ square and draw a diagonal line across the paper

Cut paper 7 1/5" and draw a line diagonally to make the String Showcase block

Step 2
Cut 4 @ 1″ x ~ 22″ strips from each string piece color. Cut then from the long edge of the fat 8th

For the String Showcase block cut 4 @ 1" strips from the string fat eighths

Step 3
Lay two long strips right side together along the drawn line with the strips overhanging the edge of the paper by about 1/2″

Pin two strings RST along the diagonal line

Step 4
With your stitch length shorter than usual (I use stitch length 1.5) then sew through all three layers 1/4″ from the edge.

Sew 1/4" away from edge

Step 5
Press strip open

Next string

Step 6
Continue sewing strips till you cover the corner of the paper

Filled up half the paper with strings

Step 7
Repeat in the other direction to cover the entire sheet

Strings filed the whole sheet

Step 8
Trim the excess to the edge of the paper

Trimmed up string block

Step 9
Repeat steps 1-8 and make a second strip piece square

Two trimmed string blocks

Sew Half Square Triangles

Step 1
Cut 2 @ 7 1/2″ square from the core. Mark a diagonal line on the wrong side of fabric

Two solid blocks with lines marked

Step 2
Line up the string block with the solid square, the marked diagonal should go in the same direction as the string pieces

Line up blocks and make sure your string lines got in the right direction

Step 3
Sew 1/4″ to both the left and right of the marked line and cut along marked line

Sew two half square triangle pieces

Step 5
Press seam towards the solid color and repeat steps to make two more half square triangles

All four string half square triangle blocks

Finish the Block

Step 1
Trim all the half square triangles to 6 1/5″ square

Trim up all the HST blocks to 6 1/2" square

Step 2
Piece blocks into pairs then sew the two halves together using a 1/4″ seam allowance

Sew HST blocks together

Tip: Use Clover wonder clips to keep the HST from shifting

About the paper
I leave the paper on until the end but as I sew the blocks together I rip the paper out of the seam allowance so I can press my seams nicely!

HST with seam ripper and paper scraps for seam allowances

Once the block is complete I’ll use my seam ripper (and sometimes a pair of tweezers) to remove the scraps of paper that has been perforated by the stitches.  The lower stitch length makes this easier to pull the paper away.

Removing the remaining paper

Now that we’ve completed the 12″ String Showcase blocks let’s get to the other fun part.

String Showcase 12" Quilt Block Tutorial - great scrap buster and spin on a simple HST layout

Giveaway Too?!?!

Fabri-Quilt was so kind to donate all the fabric for all the hoppers in this blog hop AND they’re topping it off by giving away a half yard bundle of the Watermelon Summer palette.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To enter today’s giveaway follow the Inspired by Fabric blog (either by email or blog reader) and let me know using the Rafflecopter widget. You can win an extra entry by leaving a comment on this post too! The giveaway is open to everyone (international entries welcome), and the giveaway will be open through Monday, September 7th at 11:59 pm EDT. Good luck! Inspired by Fabricis also hosting a *separate* giveaways this week too so make sure you check that out too!


  1. I think this is a fantastic design, Terri Ann, and I am certain I would not have thought to approach piecing it the way you describe so I am so glad you put together this tutorial! The block makes me think of laying back in a beach chair looking up at the sky and a beach umbrella. šŸ™‚

  2. Wow, what a great block Teri Ann! I love the clear directions, too. I’m looking forward to trying this. Thank you for all your work on the hops!

  3. I like your block, the colors are wonderful. I would like to use these colors for flying geese blocks.

  4. fantastic tutorial!!! If I won this collection I’d make Flying Geese – it’s a seasonal choice!!! Lol

  5. Love your block. I’ve always wanted to try a string block and would try it in this palette. Thanks.

  6. My first thought was a Flying Geese block. But since I have elephants on the brain right now, I think those bright colors would look great in elephant blocks!

  7. I love string blocks! I love HSTs! Combining the two is doubly-awesome. So many possibilities for an entire quilt top here. šŸ™‚

  8. As a new quilter, I’m itching to try my hand at every method of assembling blocks. I think I would try making hexagon log cabins with this palette. Thanks!

  9. Love your block and the background fabric that you picked, it turned out very nice. My favorite block is the disappearing nine patch. I follow you via e-mail. I also follow Inspired by fabric via e-mail and Facebook. Thank you for the tutorial.

  10. I am new to quilting. I love to sew, but just finally got a chance to get more into it. I really love seeing the tutorials. They are so helpful. I’d love to give the method you showed a try.

  11. I love your string block! It looks very complex but the tutorial shows it is very easy to make. I am sad that the hop is winding down. It has been so much fun getting to know everyone even better and seeing what we are all capable of.

  12. I love your block. The red in the corners just sets it off so perfectly. I would probably do a star block with these colors if I didn’t make your block with it.

  13. I don’t have a favorite block….when I start a new quilt I look around at dozens of blocks and I chose the one that I would like to try…..

  14. Love the strings! I am a sucker for pinwheel blocks so I might give a group of small pinwheels a try with these colors!

  15. I love string blocks. I think this pallet would also make up a great looking log cabin or courthouse steps block.

  16. Great block! Have really enjoyed this blog hop! I think I would use these colours in a monkey wrench set of blocks!

  17. Thanks to all for the clear tutorials. Lots of fun options. My vote today goes to sewpsyched and her modern dogwood pattern. Although I am a competent piecer, I think I’d size up this block and use a larger block to create the pattern, perhaps as a mandala center.

  18. Your block inspires me to try paper piecing. It’s almost an optical illusion block. Love it!. Out of this color palette, the block I would like to piece is Preppy Whales by Elizabeth Hartman. The pink, green and white would be the whales the shades of blue, the water.

  19. Very nice block. I have a bundle of fat eights and now I have a block with a great tutorial to follow. Thanks!

  20. I’ve been making a lot of quarter-square triangles lately, and I think these colors lend themselves to those blocks and random arrangements really well.

  21. I love these colors! I think I’d do some sort of star. I love foundation paper piecing! I like your string showcase block too…that might be worth a try.

  22. I haven’t made anything with those colors, but I love your block and I just might have to make a mini quilt with it.

  23. I like making string blocks and appreciate your tip about using the Wonder Clips to control the HST pieces. Thanks for the tutorial.

  24. I think that Squared Sky might be my favorite block from this Hop. I did really like Floored and Sail Boat Summer, too.

  25. One of my favourite blocks is log cabin. I would use these fabrics in a log cabin wall hanging.

  26. It has been quite some time since I have done a string quilt or paper pieced, but after seeing your block today and how brilliantly all of the fabrics work together I will definitely be putting together a quilt with your block and tutorial. Thank you so much for this superb blog hop and all of your help in putting it all together. I have been so inspired throughout and enjoyed each blog and block. Have a wonderful creative day!

    1. I’d like to make a String Showcase block following your very clear instructions! I’m hoping my strips wouldn’t get all wonky like they usually do, but maybe with your tutorial, I can improve. Thanks so much!

  27. My favorite blocks are stars and Dresden plates. I think these colors would look great in both types of blocks. Thanks for the great tutorial, I would not have thought of doing it this way.

  28. I’ve been wanting to try a log cabin block, so I think I’d use that.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win! and your block is beautiful!

  29. LOOOOOVE your Block! Thanks for sharing such grrrreat Tutorial!! I think These solids would make a cool Churn Dash…or Log Cabin…but I would love to do a quilt in your Block pattern!

  30. I printed out a lot of these blocks to make and yours is one of them. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

  31. Thanks for the tutorial! I would make a string block with these beautiful fabrics, because I just love the look of your string block.

  32. It is hard to choose as there are so many nice ones that I’d probably end up making a sampler which would include a sailboat and the sunrise at sea among others. It’s so hard to keep up as there are so many blogs to read each day. I’m behind so I know there are other really nice blocks out there. Why do you use the paper on your block? Could it be sewn without the paper. It is a nice block and does remind me of umbrellas. [email protected]

  33. This has been such a great blog hop. The patterns for the blocks are great and seeing all the new and different ideas has been really inspiring.
    I follow Inspired by fabric by email.
    My email is: [email protected]

  34. I love half square triangles with their versatility. I haven’t tried strips this small but I love her effect!

  35. I would love to make a Prairie Queen or Jacob’s Ladder block with these colors. I could have so much fun with the color placement!

  36. Terri Ann, thanks so much for this tutorial. As a beginner, I’m pretty intimidated by paper piecing–but I can totally do this! I love your use of the colors–this is my favorite block that uses all the fabrics!

  37. Flying geese or log cabin. Either would be nice. Thank you for the chance to win.

  38. Thank you Terri Ann for the great tutorial on a string block. I have yet to try and make one but with your tute it looks doable for me.

  39. I do really like your string block. I’ve been working on a log cabin quilt and loving them again. I think I have several more designs I’d like to try and these fabrics would be great. Thanks.

  40. i would probably do a flowery pattern with the red in the center if i were to do a different block with these colors

  41. Great design! string blocks are always a favorite of mine, and I have a design midway that would benefit from this already. Lovely to find inspiration this early in the a.m. Thank you!

  42. I would try a string quilt. Your tutorial was great. I have never made a block like this before but feel I could try it.

  43. Hi Terri Anne: Great tutorial and wonderful block. I really like how the strings are a little different from each other adding interest to the block and the coral background really sets the strings off.

Comments are closed.