Easy String Quilting MethodsString quilts are made using a simple type of foundation piecing that's typically referred to as either string piecing or string quilting. You'll see more than just the two terms above, but they all refer to the same technique: string quilts, string pieced quilts, string quilting and more. If it says strings, it usually refers to this technique.
String quilting gets its name from the long strips of fabric that are used... the strings, which are sewn randomly to a permanent foundation that's often cut from muslin. You can use another fabric (or thinner material) if you like, even prints, but choose one that won't show through the strings after the blocks are assembled.
String quilts likely originated as a make do technique created by budget conscious quilters, because the method is a perfect way to use leftover scraps of fabric. The technique is still a great way to use quilting scraps, but today's quilters often purchase fabrics just so they can cut them into strings.
String Piecing Advice
- Strings needn't be straight strips of fabric; try using angled strings to create variety and visual interest.
- Don't worry about fabric grain placement, because the strings are permanently stabilized by a foundation.
- Forget about trying to match fabrics; string quilts are charming when you assemble them from a wide assortment of colors and fabric styles.
- Choose quilting fabrics in a wide variety of color values.
- Strings can be any width, and for the most interesting results their widths should differ. I typically cut strips that are 1-1/4" to 2-1/2" wide for 8" or larger blocks; narrower widths for miniatures.
String piecing is a free-form quiltmaking method, so you will not usually mark a pattern onto your foundations. Instead, you'll simply position strips, sew a seam, flip the strip right side up, and then add another. It's super simple, but there are so many ways to string piece that the results are never boring.