Sunday, January 30, 2011

February’s Block for Michelle

For my blocks this month, I’m basing the pattern off the Nigella quilt by Amy Butler. Basically, I’m having you make a string block on a muslin foundation (times 4), and then centering a fussy cut piece on the string background.

I will have your fabrics in the mail this week, but wanted to write up the directions so that you have them available. You can click each picture to make it bigger.

The fabrics I’m sending out are from Tula Pink’s Parisville line. I’m a big Tula fan – her Flutterby line was the first “designer” fabric I ever purchased, and I’ve been smitten with her bold use of color and her innovative (and sometimes hidden) patterns in her fabrics ever since! For this block, I’m using the Cameo print as my focus/center fabric.


Anywho, I’m including four 9.5” squares of muslin and a bunch of pieces of various widths – please feel free to cut each string to an unfinished size of 3/4” or wider. Most of my strings in the sample above where around the 2” mark. For the steps below, I recommend chain piecing the 4 blocks to make things go a bit faster.

On each muslin piece, I’ve drawn a line 2.5” from the center. This is where you place your first “string” right side up, which should be at least 2” wide.


Place a 2nd strip right side down on the 1st strip, lining up the edge. Make sure the string is long enough to cover the entire muslin piece when it gets ironed open.

Slide3 Continue until the entire muslin piece is covered. Try to get a variety of prints and colors on each block.


Trim the blocks up using the muslin as your guide.

Sew the four blocks together with the plain muslin part toward the middle (of course, yours won’t look so symmetrical with the color placement – please mix it up a bit!):


Fold your focus/centerpiece fabric evenly in both directions to determine the center point (feel free to iron in a crease if that helps you get it lined up.

Center the fold lines on the seam lines of the four block pieces and pin in place. Using a coordinating thread (I used a hot pink on mine that matched the color in the print perfectly, so feel free to use color if you have it), sew a 1/8” raw edge around the edge of the centerpiece. If your machine has any fun stitches, please feel free to jazz up the edge stitching!

If you have any questions or concerns, just shoot me an email!


  1. Michelle, I'm excited to see Parisville, in person! Terri did string blocks last fall, and her quilt will be lovely. These are great instructions...

  2. Wow! Great instructions. I'm anxious to see the fabrics and the crazy-flaming-head motif! Really, what is the design in the center block? -- michele

  3. Great. Will keep my peepers open for the fabrics... I only a have a straight stitch JUKI, Is it ok If I hand applique the center?