Saturday, February 8, 2014

Stacked Blocks Tutorial

Stacked Blocks

A new free tutorial from Jean MaDan, using bonus HSTs and strings from your stash.


As most of you know, when I write tutorials, I like them to be SIMPLE, and use fabrics and tools that you are most likely to already have on hand. I like them even better if they are something that you wish you had a way to use up! *grin* I started doing this particular pattern about ten years ago when I got bored with regular string quilts and wanted to do something just a little different. So, I started fussing around with what I had in my stash, and this is what I came up with. I've done several of them over the years, and decided that some of you might want to play with your string collection and see what you come up with, so here are the basic steps.

First, you'll need to pick one solid color to use for a frame. I chose Kona Black, because I always have some in my stash, and every fabric shows up well against it. It helps tone down the chaos a bit as well. *wink* But you choose whatever you like. You'll need to cut that solid fabric into 1½" wide strips. (This is the only thing I'll be fussy about.)

Now gather up your bonus HSTs. Here's the good news... I don't care what size they are! Yep, that's what I said! I don't care! They can be 1½", they can be 2", whatever you have laying around. If you don't have any and want to make some, make them whatever size floats your boat! Plus, you can have some of each size and mix them all together into the same quilt. (Look at the photo above, and you'll see what I mean.) You're going to find this is the most I-don't-care tutorial you ever read! LOL!

Now you'll start framing your HSTs with the black strips:
 I can't really tell you how long to cut those pieces, because I don't know what size your HSTs are, because... yep... I don't care. *giggle* Okay, enough silliness. You got the point. So on with the lesson. 

Next you're going to start adding strings.. any width will do. Use narrow and wide and all sorts of colors. Just stick to ONE FABRIC per round as you go, so that you keep getting a sort of frame effect. Now, normally, I measure and cut my fabric before I add strips. I do that if I'm making log cabin blocks for example. But on this, because strings are so often a weird width, it's not practical. So, I cut it longer, sew it on, and trim off the excess.

Using the SAME FABRIC, add the next side:

Do this on all your squares, until they measure AT LEAST 5½" square. I usually go for slightly larger, and then square them neatly up like so:

NOW.... on EVERY OTHER SQUARE, you'll add an outside 1½" strip of black on one, and on the other square you'll do the same with a print fabric:


When they go into your rows, you'll rotate them so they form your pattern like so:

And when you put your rows together you get this:

Easy and fun, and you can use up weird sizes of HSTs, weird widths of strings, and you don't have to worry if the HSTs are facing the right direction or anything else. I like it! But then... I'm weird that way. *wink*

Happy Quilting!
Jean

Linda just sent me her finished quilt using this tutorial, so I wanted to share it with you!
 Beautiful job, Linda!!

18 comments:

  1. Spectacular! Looks simple and fun and turns out really well. Thanks for writing this up.

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  2. I love this. I have a small container of 4 patch blocks that were too small for my project - I think that I can use them in one quilt and I have a bunch of HST from a couple of mysteries that can be used in another quilt. Thank you for a great tutorial.

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  3. That is terrific. The women at my Guild are always giving me their "waste"/"bonus" triangles.This is a great way to us all those odd sizes.

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  4. Great tutorial Jean. Thank you. I'm always saving leftover HST and strings.

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  5. What you mean I can use up all those spare HSTs and I don't have to trim them all? Oh my I think I'm in heaven!!! Great tutorial, love the pattern.

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  6. What an amazing quilt, I love my scrap HST's and cant wait to make this pattern. Thank you so much for such a great tutorial.

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  7. super wonderful way to use up the scrap stash!!! Bet I could make at least 4 of these in at least a double size!!

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  8. Love it! I'm a 'scrappy person.'

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  9. This is just too cool!! Love it and can hardly wait to start one.

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  10. Very cool, my string tub runneth over! May have to make one.

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  11. This is beautiful - thank you for the great tutorial.

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  12. I totally missed this post, Jean. Good job. You are so inventive!!Love ya.

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  13. Warning these are addictive ,,LOL
    Love the tutorial thanks so very much

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  14. this pattern is more addictive than chocolate... I was making over 400 hundred blocks before I realized it.. Thanks Jean...now do yah wanna help me quilt them up ? LOL

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  15. I agree with you all... this is addictive. I've probably made over a hundred charity quilts using this pattern since I first came up with it. I'm glad so many people have enjoyed it with me!

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  16. This is awesome. I wish I could print it. I do better if I can blow up the print on my printer. Eyes are getting old. :-(

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  17. A wonderful way to use up HSTs!

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  18. I absolutely love this and it's going on my bucket list... Thank you.

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