A scarp quilt has been on my To-do list for long so when I received this book, Scrap Quilts-Fast and fun as a gift and turned to page 109, I was convinced on giving the ‘String Squares’ a go. As usual though, am not following the pattern in the book.

string squares

Let me write my own tutorial and add modifications to the design !!

Having recently returned from a paper piecing workshop, paper piecing seems the obvious choice :)

Quick Strip Quilt: Basic Block Template
All you need:

-A4 sheets
-School rulers(1″ and 1.5″)
-Pencil and eraser
-Fabric scraps and leftovers
-Cutting mat and rotary cutter

Do note that the paper template and hence the block is 8″ when raw and 7.5″ when complete and sewed into a project. You can alter the size of the square and the width of the bands as per your need.

Preparing the paper templates

1. Take an A4 sheet and mark a square 8″ X8″ in size. I used a pencil so the marking is light.

Paper template 1

2. Fold the square to mark the diagonal. Open and draw a line across the diagonal. this will be our guiding line. Place your 1.5″ width scale and align the center of the scale with the diagonal line as seen in the picture below, such that the center of the page has a 1″ width set of parallel line across the diagonal.

Paper template 2

3.Continue to draw parallel lines such that:
The center pair is 1″ apart
then .5″ apart
then 1″ apart and so on until you reach either end of the paper (moving outwards from the diagonal). Please refer to image below for better clarity.

Paper template 3

4. The center 1″ strip would be coloured and so will be each of the alternate strips(.5″). All white strips would be 1″ wide.

Paper template 4

Trim the square and remove extra paper from all sides. Here I have coloured them for easy reference. Also, when you photocopy the coloured areas would look darker and hence easy for guidance and you wouldn’t confuse between white and coloured strips.
Once you are sure that the template is ready, make as many photocopies of it as required. You will sew on these paper templates and tear off the paper at the end .

Cutting fabric and sewing the Block

1.Take all your long scraps. I didn’t have much so I cut strips from my yardage.

Fabric scraps

2. Please note that when you cut your fabric, all white strips are to be cut 1.5″ in width. This is where your 1.5″ width student scale comes to use. It is not used during paper template process.
The center fabric is 1″ when completed , hence has to be cut at 1.5″ width. I chose a maroon tone for this.

All the other coloured fabric would be 1″ when cut(and hence 0.5 inch when completed).

Cut strips

3. Now take a paper template and place the printed side facing down. You basically just see a plain white sheet. Place the maroon along the diagonal and white on top, with right sides of both facing each other.
So, paper template facing down, maroon strip along the diagonal facing up and white strip facing down aligned on the maroon. Hold it against the light to ensure your fabric covers the center band.
Refer image below.

Ensuring correct alignment

4.Pin the strips in place. Always pin on the seam away from you, not like seen below. Turn the paper and sew on one guided line.


5. Turn to the non printed side of the paper, remove the pins and nail press the seams open.You will have one printed and one white band side by side.This is the only strip you have to be really careful about.

Join the third strip

6. Next, place a coloured fabric over the white fabric so that the other seam is aligned for both fabrics. Pin towards the inner seam. Turn and sew on the next guided line. You need not check it against the light but you can never be more careful, just do it as convenient.Turn to teh fabric side, remove pins and needle process. Continue like this until you reach the end of the paper with alternating coloured and white strips.

And the next

7. Iron the untrimmed square inside out. If your coloured strips are not all cotton, then ensure you set your iron to the setting for the fabric that has the lowest tolerance, else you might have some fabric crinkle up and burn.

Uncut square

8. Trim the square to size using your cutting mat and rotary cutter using the paper template as guide.

Trimmed square

Prepare as many blocks you require and use them in various colourful projects ! I have a couple in mind…will soon post on them as well.

I must warn you before you start reading this post…

This will not just be a photo heavy post, it will also be looooong and will have my wild ramblings on having thoroughly enjoyed a weekend, quilting with friends and learning at least 3 techniques in the process.

It all started with an innocuous statement that a fellow quilter made on a social network site displaying a desire to learn esoteric quilting skills. Shruti, from 13 Woodhouse road, not just agreed to do a workshop for us but also invited us to stay over at her place and have a taste of her hospitality. I still can’t get over the fact that someone can be so generous with her designer fabric as she is with her skill and learning — a single point agenda of giving the ‘quilting cause’ a boost!

Shruti and her muse

Shruti and her muse

Thats Shruti for you. She lives in Sangli, a quaint town in Maharashtra, about 400 km from Mumbai, but the journey by road takes almost 6 -7hours.

We, 4 students from Mumbai boarded the bus on a rainy Thursday night for an overnight bus journey to Sangli. The first glimpses of Sangli reminded me of my own village …reminiscent of the paddy fields back home in my village which I stopped visiting after my school days for varied reasons : both voluntary and forced…a strange nostalgia engulfed me as we crossed the Varna river much in spate after the August rains. There were sugarcane fields on both sides of the road, some so close that it seemed we could just lean out of the window and touch them,all lush green and wonderful in the morning light. We were welcomed by her family with open arms and hot morning tea and biscotti. Such warm people …they just filled our hearts with warmth. All of us were keen to visit her outhouse turned into the studio, we fondly remember from her blog as 13 Woodhouse Road. Post breakfast we rushed there like eager little kids and were welcome to a lovely large workshop with high-end sewing machines and beautiful wall quilts that adorned the walls.

Apsara aali by Shruti

Apsara aali by Shruti

Houses by Shruti

Houses by Shruti

Steve Jobs portrait quilt

Steve Jobs portrait quilt

As the oohs and aahs settled down, we were read out the Miranda rules,ie, the learning schedule for the next 2 days. We started with the flying geese paper piecing method on the first day and dived into her designer scrap bin to get our colorful geese out, each picking neutrals to go with them.

Admiring her quilts

Admiring her quilts

We made some wonderful paper pieced flying geese blocks in black and grey and then,an improvised method by reversing the fabric usage, using scraps as the background. It was great fun.

flying geese

flying geese

She had all the notes and templates printed with the names written on them. Couldn’t have expected the workshop to be more organized than this. Lunch time was time to order in food, hot rolls with coke and then, back to work starting with trapunto.

chai time

chai time

I remember looking at it and thinking, OMG this is impossible to make. How on earth did she make it. More importantly, does she really believe that she can make a maladroid like me work on silk and make such intricate designs!! Hmmmm… brave girl!

Flying geese 1

Flying geese 1

But with her step by step instructions, it did get less intimidating and we were almost half way there by the time we closed the workshop for the day.

Then she treated us to boating in the Varna-Krishna river confluence at sunset.

Ferry me across the river

Ferry me across the river

Life couldn’t have been more tranquil. Post that we returned to the bustle of the local market to buy fabric from a local shop, her little fabric nook. That however wasn’t the end of the day, the excitement continued as we were welcome home to wonderful aromatic biryani and we laughed and joked like school girls way into the night. While the nip in the air was actually welcome, we also loved the abundance of handmade quilts that she provided for comfort and warmth.

Even her doormat was quilted !!

quilted doormat by Shruti

quilted doormat by Shruti

Second day started with us getting back to our unfinished trapunto quilts and learning how to make pouches. We completed our trapunto projects just in time to board a bus back home.



The day was characterised by timely clicks and rounds of fabric fun!

The gang

The gang

gifts exchange

gifts exchange

The most enjoyable of all fabric games was when she threw fabric blindfolded and anyone who caught it, got it !! As we boarded the night bus back home, the laughter and cheer eventually died down and all I remembered was

‘ The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more’

Sonalee with Shruti

Sonalee with Shruti

Last month I tried a chevron quit for the first time. Yes, You read it right…first time !!
It turned out fine and all the points quite matched up…

I have now renewed energy to make another one, slightly differently laid HSTs, but then a chevron quilt once again:) Its based on the free tutorial by Rashida Coleman Hale’s Mod Chevron baby quilt, but as always, I have to add a little bit of _me_ in the quilt. I am using a layer cake and assorted fabric from my stash:)


here is the set of layer cake and a coloured diagram of the quilt I intend to make…some triangles look smudgy as my little one coloured them in variegated crayons! That’s life with a little one at home who is enjoying his summer vacation with mom’s idea book and crayons :)

Linking it to WIP Wednesday and Lets be social …

A proud moment when I finally completed my quilt and gifted it to my sister, 2 days after her birthday and a year+a month after her first anniversary :)
A quilt was scheduled for her wedding but I never could muster enough courage to attempt a large quilt.This is the first full-size quilt that I have attempted and successfully completed. Am so proud of it. Herez my lovely sis and the little one modelling the quilt at her house beside the beach :)

And a thumbs up to a lot more on the anvil !!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sew Fresh Quilts

This is an experiment gone wrong. While I tried doing the Mayflower block, I trued to twist and see how it would look if I decreased the width of the bars. The resulting block is just a cross and looks nowhere close to beautiful Mayflower.


However, I completed a quilt block with diamond panes from Week 1

Diamond panes Quilt Top

Linking it to :

Vintage Quilt Revival Block Along
stitch by stitch

Sew Cute Tuesday

Here is this week’s paper pieced block: bright, matching points and a new learning. The block actually came together quite easily despite my trepidation ….

What I also accomplished this week is an entire quilt top with blocks from week1.

This quilt top, first in a series of large quilts(anything larger than a baby quilt is a milestone for me) almost broke my back completing. But I am glad its done…

Mosaic quilt

Now, for the quilting. I am wondering, if I should just hand quilt it!
I have a small standard home sewing machine and a quilt the size of my double bed may not fit into it.

I have a few excess blocks left from the quilt. Hope I am able to make a pair of cushion covers to go with the quilt :)

Mosaic quilt 2

Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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