Mom's Stash String Quilt

Mom’s Stash String Quilt

Early in 2016, I started a quilt for a friend. She’d inherited part of her Mom’s stash of fabric and was looking for a way to turn it into a quilt. The fabric that wasn’t Christmas themed was mostly pale purple and pink.

The pair of us scoured pinterest, and eventually found some string quilts. So I started hacking away at the stash. The fabrics didn’t really go together, so the string quilt was a way to make it all gel. We choose black to make the diamond pattern, since a bold neutral was the only way to override the riot of colour.

I can’t honestly say how much fabric this quilt took, since I was dealing with random yardage from a stash, as well as my own cutoffs from other projects. This quilt is an excellent scrap buster; you can use random pieces or carve up yardage, it doesn’t matter.


  • 15″ square ruler
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • A variety of fabric for the top, including one main sash colour (this tutorial assumes black)
  • Batting
  • Backing


  1. Cut a variety of fabric into 8″ strips. These strips build the strips between the squares. I trimmed to 7.5″, so anything between 7.5″ and 8″ is fair game.¬†Since I was using yardage, I cut my strips at 2″ x 8″. The odd cutoff from my own stash was larger or smaller than 2″ wide, but in general the strips were uniform.
  2. Sew a random selection of strips together to make a 21″ long band of fabric. Use a standard, scant 1/4″ seam allowance and press to one side.

    Step 2: assemble 8" strips into 21" long pieces

    Step 2: assemble 8″ strips into 21″ long pieces

  3. Trim the strips to 7.5″ wide. Then, cut the corners by aligning the square ruler so that diagonal points meet the center of either end of the strip:
    String quilt, trimmingTrimmed block center
  4. Add 2.5″ wide black bands to the long sides of the strip.
    Block center with black bands
    Cheater tip: I used 2.5″ strips because I wanted my binding to be black as well. This way I could cut my black fabric up and not worry about leftover strips, because I would use it as binding.
  5. Continue adding fabric to the black bands, checking with the ruler lined up to the points you trimmed to be sure you’re adding enough to complete the square. I like pressing and trimming as I add each band so that I’m sure it works. When you’re done adding fabric, your block will look something like this:
    Completed string block
  6. Align your blocks with the black sashing in alternating directions to create the squares:
    Laying out string quilt
    Try to keep identical fabrics away from each other as you layout your quilt to keep the randomness going. When sewing a row together, ensure your black sashing lines up:
    Align black sashing
  7. Once the quilt top is assembled, sandwich and quilt as desired. Bind with the remainder of the 2.5″ black fabric.