Sunday, January 5, 2020

2020 String Block Drive for Covered in Love

Hello faithful Covered in Love sewers! It's January and time for the 5th annual CiL String Block Drive. The first 3 years we did a traditional string blocks like these, then last year did a quarter log cabin variant.  This year I have another variation on a string block to mix it up a little bit. 

In 2018 we had a bumper crop of quilts!
If you're unfamiliar with the details of how these blocks drives work scroll all the way to the bottom of the post. Or visit this page for the details of Covered in Love's mission.

String blocks all start out the same, by opening your string drawer (mine ALWAYS seems to be over flowing) and cutting a foundation square of scrap fabric about 13.5" square.  You'll trim to final block to 12.5", so after you make one or two you'll figure out how much how much lee way you need to give yourself.

Somewhere in the middle third of the block draw a vertical line on any angle. 

Pick which side, left or right, you're going to start on and start at the wider end of the section. Start placing string to fill the section, making sure that they cover your pencil line completely.  As you put each new strip down, place it right side down and sew through all three layers.

Then unfold the strip and finger press it down in place. 

Continue placing strings down, working your way up the section.

Now, time to change directions.  Take a long string and place it along the same angle as your original pencil line. Make sure you place it so that all the seam allowances will be well covered.

Sew the new strip in place and press it over.

Continue placing strings until you cover then entire foundation piece of fabric.

Trim the block to 12.5". I find this easier to do from the back.

And that's it. Ta-da, one block done!

As usual with these string drives, wonky-ness is allowed and ugly fabrics are encouraged!  By itself one fabric or one block may not look all that impressive, but all together they make beautiful quilts.

(Edited to Add: View some finished quilts here)

Covered in Love makes quilts to cover patients who pass away at a Texas hospital and comfort the families.  Anyone can contribute to these drives and make as few blocks or as many as they like. The drive runs January thru February, so blocks should be in the mail by the end of Feb.  Email if you need the address to mail blocks.


  1. Love it. Need to draw down the string stash this year so this will help.

  2. oh this will be so much fun!!!!
    I've got DEC blocks ready to go in the mail....

  3. Hoping 2020 is the year that all the states on your map is filled in with quilters! This is a great block to make for those of you who have never participated in the block drive. I'd like to challenge anyone who has never sent in a block to do so this year. Let's get that U.S. map completely colored in this year with participants!!
    Can't wait to see the finished quilts with this string variation. Thanks for the easy instructions on how to make this cool block.

  4. Oh, these are going to be so cool!! Crazy string quilts :)

  5. Just now found you!! I am on Galveston Island, TX..and quilt for my local guild. Thank you for all that you do!! Such a joy to see people of like good deed at a time. <3

  6. Looks like fun, I will get started asap!

  7. I've never done a string block like this; it looks like fun!

  8. It is a funky block but I wonder how bulky it will be at the line. I would have a hard time starting and stopping at the line going perpendicular to it. The long direction along the line would be ok. Just wondering.

  9. Besides the blocks they send you, the quilters in my guild would like to make a patiotic set for a local veteran. If they make only the number of blocks required without specifying a right or left slant to the center line, will they be able to assemble a top that has some kind of pattern to it? It's a very interesting block. Thanks for posting it.

    1. P, I'm sorry, you're a "no reply blogger" so I can't reply by email. (You can Google how to adjust that setting). Short answer - yes! I am planning to set them 5x6 to make quilts 60" x 72". I'll probably make several different arrangements, but my first thought is to make columns with the horizontal strings stacked on top of each other and the vertical strips making sort of a wonky river down between them. Sort of similar to this quilt ( but picture the colored string as the verticals. Best of luck! Send me pictures if you make one!

  10. Interesting block! I think I like it!

  11. My quilting bee is making these blocks. We will collect them at our meeting on March 14, and I'll mail them to you the next week!

  12. These string blocks really become swans after trimming to 12.5 inches! I was amazed after trimming off the ragged edges. It's a fun and easy block to sew. My block count so far is 14.