Earlier I showed you a picture of some string pieced diamonds I had made. Here is the photo again to jog your memory!
If you would like to join in and make a few, here’s a quick easy string piecing tutorial.
I use either old phone book pages or the paper on the right which is Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper. You will need a sheet of one of those, a rotary cutter, some scraps of fabric (strips are easiest to work with – just small scraps will do) and I’m using an Easy Eight ruler. (Keep in mind here, you don’t have to have this ruler – you can also make string pieced triangles, squares, rectangles etc. – any shape you want!)
Lay the ruler on the paper just like above in the photo.
Trim away the paper along the upper left and right sides of the ruler.
Remove the ruler, flip the paper around so the edge you just cut is pointing toward you. Place the ruler back on the paper – lining the edge of the largest diamond shape (which is a 4″) along the cut edge of the diamond. Trim off the excess paper along the upper left and right side of the ruler. *** Just a little note here – if you are making squares or rectangles – just cut them into the size blocks you wish to make. No special ruler needed!
Here is the diamond paper cut to size. Grab 2 scraps of fabric – make sure they are long enough to cover the width of the diamond.
Lay one strip centered across the width of your diamond – be sure it covers the widest points!
Lay a second strip, right sides together on top of the first strip, matching the upper long edges. You can use pins to hold these together if you wish.
Using a tiny stitch on your sewing machine, sew along the long matched edges of fabric across the diamond shape. (keep in mind – after you get the hang of this – it’s much easier to chain piece a bunch of these at one time!) Using a tiny stitch on your sewing machine will help make it easier to tear the paper away later on.
Using your hot iron – set the seam and press the fabrics open. Neat huh….
Place the next strip of fabric on top of the previously sewn and pressed open strip.
Again, make sure the fabric is wide enough to cover the diamond paper shape, stitch along the upper edge of the strips from one end to the other, set seam and press open.
Continue sewing strips onto your paper shape until the entire shape is cover and resembles this:
One thing I do want to mention – notice those narrow points at the top and bottom of the diamonds? Remember to use a wider piece of fabric here – not a 1/2″ or 3/4″ wide piece or anything – a little bigger than that! The reason being – when you start joining your diamonds together later on to make a quilt, you will need your 1/4″ seam allowance on each side of the diamond. It’s really difficult to press seams in that area if you use tiny strips on those points – trust me! Looks a little messy right now – don’t you agree? Let’s clean it up a bit.
Flip your diamond over so that the paper side is face up. Grab your ruler and rotary cutter again.
Line the upper edge of the ruler along the previously cut paper diamond edges. Trim off the excess fabric. It will resemble this:
Turn the diamond shape around so that the messy edge is now facing upward and away from you. Line the diamond ruler edges along the paper diamond shape and trim off the excess fabric. Once you flip the diamond over to the right side, you will have a pretty string pieced diamond like this:
You can now gently remove the paper from the back of the diamond shape. I generally leave the papers on till I get a pile of them – then take them and sit in my nice comfy chair in the living room and work on a stack at a time while dear hubbie falls asleep in front of the TV! LOL
Make as many shapes as you need to complete your project. At this point, I’m not quite sure what I will make. I just felt like sewing something mindless today. I get like that sometimes! I hope this helps everyone that asked me on Face Book how to do this and also helps answer some of the questions I received via email. If not – drop me a line and I’ll help you!
Last year I made a string pieced twin size quilt. I’ll have to dig that out and post a picture of it for you!
Enjoy the tutorial and share it with your friends!