Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Heart Strings Tutorial

Here is my tutorial to make the Heart Strings Table Mat as promised.  It finishes at 18 inches.

You will need:
36 foundations that measure 3 1/2" square
Red and white/off white strips

Make 2 all background squares
Make 6 all red squares
Make 28 half red/half background squares

This is my basket of backgrounds and reds that I used.  I also have some odd triangles in there.  These are helpful to cover a corner sometimes.

I recently helped my daughter move, and I was thrilled to find a phone book in her things.  This is the best foundation paper that I've found to use.  It practically perforates itself and is very easy to remove. I cut my foundations for this project at 3 1/2".  Cut 36.

(Recently I've been noticing that some of the big box stores (like Meijer or Wal-Mart) and even some grocery stores have phone books available right inside their doors.


This 3 1/2" piece of paper is just a guide.  You need to make sure it is covered...but not exactly.  It will be trimmed down to size later.  I started by putting right sides of a red and a background strip together. I "aimed" my sewing line to go down the diagonal center of the foundation.  One thing I love about making string blocks is that this isn't an exact science.  Take a look at the curve in my white strip in the photo below.  Also notice the width of my red strip.  As it is, that red strip will take up too much of that little block.  Instead of cutting it down, I'll just move the next red strip over so that the first strip doesn't show so much.

Chain piece these through your machine.

Here is the pile of 36 blocks ready for pressing.

Continue sewing and pressing until you have covered all 36 blocks.  Then place the 45 degree line on the seam line between the red and white strip as shown below and trim.  When you are trimming the one color blocks, just place the line on one of the seams so that all of your strips run at a diagonal.

 I just chose to make my blocks 3 1/2" (unfinished) because that is the size of the alternate blocks in the Bonnie Hunter Orca Bay mystery quilt from earlier this year.  I really like this size string block.

Here is the layout of the blocks as I drew them in EQ5.

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This is the finished top put together.

I really hope you will give string blocks a try.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment or email me at

If you still want to make this little table mat and don't want to use string blocks, I'll show you how in my next post.

I've signed up to be part of the String Thing Along blog that has just started.  We will be sharing our string projects and ideas there so come on over for a visit here:

I hope you are all finding some time to stitch. 

Thanks for stopping by for a visit today!


  1. you are ahead of me for Valentines!!! this is a cute one...

  2. thanks for the tutorial and the shoutout for the string thing along blog.

  3. Very cute! I don't think I have enough reds to make string blocks, but i bet I could make this with half square triangles???

  4. What a great tutorial. Thanks a lot! The project is so stinking cute!

  5. I just found your site,Luann--I really think your heart strings block is adorable--and I like the phone book idea for piecing ; Julierose

  6. I'll wait for the non-string version. : )

  7. Thanks for the great tutorial. I just put some phone books in the recycle bin! OMG, if I'd known I would have hung onto them!!! Anyway, I'll find some more and keep them in my sewing room. I'll be doing some of these soon. Thanks!

  8. Deat Luann!
    Beautiful tutorial. Thank you sharing.Unfortunately, I do not have such a cute ruler.

  9. Dear LuAnn,
    what a beautiful tutorial, the idea to use the phone book is great.
    Just now I've seen your new email adress, I'll change it now. Thank you for sharing the link to string thing along.
    Thanks again and have a nice week

  10. This is such a cute project! Thank you very much for sharing it!

  11. Thank you for the extra effort it took to put this together. I do love the heart and wanna try it now!!

  12. Thank you for the tutorial. The heart project looks great - perfect for Valentines.

  13. nice tutorial, I had not thought to use a phone book!

  14. Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing! Now I know what to do with my old phone books :)

  15. oh I love that string pattern!

  16. Very nice, I like your method of using pages from an old phone book for a foundation! ;) I have yet to make one of these but you've inspired me. Lord knows my scrap bin is filled with MANY strings. :)


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