HeartStrings Sew Along

For the 4 day New Year’s weekend, HeartStrings is having a sew along. We’re making purple centered blocks for donation quilts using our standard block guidelines EXCEPT we’re substituting purple for the Blue or Red we usually use. We will be busting some stash piecing backs too.

I’m getting an early start since I’m having trouble sleeping …

I pulled my blues off the shelves, chose a group of them and pieced a scrappy back.


After pressing well, I squared up the back. An important step especially to those of us using the backs on our longarms.


If you’ve never squared up a back, it’s not hard. Fold the backing in half, and then in half again. You’ll have folds on two sides and you will be trimming the other two ‘open’ sides. Use the lines on your ruler and the edges of the backing to make sure you’re square.


Also important — make sure you remove selvages – do not sew them into a seam; press all seams after piecing, and take into account that the backing is oversized and don’t place seams too close to the sides. You don’t want them to be at the edges of the quilt after trimming.

I also cut my foundations and pulled a pretty purple and cut it into 2 inch strips for my block centers. While I could make my centers scrappy and use a number of different purples for this quilt I will be using just one and I’ll bind the quilt in the same fabric.


8 thoughts on “HeartStrings Sew Along

  1. Lynne

    Purple is my favourite colour so ill be thinking about you and your blocks each time I see my bath towel or wear my favourite tee-shirt!

  2. Kaye Littles

    Love your website. It inspires us to use out of our drawers and drawers of fabrics, that we’ve collected over the years. Oh and by the way, my favorite color is purple. Might just have to get in on this one.

  3. SaraF

    The purple is going to make a beautiful center strip for these blocks. I’m working on string blocks right now with a black center. But I like the color like this even better.

  4. Cher

    great diagram and directions for squaring up the backing..I always seem to struggle with this part..so I truly appreciate this visual help!
    looking forward to sewing on my purple strings tomorrow…

  5. Victoria Carroll-Parkhill

    Thank you for the clear instructions on how to square up a pieced backing. That’s a tip that you can’t find in quilt books! Your wonderful photo of your large strip bin makes me want to jump right in and sew.

  6. Sara

    Ok, so we are going to kinda participate……but the deal is I have several huge tubs full of strings so a bunch of buddies are coming over to work through them. Now, most of them are QOV-appropriate so those will be made with red or blue strips down the middle. But we will do some purple………and orange………and whatever. And, due to the bowl games, etc, we are doing our thing later in the week but it will be fun!

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