Birds, Bees and Butterfly Strands ~ A Quilt Block Tutorial

Butterfly Strands Header

I received some beautiful fabric in the mail this week – The Birds and the Bees by designer Tula Pink. This fabric was sent to me generously by one of my sponsors, Westwood Acres (you can see all their The Birds and the Bees bundles here). Amanda asked if I wanted to play around with some of this new line and I didn’t really have to think very long before saying yes!

Birds and the Bees

From the first time I saw this fabric online, I thought it would be perfect for a string quilt. I decided for a bit of a less traditional string quilt however. Yesterday I started making blocks that had random amounts of strings on them and I thought I would share a little tutorial for how I made these blocks. They look like butterfly wings to me so….here is my Butterfly Strands Quilt Block tutorial!

Butterfly Strings 3

Butterfly Strands Quilt Block

Cutting Directions
Background – Cut squares from your background fabric. These can be any size, as long as you are consistent for all your blocks. We will be trimming the blocks down a bit to square them up, so cut a bit larger than you’d like your final block. I cut mine to 8.5″ x 8.5″ and squared to 8.25″ x 8.25″.

Strings/Strips – Cut random size strips from your fabric, measuring from 1.5″ to 2.25″.

Block Assembly

1. Take your background square and cut a 45 degree angle (diagonal) from the square, using either the 45 degree line on your cutting mat or your quilting ruler. Each block should have the diagonal cut in a slightly different location, cutting more off some blocks and less off other blocks.

This is what your block should now look like:

2. Layout your stripes for your block. Don’t trim these yet, just get an idea of what colors you want to use for your block.

3. Right sides together, sew your first strip to the 45 degree diagonal of your background fabric.

Press your seams.

4. Using your quilting ruler, trim the ends of your strip.

5. Repeat with your remaining strips.

6. Square your block. As I said in the cutting directions, I squared my blocks to 8.25″ x 8.25″.

You’re done! Layout your blocks as below by alternating the direction of the string sections.

Butterfly Strands


  1. 10

    Terry says

    This is what I have been looking for — something different and unusual — would make an excellent quilt — thank you !)

  2. 12

    Robyn says

    Great idea – I’d like to do another string quilt and this one is a great blend of solid and prints.

  3. 14

    Jane says

    This is lovely! What a great “twist” on a string block-can’t wait to try this one. Once again thanks for sharing and inspiring

  4. 18


    My Birds & Bees showed up last week – I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it yet, but it’s interesting that you went with a string quilt ’cause I was sort of thinking the opposite – that I want to feature some of the large-scale prints. This is food for thought – thanks for the tutorial!

  5. 19

    QLT812 says

    Love how you used Tula Pink Birds and The Bees fabric and thanks for sharing the tutorial. This would make a great gift :-).

  6. 20

    Debbie Hunter says

    I love this quilt! I have always wanted to make a string quilt. This is the one that I’m going to do first. Good way to use up old strips.

  7. 29

    beth says

    I can see this as the backing for my next quilt. Nothing better than a reversible quilt especially for children .Thanks so much .

  8. 30

    variadee says

    My friend and I collect scraps from as many gals as we can and then use the smallest ones to fill the cat and dog blankets for their shelter. The pieces that are big enough, I use to make quilts for the needy children. It’s great fun to do and each quilt is a challenge depending on the size of scraps as well as the colors. LOL

    This is such a pretty happy quilt. It’s perfect.

    Thank you so much while sewing with a smile, dottie

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