Sticks and Stones Quilt Tutorial

The Sticks and Stones Quilt: Easy Quilting Tutorial with Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company

sticks and stones

MSQC’s Jenny shows us how to make a quick and easy Sticks and Stones quilt using 2 1/2 inch strips of precut quilting fabric and 2 1/2″ squares.  The result is so cute and it is reminiscent of a log cabin quilt.  You’ll love it!

Find all the details here:

Transcript (Downloadable PDF Here):

Hi I’m Jenny from the MSQC. And I’ve got a really fun project for you today. Take a look at this quilt behind me. Isn’t this gorgeous? I love these fabrics. I love the blues. It just makes me feel like summertime and sunshine. And I just love it. So to make this quilt what you’re going to need is one roll up. I’ve used Juicy Jewels by Island Batiks. It’s just a gorgeous roll, a lot of fun colors. And you’re also going to need a yard and a quarter of white for your background, your blocks and your border. And that’s it. So let me show you how to do this.


So to make this quilt, this is the block we’re talking about right here. I call it a stair step block. It just, chk, chk, chk you know it goes right up the line. And this is how it fits in the quilt right here. And it’s just so much easier than it looks. So the first thing you’re going to need is 120 white squares. And I know that sounds like a lot. But it’s really just eight strips. And you can lay them altogether like this. I keep mine folded up so I get four at a time. You’re going to put, you can put probably three more strips down here and cut them all at once. And you’re just going to run along and cut 2 ½, 2 ½, 2 ½ until you just get a big pile of them. And I like to do that first. I’m kind of an assembly line sewer and I just like to get them all done. So I’ll just add these to my pile, just like that. And I’ve got that pile there and then you’re done and you’re ready to go.


So then you have to cut your strips. Now your, your 2 ½ inch strips, what you’re going to want to do is open those up because we are going to make several different cuts on them. And we want to make a bunch of cuts at one time. So I’m just going to lay mine out here right on top of each other. Let me get another one here. You can stack three or four, whatever you’d like. I think I’ll start with three. And then we just need to make some cuts. Now the cuts you’re going to want to make which you know you’re going to have to remember is two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate? The half inch, that’s what we appreciate. So it’s 2 ½, 4 ½, 6 ½, 8 ½, 10 ½ and those are the cuts you’re going to make. So we’re going to start right here and we are going to match up our ends. Make sure we have a nice straight edge to start with. And we’re going to cut 2 ½. And you’re going to make little piles of these. Then we’re going to cut 4 ½ . We count one, two, three, four. 2 ½, 4 ½. 6 ½. Two, three, four, five, six and a half. 8 ½.  One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, make sure you don’t scoot. Let me count again, One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Two, four, six, eight and let me scoot these over, 10 ½. I have to make those little rhymes for myself so that I don’t, I don’t forget what I’m doing. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten and a half. Two, four, six, eight, ten and a half. Just like that. Alright so you’re going to go and do that to all your strips. You’re going to set this aside for later. And you’re going to make little piles like this. So I have some more cut here. I’m just going to stack them in piles. Two, four, six, eight, and ten and a half just like this.


So once you get all your pieces cut and they’re all arranged nicely in piles including your white squares, we are going to go ahead and assemble the block. And we are going to start that by choosing two 10 ½ inch squares and sewing a white square to the end of each one. So let’s go to the sewing machine and do that. So we just match them up here and sew across a quarter of an inch. And you can chain piece these. I’ll slide my next one in under there. There we go. Let’s go press these back. There we are. So once you get these pressed then you’re going to go through and you’re going to choose one more from every pile and they should all be different. And we’re going to sew a white square on top of each one of these. Attach each one of these to a white square. So let’s go ahead and take these over to the sewing machine and we’ll just take a little pile of white squares with us and chain piece these through.


Alright so here’s our first one. And then here’s our next one. Just match them up and lay them on. One more. There we go. And one more. Here we are. Alright now let’s trim up, cut them apart. You know I use my little thread cutter here on the end of my machine a lot for this. Alright let’s press them back. And I’m just going to roll these back. And then what we’re going to do is we are going to again pick from our pile and make the other side of these. So again we’re going to start with the eight and it’s going to be, it’s going to go to the smallest one and then the next  6 ½ is going to go with this one. And our 4 ½ is going to go with the 6 ½. I know this sounds confusing. And this one is going on the end of there. So do you see how that’s going to work. So basically what we’re doing is we’re just going to sew these other smaller ones to these because we want our strips to remain the same size. If you have one strip that’s like jutting way out you know you have the wrong piece. But it’s, it just goes together really easily that way. So there’s that one. Then we’ll sew this one on. And then we’re going to sew this one on. And then this little one, I’ll take him over here with me. Alright. So let me press these. Oh I’ve lost them now. Oh here we go. Like what did I do with them. I’m going to press these. And press this one. And press this one. Alright.


So one of the things I want to show you, because all brains work differently and the way people explain things makes different sense to different people, for me what made sense was saying that I have, I have to sew two of these with a 2 ½ inch one. And two of these, they’re identical in the way you sew them together. So this one has a 4 ½ and a 6 ½. Both of them do. But we’re going to end up turning these opposite like this. So that they stair step. And so that’s kind of how my brain works. Whatever way works for you. You’ve just got to organize it so that you have one of each shape and size. Oop we don’t want that one there. We’ll put him over here. And over here. And then we bring in our two end pieces. And our white square goes on the end of this one. And the white square goes on the end of this one. Do you see how that goes together? Can you see that? Let me make sure you can see this. So really what we’re doing is we’re making two identical sets. See how these two sets are identical? But then what we’re going to do is we’re going to put them together this way so that our squares run in stair steps right down the block.


And one of the things you have to be really careful with on this block is your quarter inch seam. Now when you know most of the things I do I say don’t worry about that quarter inch, be consistent. But on this one because our block, we want our block to be square, to end up square, you really have to be careful with that quarter inch seam. So you may want to, you know, take your ruler and make sure that your sewing machine is sewing, you know, pretty close to a quarter of an inch. And then maybe put a piece of  painter’s tape on there or use your quarter of an inch foot or something like that. Because you really do want them to fit together. And, and so the pressing will really help. And then we’re going to sew our block set together. And I’m going to start right here with these two on the end. And make sure that my seams are nesting up. Get rid of that thread. And go ahead and sew them down.


Now my needle can move over on my machine, so I just make sure that it is set so that I get a, a quarter of an inch. And you may be able to do that or you may just have to start, you know put a piece of tape and sew a, let that be your guide so that wherever your needle ends up that your, that your block is able to, your seam is able to end up a quarter of an inch. So I’m going to actually take this now and let’s put it up to the ruler and see  how I did. And so you can see from the stitch line to the ruler I’m pretty close. So this, this setting is going to work for me. So then I’m going to open these up and press them flat. Make sure my blocks stair stepped. And then we’re going to add the next one. So let’s do that. There we go. So you’re just going to keep adding and adding these until you have a whole block. And what I kind of like to do is to sew them in sets of three like this. And I have another set of three over here that I’ve already put together. And you can see if I’m not careful they’re going to be wrong so we’re going to flip this side over and put them so that they’re just right. You want those white squares to stair step. So I’m going to sew these last two pieces together. Just like this. Make sure I’m right even. Alrighty. Now I like my seams to nest so if I end up with something. See how this twists right here. I don’t die over that. I just put my scissor in there and I clip it and I let that seam lay where it wants to lay. And I don’t die over that because the nesting to me is more important than which way the seam lays. So then when we open these up we get our block. Let me press it. And then I’m going to measure it. So let’s see how we did here. We’ve got, oop I need, this ruler is too small so let me measure it on my mat here. We’ve got 12 ½ this way. And 12 ½ that way so it’s perfect which is what we need. And then we get to lay it out.


Now let’s look at how this block fits into the quilt behind me right here. So we’ve got, this one goes this way. And we’ve got one, two, three, four big blocks by one, two, three, four, five big blocks. And this is going to make a quilt that ends up being 56 by 70. And so it’s a pretty good size quilt. And the layout on this is really fun. So because you have this awesome block design running through it, you can do all kinds of things. What we’ve done is, you know we’ve criss crossed them so that they, you know, they criss cross throughout the quilt. But there’s a lot of ways to set this out. So don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with that. But what we did was we laid ours together like this so that the blocks go up, down, up, down on that first row just like this. Up, down, up, down. And put four of them together. Just sew them together. Because they’re turned different directions, what I mean by that is these blocks run this way, this block runs this way, there are no seams to match up. So you can just go ahead and sew these together. And it just, you know, it goes together very quickly and very beautifully.


Now for this outer border what we did first was we took our 2 ½ inch strip that we cut out of our yard and a quarter and made a 2 ½ inch stock border on our quilt. We took the rest of our pieces, remember I had that little stack of leftover pieces out here. And we piano keyed them. So we decided that we wanted, I believe this is a four inch border. So we decided that we wanted a four inch border. And you hate waste so we took the rest of those strips and cut them into 4 ½ inches. Stacked them together this way. Sewed them. Made a little border and made it go across. See it goes across the top and down the side. We didn’t have enough to finish. But we didn’t want to let that stop us so what we did was, what size this came out, which again was 4 ½ we cut the white strip the same on the top so that it filled it in and it just made one across this top and one across the bottom down here. So it just framed it. But it enabled us to use all of our strips. So it made really good use of this roll up. So we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Stair Step block from the MSQC.


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  • Lynn Sullivan

    were di I find the pattern?

  • Cindy

    I made this quilt with 16 blocks and mine did not do right? My white squares didn’t match? I worked on it for a while then i said, Oh Well! and left it a lone before i messed it up any more.(i liked it when we could go back and fix what we say!)

  • Ginny LaMere

    Would love a pattern also watched the tutorial and can figure out part of it but how many strips did you use I want to make one in pink for my niece and was going to buy just a bunch of different pinks

  • lynda

    I would take the 10.5, 2.5 and 4.5 piles..all of them and sew the white square on each one. Chain piece. Then you can put on the appropriate piece on them. Goes this quilt

  • Char

    I am very new to quilting and love this pattern. If you don’t use a jelly roll what would be the yardage for the printed fabric?


    • Wendi

      Hi Char what a great question. One jelly roll contains 2 3/4 of yardage in it. I hope this helps you.

  • Heather

    Is there a written copy of this pattern so that we don’t have to keep referring to the video?

  • joanne

    I love this quilt but want to use my layer cake. Instead of the 1/2″, I’m going to have to use whole numbers. 2-4-6-8-10… I’ll still make them 2 1/2″ wide. How much smaller will that make my quilt?

  • Robin L

    Is there a way to search the tutorials so that I don’t have to scroll through all of them to find the tutorial I am looking for? I tried to us the “Search entire site” box, but it doesn’t seem to search through the tutorials.

  • Maureen

    What is the finished size of the Sticks and Stones quilt?

    • Maureen

      Please disregard as it told the size in the tutorial.

  • Elinor

    I want to make a queen size of Sticks & Stones.. What is the size of each block after seam allowances?

    • michele

      I think she said 12.5…but its in the video towards the end.

  • Elinor

    12″ square.

  • Marilyn Kretheotis

    I made the sticks and stones. You have to make it so that the 2 1/2 in stone is with the 10 1/2 stick and it has to be at the bottom on the left and the top on the right. I made some the right way then I didn’t pay attention and just laid them out so I had steps and they would not make Jenny’s pattern. I had to redo 8 squares. It is ready to be quilted.

  • Ann McIntyre

    Hey from NC. I watch you guys on YouTube non stop daily and have made quite a few of your quilts. This one turned out awesome! Thank you for the tutorial!!! Ann

  • Cynthia Glover

    Left a Thank you note in the “contact us” on your website. But now I can share a picture. Thank You Jenny you make this quilting ” A piece of Layer Cake”. Thanks for letting me share as this is my daughers Christmas Gift and have only shared with my sister so far. PS she caught the “quilting bug” when I had shown her the tutorial and what I was doing. she is making 1 each for both her daughters.

  • Charo silva

    Hi from Spain, Thanks so much for your tutorials. I can´t stop watching them!!!.

  • Meredith Miller

    Will the transcript for this tutorial come soon? I’d love to make it for my niece and her fiance as a gift for their March 2016 wedding.

  • Maria Bales

    I would like to make this for my son, he has a queen size bed. Any suggestion on how to make it larger and still look right? Thanks!

  • Robyn Johnson

    Love this and the colors are beautiful. Jenny, you have this way about you that gets me so excited to sew a quilt. Maybe its the way you explain it making it seem totally possible as well as seeing the beautiful quilt all finished in the background. Thank you so much! Love these tutorials!.

  • michele gustine

    I bought the woolies strips, will this pattern work with flannel?