Saturday, September 22, 2012

Spider Web Block Tutorial

 At our September meeting, I did a demonstration of the Spider Web Quilt Block. It is a simple string quilt block with several variations. I chose Halloween fabrics and a black background to make a Halloween table quilt. (Not sure if it'll be done for Halloween this year or not though!)

For the demo, I made a tutorial handout showing some of the steps involved in making this block. There have been a few people who couldn't make it to the meeting that wanted to see how the block is made, so I thought I'd share the tutorial here. At the bottom of this post, I've listed a few other online tutorials for the Spider Web Block.

If you make something using this tutorial, I'd love to see it!


Spider Web Block Tutorial
1.   Cut a variety of strips from the fabrics chosen to make the spider webs. Varying widths from 1 ¼” to 2” work best. (You can use yardage or scraps for these strings.)

2.   To create a “kite” template, cut a paper square 8.5” by 8.5” and then cut it diagonally into two triangles. 

  1. Using one triangle to create your kite, draw a line ¼” above the long side of the triangle. Find the center of this line and then make a hash mark ¼” away on each side. From the tip of the triangle, measure 2.5” on each side and make a mark. Make a diagonal line from the mark on the triangle sides to the appropriate mark along the bottom line. Cut along the diagonal lines to make your kite template. (I traced this paper template onto a piece of plastic from a food container to have a more durable template.)

4.   Trace kite template onto your background fabric and cut out kites.

5.   Cut your paper foundation into an 8.5” by 8.5” square, and then cut it diagonally into two triangles. Cut an appropriate number of foundation squares for whatever size finished quilt you would like. (These blocks finish at 8”x8”.)

6.   Using a small amount of washable glue stick, attach a fabric kite to each paper triangle.

  1. Lay your first strip, facedown, on top of your fabric kite, lining up the raw edges. Make sure that this strip extends far enough beyond the paper foundation to cover it once it is flipped.

8. Stitch using ¼” seam allowance.

9.   Flip the strip right side up and press.
10. Add your second strip facedown, on top of the first strip. Align raw edges and stitch with 1/4” seam allowance.

11. Continue the stitch and flip method until you have covered both sides of the triangle.

12. Flip your finished triangle over on your cutting mat. Line up your ruler with the edges of your paper foundation and use your rotary cutter to trim off the excess strips.

13.       Remove the paper foundation. (This can be messy, so have a trash can handy! I found it easiest to complete several triangles and then remove all the paper.)

 14.       To create a quilt with the spider webs in an off set pattern, you will join two triangles together along the long side. Line up the kite points and anywhere else along the seam that you wish. Stitch with a ¼” seam allowance.

15. Press seam open to reduce bulk. (There are a lot of seams to deal with while pressing. I recommend starting in the center and pressing out towards the corners.)

16. Square up your blocks. Join your blocks in rows and then join the rows to complete your quilt top.

Tips and advice:
  • Use a walking foot when using a paper foundation for your blocks.
  • Using a shorter stitch length and a larger needle size will make the paper foundation easier to remove. 
  • Try to use a larger strip as your last one on the triangle. The skinnier strips are harder to deal with at the ends when you put the triangles together. 
  • When removing the paper, try not to stretch or distort your block.   
  •  Use your thumbnail to hold the first few stitches in place when removing the paper foundation. 
  • Make sure to PRESS, not IRON, to avoid distorting your block. 
  • Cut LOTS of strips. You’ll need more than you think.

 Other online tutorials


  1. Christy - The meeting was a lot of fun, and your halloween spider tutorial was great! Thanks so much for putting together the tute and sharing all tips with us!
    Can't wait to see some pictures from the meeting. I loved seeing the sweet baby quilt you made with the polaroid blocks! Jane had some wonderful projects to share too!

  2. Great tutorial, Christy! Did anyone take pictures at the meeting?

  3. Thanks Pam and Lynn! Laura took photos and will be doing a meeting recap.

  4. Wow you really simplified that for me, I always thought they were a lot harder!!! Great tips too.