Herringbone Quilt

Created By:

Maureen Cracknell

Skill Level: Advanced

This project tutorial is a Quilt-As-You-Go style quilt, made with long panels rather than traditional "blocks". We'll be using cotton batting as our foundation for easy string quilt piecing, making this the perfect project to use up those fabric strip scraps. The designer, Maureen Cracknel, says "I think you'll be very surprised with just how simple and quickly this quilt comes together. This is definitely one of my new, most favorite styles of quilting!" Visit her blog here.

Janome Supplies Required
  • Janome sewing machine; Maureen uses the Horizon Memory Craft 12000
Fabric and Notions Required

Other Fabric and Notions Required:

  • a variety of fabrics cut into 2.5" x 14.5" ( I used all Anna Maria Horner fabrics from several of her collections. Using around 210 strips for all of my panels + extra for my scrappy binding)
  • 8 -- panels of 100% cotton batting measuring 8" x 64"
  • thread; sewing pins
  • fabrics for the quilt backing and binding
  • rotary cutter/large cutting mat/ruler set
  • pencil or pen for marking


  • Synthetic batting is NOT suggested, I only use a 100% cotton natural batting. It is important to be able to press the batting with a hot iron and steam. For those of you in countries other than the U.S, please make sure you use a 100% cotton needle punched batting (a reader in India pointed this out to me).
  • Use a Low-loft batting. The #1 question I receive about QAYG is folks wanting to know if the seams are bulky. My answer is NO, not to a noticeable degree. I absolutely wouldn't spend my sewing time making a quilt that was poorly constructed or that wasn't comfortable!
  • Quilt panels can be made in any size! The measurements I'm sharing for this tutorial makes a 62" square finished quilt. Please feel free to adjust that to your own desired length and width. I plan to make my next one much bigger!!
  • This method does not include the quilt backing fabric. I like to add my quilt backing at the end, to avoid hand-sewing, which is really hard on my hands.

Making the Batting Panels

  1. To make the batting panels for the foundation string piecing, cut 8 - batting strips measuring 8" x 64"
  2. Place one batting panel on the cutting mat at a time, matching one of the long edges to the diagonal grid on the mat, with the fuzzier side up. (the batting I use, Nature's Touch, has a noticeable softer side. This is the side I consider the front side)
  3. Keeping the batting at a diagonal, use the ruler and square grid on the mat to mark lines every two inches or so going across the batting panel. I did this for the first 10" - 14" to help keep the proper angel when adding my first several fabric strings. Once those first fabrics are added, you'll keep that angel naturally as you piece
  4. Repeat this step making sure you mark FOUR batting panels with lines running one way, and FOUR with lines marked in the opposite direction. This will create the herringbone pattern once the fabric strings are added and the panels are sewn together.


Adding the Fabric Strings 

  1. Prepare the fabric strings by cutting fabrics into 2.5" strips. For this quilt I used approximately 210 strips measuring 2.5" x 14.5" with a few measuring a little less in length for the beginning and end of my panels where that much length isn't necessary. 

  2. Using that first mark as your guide, begin by sewing that first fabric right side down onto the batting, using a 1/4" seam allowance along the raw edge. Since you're sewing the fabrics to the batting as your foundation, you'll be permanently setting the fabric strings in place.

  3. Fold over the fabric strip and either press with iron or you can simply smooth it down flat with your hand. The fabrics stick nicely to the batting, so I was comfortable carefully folding over the fabric strings, smoothing them as I went. Continue adding fabric strings, placing each new fabric string on top of the other, with right sides facing, matching up the raw edges. Attach with 1/4" seam, fold over, and continue to press or smooth each new fabric added.

  4. When finished with a panel, press both sides well. Use a mat, ruler, and rotary cutter to trim away the overhang of fabric from each side of the panels and square up if needed. Repeat until all 8 panels are finished.

Sewing Panels Together

  1. Take two panels with strings pieced in opposite directions and place them right sides together. Use sewing pins to secure their place and sew along one side keeping a 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat this with the remaining panels to create FOUR herringbone fabric panels.
  2. Press the seams on the back open and the front side of each panel well.

Add Quilting Stitches : :

  1. Now that your FOUR herringbone panels are finished, use a thread of your choice to add quilting stitches every few strings, pivoting at the center of each herringbone panel to form a "V" shaped stitch line. Continue this down the length of each panel.

Sewing the Herringbone Panels Together

  1. Using a 1/4" seam, sew all FOUR herringbone panels together.

  2. Press all seams open and the quilt top front, as well. If needed, square up the quilted quilt top. After squaring, my quilt top measured approximately a 62" square.


Quilt Backing, Basting, & Binding

  1. Piece together fabrics for the quilt back to measure at least 2" bigger than the quilt top on all sides and baste it to the quilted quilt front. I use Therm O Web's SpraynBond basting spray for this, however pin basting works.

  2. Working your way down from the top of the quilt to the bottom, with a quilt stitch length set at a 2.5 or more if you prefer, simply sew about 1/4" from the seam lines (when adding this stitching it IS recommended that you do use a Walking Foot). Continue this on both sides of each seam running from the top of the quilt to the bottom.

  3. Below shows a close up look of what these stitches will look like from both the front and the back side of the quilt.

  4. Bind the quilt using your preferred method, any leftover 2.5" strips makes for some fabulous scrappy binding!


Voila! Your Herringbone Quilt is finished!!


Everyone is Talking about Herringbone Quilt

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Around the Table Dresden Placemats
Saturday, December 17, 2016

I like the concept, but the directions are "sloppy." Nowhere in the supply list does it mention the felt or the batting (how much?). Also, I would never use a high loft batting in a placemat, or a table runner, as I think that it would be too unstable for a glass. The next time I make these, I will cut out the batting (I use flannel) and spray baste it to the wrong side of the Dresden plate before I put the Dresden plate on the felt to cut out. I have not yet washed the finished placemat, and am hoping that the single layer of felt does not curl up, or become distorted after washing/drying.
Fun Great Gift!
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Teatime Quilted Tablecloth
Friday, February 24, 2017

I made this today but your cutting directions need to be changed. You only need 4 of color 1 and color 3 4.5 squares for the triangles. Also the inner border, you only need 2 cuts as WOF is long enough to cut each in half to fit the sides.
Great Machine
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I've had this machine for only a week now. I bought it used from a lady who makes her own clothes, but she no longer needed the machine. During the purchase, she noted that she is almost sad that it's better to give it away because of how well the machine performed. (I also bought it along side a computerized machine of another brand.} She demoed the machine for us, showing it worked and gave us everything (including the box it came in!) She took amazing care of this machine. I have used it a few times now, and the directions for threading were easy to follow (albeit my hands are quite large so the lower looper was a pain, but that is no fault to the machine or brand.) And I recommend this machine to anyone who wants to learn to serge and wants a machine that can grow with them. I will happily use this machine time and time again.
S9 Review
Sunday, February 25, 2018

I love, love, love my S9! It's sews and embroiders beautifully and it's simplicity of use amazes me. I would recommend this machine for both a beginner and an experienced seamstress. If I would ask anything of Janome it would be to upgrade the programming to run a larger hoop size. I understand that it can't get much wider but there is most definitely room for it to go longer. That is the only limitation of this machine.
Monday, February 26, 2018

I purchased a Memorycraft 15000 a few years ago and it was the best purchase I ever made! This machine can do just about anything you would would ever want! I love the capability of using the Acuedit app to set up my embroidery pattern on my Ipad and then download it to the machine! I love how my embroidery looks upon completion and I love all the good lighting it has to light up your workspace. That way you don’t need to worry about where to set up your machine. It also has plenty of room to do machine embroidery on any size quilts! There are many decorative stitches from which to choose that are outstanding! It’s hard to choose which one to use! There are so many great features it is hard to decide what I love the most. If you want to buy only one machine to last a lifetime, I would recommend this one!
S9 Review
Sunday, February 24, 2019

The S9 is amazing. I learned to sew by hand when I was just 5 and in my grandmothers way as she was quilting. I took seeing classes in high school until they would no longer let me sign up. The S9 makes me appreciate my current skills as well as motivate me to want to learn more. This machine is awesome.
Horizon Memory Craft 15000
Thursday, November 19, 2020

My Janome Horizon Memory Craft 15000 is fantastic! I love, love, love this machine! When I came across the Eye for and Eye embroidery design today, I wanted to make it. However, the embroidery file is missing. Nothing downloads when I select the download button. Please help!
Treat Bag fun!
Monday, August 16, 2021

I made the Halloween treat bag for my new granddaughter and I’m sure it will last for years. No embroidery machine so I appliquéd the lettering. Need a little more skirt fabric for a better gathered look, and I used thin double-bias tape for the skirt hem, over edge stitch on skirt sides. I’m pleased with my results!
Very helpful tutorial
Wednesday, October 25, 2023

I want to say thank you for teaching me this method of applique. I was able to do it with a small letters. This method is the best so far from all of those I've seen and tried.
So useful
Thursday, November 30, 2023

I'd like to express my gratitude for teaching me this appliqué method. I successfully applied it with small letters, and, so far, it's the most effective among all the methods I've seen and tried.

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