Looking for a new project or a unique way to border a quilt? Or even a unique way to bind a quilt? Look no further than your collection of strips! I like to cut leftover fabric, if it’s less that 1/8 yard, into strips. Specifically, 2 1/2″ and 1 1/2″ strips. I find those sizes to be the most useful to me. I also collect 2″ and 1″ strips for more variety, but I find that I do not use those as often. Here’s how I store my strips:
I sort the strips by size and color and then store them in 8 x 13″ plastic Sterilite tubs (found at Wal-Mart, Target or other similar stores). I made separators from strips of acid free cardboard for keeping the colors separate in the tubs. I like storing them this way so they don’t end up a jumbled mess. It’s funny how often they do when you just toss them into a tub with no organization. They seem to take a on a life of their own! So now onto the creative portion of this post. This week, I’ll focus on blocks and next week I’ll show you ideas for borders and bindings.
You’d be surprised how many different quilt blocks can be made from 2 1/2″ or 1 1/2″ strips or a combination of both. Blocks made from these size strips can be as small as 1 1/2 x 2 1/2″ or as big as a 12 1/2″ block. Here are some of the blocks that you can make. And this is definitely not a full list!
A simple checkerboard block:
This is one made with pieces cut from 1 1/2″ strips so the resulting block is 3 1/2″. You can make the same block using pieces cut from 2 1/2″ strips for a block that measures 6 1/2″.
Flying Geese and Stars:
All you need here is a 1 1/2 x 2 1/2″ rectangle and two 1 1/2″ squares cut from strips for this unit. Make 4 of them and join them with a 2 1/2″ square and 4 more 1 1/2″ squares to make a star!
This star block is 4 1/2″. You can also make a Dutchman’s Puzzle from 8 flying geese:
This block is 4 1/2″. If you made your flying geese from 2 1/2″ strips, your geese would be 2 1/2 x 4 1/2″ and your Dutchman’s Puzzle block would then be 8 1/2″.
Here’s a block from one of my patterns, Twilight Desert, that is all pieces from 2 1/2″ and 1 1/2″ strips!
Can you see it? The possibilities of what you can make are endless with strips. Sit down with a tub of strips one day and play. You’ll be surprised with what you can come up with!
Here are some others:
I hope you enjoyed this! Share with me in the comments some blocks you have made or if you plan on starting to play with strips because of this post. If you comment, you will be entered into a drawing for my new pattern: Seaside Cottage.
All the checkerboard blocks in this quilt are all from strips! The drawing will be on Monday, August 26th. ***We have a winner! Congrats, Marsha B!***
Bonnie Neuberger says
Cutting strips is a great idea! My stash needs organization badly!!
Jenniffer Eberley says
I always hesitate at cutting the small leftovers into any particular size but this gives me hope
This has inspired me! I was given a TON of scrap quilting fabric and I have been working on cutting much of it into strips and squares. Your quilts are so beautiful….I can’t wait to start!
Renee Stonebrook says
Whe I make small blocks I most always strip and cut, you can alway cut strips shorter if you are making only a few blocks or say extra blocks for pincushions or other future quilts.
Love the blocks and the pattern! Great tips. Thanks!
Lewcrese Shields says
Pre cutting from fabric leftovers is genius!! I should do more of that. One of my favorite blocks from strips is the log cabin and courthouse steps blocks and all variations too.
Karen in Ohio says
I have used strips for Hole in a barn door blocks and Shoo fly blocks.
I like your method for organizing and storing strips. Always at the ready!
Karen H says
Loved your ideas for strips and also how you store them- have only done a strip quilt and have not used them to make components of other blocks- think I’ll have to try !!!
Thanks for the tips
Made a cotton reel blocks from 2 1/2 strips & squares but would like a smaller blocks for a table mat.
Cathy B says
I love little 9 patches so plan to make a bunch of them. thanks for the tips and examples.
Joan M says
You have encouraged me to play around with strips. Thank you for the great tips and the lovely giveaway.
Eugenia Read says
I have reorganized my fabric recently and found that I have more strips to cut. Oh darn! But thanks for the inspiration.
Claudia L says
My scraps have gotten away from me. Need to do this. Winter is coming. Good time to reorganize.
Lauren Rogers says
Plan on trying this after my 3 panels are done. 1 done 2 to go lol
Julia S says
Love scrap quilts! No fabric goes unused…. Very cute quilt. I was making something similar for my brother once and before it was done he said something not complimentary about quilts and I ended up giving it to a friend as a wedding gift. I would love to make another one!
I am impressed with your organizing! Want to come and do mine? ha! I have so many scraps and like you said, they take on a life of their own – and around my house, its scary! Love your Seaside Cottage quilt, it would be fantastic to win your pattern! Thanks for the chance to win it! HUGS… and stitches
I love making quilts from my jelly rolls, but sometimes I get in the same ol rut of making 4 patch. Your last photo is beautiful!! That has inspired me to see outside my 4 patch box and get more creative.
I love these ideas! I have been making 3″ churn dashes out of my 1 1/2″ strip bins.
Kimba McCormick says
I am not able to buy a lot of material, so utilize my scraps all the time. Have also convinced a friend that it isn’t so bad using your scraps.
Jan Smith says
I love scrappy quilts and mini quilts. This is an extra good way to organize strips. I now just have them in a loose box and they do mingle! WOuld love to win pattern. Thanks for suggestion and block settings.
WHY would your friend think it ‘bad’ to use scraps. I have been cutting 2 1/2″ squares and 2 1/2″ , & 2″ & 1 1/2″ strips f o r e v e r…but I will need to organize them better…and use them…more often ! Wish you lived near me, I would love to share my ‘stash’! Blessings, Christine
Jeanne Wisniewski says
What inspiration you give to us all. I was just sitting across to make scrappy table runner and left my scrap box open to remind me to sort it in some type of order and you just have me the perfect solution to getting organized and mo r quilting done.