Hi everyone! I’m writing today on a very cold, blizzardy (is that a word? LOL!) day in north Iowa. So, I thought it would be fun to talk about strip piecing tips and techniques and how strip sets are used to make some easy quilt blocks that can make a stunning scrap quilt. The following tips are how to stitch strips together without distorting them.
Strip Set Tips:
Tip #1: Making strip sets is the first step in strip quilting. Strip sets are made from joining two or more long strips on their lengthwise sides. You can use width of fabric strips (40-44″ long) but I prefer to cut those in half to 20-22″ long. It’s easier for your strip sets to distort if you are using longer strips.
Lay your strips right sides together and pin in a few places:
Tip #2: When stitching the strips, do not pull on them or push them as you are joining them with the 1/4″ seam.
Tip #3: Now, press open the strip set. This is where my Pressing Vs Ironing video, found in this blog post, comes in handy. It is important not to distort the seam of the joined strips. If you iron along the seam instead of pressing, you run the risk of stretching the fabric or the seam or both.
Tip #4: To add to the strips set above, the next tip is to start the next strip on the end where you stopped stitching the first two together. So you are basically beginning your stitching on opposite ends for each strip you add to the strip set. If you join all the strips starting at the same end, that can lead to strip set distortion.
To be safe, after adding each additional strip to a strip set, finger press open and measure to be sure your seams are accurate and the size of the strip set measures correctly.
Blocks You Can Make!
Now, what can you make with strips set? There are so many possibilities! I will show a few of the blocks I make with strips sets. You can make an entire block or you can use strip sets to make units within a particular block design.
First, from the strip set you will cut segments the size required for your block or unit you are making. Here’s an example below of segmenting a strip set:
So now, what kind of units or blocks can you make from strips sets? Here is the simplest: the Four-Patch block:
This block is made from segments of 2 strips joined together:
Next block is the Nine-Patch:
For this block you will need two strip sets. Then you’ll have 2 segments cut from one of the sets and 1 segment cut from the other. Here are the steps in a diagram:
Here are some other blocks that can be made from strips sets:
Many, many other things can be done with strip sets! You can make borders with strip sets, like a piano key border or a checkerboard border.
Google quilt blocks and quilts you can make with strip sets. The possibilities are endless! Here’s a pattern of mine where I used strip sets: Country Dance
The setting blocks used with the Churn Dash blocks to make this quilt top are created using strip sets!
So, share with me your experiences with strip sets or any questions you may have and I will enter you into a drawing to win the Country Dance pattern! **We have a winner! Congrats, Barb Mapes!***