We made it! You have completed the nine blocks. Now if you want to, you can assemble those blocks into a cute wall hanging like mine. If you are just finding my blog, here are the links to the previous blog posts for each of the blocks: Block 1, Block 2, Block 3, Block 4, Block 5 , Block 6 , Block 7 , and Block 8, and Block 9. Also in this post, I will share some tips on sewing strips for strip sets.
Here’s the finished wall hanging:
It’s a fun sampler! Here’s the pattern for the finishing instructions: Block of the Week – Finishing.
Sewing Strips for Strip Sets
Using strips sets is one of the easiest ways to make some popular quilt block units and has the added bonus of using up fabric scraps! Making successful strip sets is easy, however, you need to sew the strips together in a way to keep them from distorting. If your strips get stretched while stitching, you will have difficulty cutting units from the strip sets that measure correctly.
Tip #1 – Use shorter strips if you can. 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. The block of the week finishing pattern uses 22″ long strips.
When making a strip set, lay your strips right sides together and pin. I recommend pinning to keep the edges of the strips matched up. This helps keep your strips the correct size when stitched with a 1/4″ seam.
If you want to use a scant 1/4″ seam you can. That way you are assured your sub cut units won’t be smaller than needed. However, the scant 1/4″ can only be used in strips sets of two strips. If your strip set is made up of more than two strips, you need to use an accurate 1/4″ seam.
Tip #2: When stitching the strips, do not pull on them or push them as you are joining them. Just gently guide them through your machine making sure to to keep the 1/4″ seam. Use a light touch!
Tip #3: After stitching the strips together, you need to press them open before sub-cutting them into the units for your block. Pressing is another step where strip sets can become distorted. That’s why you use the pressing versus ironing technique I discuss in a mini video tutorial I did last year:
If you iron along the seam instead of pressing, you run the risk of stretching the fabric or the seam or both.
Tip#4: If you are joining more than two strips together, alternate which end you start stitching your next strip on. It’s best shown in this diagram:
Alternating the ends you start on for each strip added is another way to avoid distorting the strip set.
Hopefully, these tips have been useful and will help when you are making anything that needs a strip set. The block of the week wall hanging uses strips sets to make the checkerboard inner border. This will be good practice for future projects!
As we say goodbye to this series, I want to have one last drawing. Leave me a comment below on techniques or other quilting subjects you would like to see covered in a future post. One lucky person will win a copy of my book, Blooming Patchwork!
The drawing will be on Monday, June 22nd. You only have 1 week to enter, so hurry! **We Have a winner! Congrats Barbara Blair!**