Do You Strip?

OK, Gotcha Attention, didn’t I?!? <Big GRIN>

I’m talking about Strip Piecing.  Some people find it boring, but I find that it helps me to keep moving and get a lot done.

This is what I mean – when piecing a quilt top, sometimes you cut all the itsy, bitsy, tinnie, tiny pieces and individually sew them to one another and keep stitching larger pieced segments until you get a complete block.  Often this is what you need to do.

But there are times when you are piecing several blocks – like today, I’m piecing 18 blocks – that all have the same sized pieces in the same positions. In this case, Strip Piecing makes the work so faster.

9 patchThis block is a 9-Patch –  See the nine segments? 

I ‘could’ cut each little piece and stitch them one-at-a-time.  This would be 8 seams per Block times 18 Blocks – you do the math, but that’s a lot of seams.

I can accomplish the same result in only 10 seams by sewing strips together and then cutting the strips into segments which are then sewn together to make the block.

The first step – cut strips of fabric the width of your yardage – that is from selvage to selvage. This pattern is one of Fabric Café’s.  Donna’s patterns are so very easy to follow and fun to make.

I cut strips of one fabric and strips of the second fabric, following the pattern’s directions.  Now I only have 8 (long) seams to stitch.


Following the Pattern Directions match 2 of one color and one of the second color and begin stitching.


Repeat until you have one strip sewn to one larger strip.  With this pattern, after 4 long seams, I have 4 pieces with 2 strips each.

This next step is optional – to iron or not to iron.  If you need to stretch your legs, go ahead and iron this strip.  In this case, I have ironed the seams open.  Your choice!


Now proceed with stitching the 2nd narrow strip onto the 2-piece strips you have on the opposite side of the wider strip.

Ironed –


Not Ironed –


TA DA!  After sewing only 8 (long) seams, I now have 4 strip sets.  If you haven’t ironed them yet, this is the time to do it.


Now I sub-cut each of the 4 strips into the sizes required, and I’m ready to assemble my 18 blocks.


After cutting the required number of pieces, I have all I need to finish up my 18 Nine-patch blocks.  So far, I’ve only sewn 8 seams!


Now, isn’t strip piecing fun?  Sometimes it’s nice to stitch something I don’t need a degree in higher mathematics!

Next I will show how these 18 blocks come together with only 2 more seams (sorta).

Happy Stitching!


Quilt Mouse


About Quiltmouse

I am retired. I love to quilt. I make charity quilts as well as quilts for my friends & family.
This entry was posted in Quilting, Tutorial. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Do You Strip?

  1. Pingback: And the Story Continues | QuiltMouse

  2. You have been really busy! Love all the tutorials you could have posted this Past week.


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