Let’s Talk Strips

In keeping with our August SeeHowWeSew theme of strips and stripes – let’s talk strips! I’m extremely fond of those wonderful pre-cut strips (2 1/2″ cuts of your favorite fabric line ready to use). It was only a year or so ago that I tried my first pre-cut (a Moda Jelly Roll), and was surprised how much time I saved by purchasing the strips already cut. Many of the major fabric companies are producing their own versions of pre-cuts: Timeless Treasures does Tonga Treats in beautiful batiks, as does Hoffman with their Bali Pops. Rowan calls their pre-cut strips Design Rolls.

Goodness knows you can still cut your own strips, and I often still do – it just depends on the project. But there is something quite decadent about buying them already cut!!  In addition to our Block of the Month project, I’ve designed two patterns that use 2 1/2″ strips. The first is Block Party, which is a simple-to-sew design, alternating two pieced square blocks with sashing and a pieced border. The blocks are made from 2 1/2″ strips, and the pieced border is a combination of leftover strips and random squares and rectangles. If you’re using pre-cuts, buy a package of 5″ squares in the same line as your strips, and you’ll have enough to combine with the leftover strips to complete the border. 

Block Party is one of my favorite patterns and I never get tired of making samples and teaching it! I’ve seen it done in so many different fabric styles and each one has been unique. The first sample is made from strips I cut from my Kaffe Fassett stash (which never seems to shrink, because I keep buying more), using primarily reds and pinks:

I love Kaffe Fassett fabrics!

This next one is made entirely from Amy Butler’s Soul Blossoms line. It’s one of my favorites, but you have to look carefully to see the different fabrics in the photo.

Amy Butler’s Soul Blossoms – awesome!

This one is made from a Timeless Treasures Tonga Treat called Pink Lemonade. I was thrilled with the color palette when I saw the package and knew it had Block Party written all over it.

Pink Lemonade says it all!

The final Block Party sample is made primarily from the Dilly Dally line, designed by Me and My Sister for ModaIn this quilt, I chose to assemble the squares by color, and I love the result!  

These colors are so happy!

My latest pattern made with 2 1/2″ strips is Sweetheart. I think it’s the perfect quilt for a special little girl. For this one, I started with the border fabric (one of my favorite Kaffe Fassett prints), and picked fabrics from my “Kaffe stash” that coordinated with the border fabric.

For girls only!

I hope these projects have inspired you to try strips – they’re lots of fun. Check for the Block Party and Sweetheart patterns at your local quilt shop, and if you can’t find them there, both are available for purchase on my Artichoke Collection website.   

I’m going to be teaching my Retro Chic pattern on Thursday, September 20th,  at Quilting in the Garden. I would love to meet you and promise it will be a fun day. Retro Chic is made from one block with only four pieces (the magic comes from fabric placement). I’ll show you how easy it is to do simple curved piecing. Remember my motto “unique designs with simple techniques for every style.”  In other words – nothing to stress over!  

Retro Chic – simple curves – easy to make!

Check out this great Quilting in the Garden tee shirt – available at In Between Stitches in Livermore, CA.

 Take care and try strips!

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12 Responses to Let’s Talk Strips

  1. Carol Barringer says:

    I love starting with strips — the piecing just seems to go so much faster. But I find that I can too readily identify quilts designed for 2.5″ strips, especially those made with jelly rolls, and the resulting quilt looks “canned” to me. I realize I am very much in the minority — especially these days when so many folks would rather buy a kit than select the fabrics themselves. But I have always been one to resist a trend — once too many people are doing it, I lose interest, even if I still like the design. I do have strips ready to go (that I cut from my leftovers), but in several sizes other than 2.5″. And one of my most stringent rules is to combine newly purchased fabrics with others from my stash so that what I make is always unique to me — or vice-versa: I take a combo I like from my stash and buy something new to take it in another direction.

  2. Love this post, Christie. So glad to see you showcasing your gorgeous quilts!

  3. Wow! Just love this!
    greetings from Holland!
    with love,
    Ineke

  4. Peggy O'Connor says:

    Your quilts really are HAPPY! I’m lucky because I swapped strips with an online group. We swapped an different color each month so I have lots of strips! Plus if anyone wants to give me a gift I ask for fabric (because we all know we never have enough!) and have received three jelly rolls that way!

  5. Sandy says:

    Beautiful quilts! I love the colors! I don’t buy jelly rolls, but I have lots of 2 1/2 inch strips ready for whatever!

  6. Sally says:

    Love seeing all your finished quilts from your patterns! Can’t wait for the September Quilting in the Garden to see them in person. This is truely the best quilt show around the Bay Area. Beautiful setting at this nursery. Will your patterns be for sale at the show? Any new ones?

  7. Love what you guys do! ♥

    Hosanna in the Highest!!!
    For His Love and Glory,
    ♥ Linda M

  8. Elaine says:

    All your quilts shown are so happy! I love using jelly rolls. When I have finished a quilt, I cut 2-1/2″ strips from the leftover fabrics. Then i have a stash waiting for a quick quilt.

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