Quilting is a time honored craft of creating a colorful blanket for function or presentation. Often, when faced with a quilting project, people will become overwhelmed with the labor required to cut out and sew together each individual square. Fortunately there are modern techniques that save time and bring speed to your project, such as strip quilting. A strip quilting project will give you a fast and accurate way to create a quilt, without have to cut individual squares.
A strip quilting project is a way to save time but still create a beautiful quilt. This technique involves cutting strips of fabric, sewing them together to create a larger band of fabric and then cutting them into smaller patches. These patches are then sewn together to create a block. Faster than cutting individual squares or using a template, strip quilting is also referred to as strip piecing. This technique is also utilized to create quilt boarders.
A strip quilting project is compatible with many classic quilt patterns and shapes. You can strip quilt to create rectangles, triangles, diamonds and repeating squares. You can utilize the strip quilting technique when you are completing a quilt project such as a Pinwheel pattern or an Ohio Star pattern. A nine patch block pattern and double Irish Chain can also be created through strip quilting.
Four Patch vs. Nine Patch
You can increase the speed of your quilting by making either a four or a nine patch block when strip quilting. The nine patch block is larger and allows the quilting project to go even faster than a four patch block. To make a four patch block, you begin by cutting and sewing together two strips of fabric. A nine patch block, however, is creating by cutting and sewing together three strips of fabric. In either case, once the strips are sewn together, they are cut into blocks that are then lined up on their opposing sides for color variation and sewn together again.
The tools needed for a strip quilting project include a sharp rotary cutter to cut the fabric and a large ruler which shows both angle and fractional measurements by the inch. You will also need a large cutting mat that is at least 18x24, to ensure that you have the proper amount of work space. You will also need other important tools such as quilting pins, marking pencils and a hot steam iron for pressing the edges of the quilt after they are sewn together.
To help your strip quilting project run more smoothly, always measure strips of fabric with the ruler placed on the inside edges of the fabric to allow some give when sewing the fabric. You can purchase adhesive dots made of sandpaper at the fabric store. These are to be placed on the bottom of your ruler in order to keep it from sliding across the fabric as you take measurements. Your quilt will be stronger and align more easily if you cut lengthwise across the fabric. Also, when sewing the blocks together, choose a stitch length of 22 stitches per inch on your sewing machine to ensure sturdy block construction.
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