Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Simple Strip Quilt Tutorial

This super simple quilt would be a quick weekend project or great way to practice hand quilting. I like the way the white strips separate and show off the patterned fabric. I made a very similar quilt a few years ago (Adelaide's quilt) and thought I would put together a more comprehensive tutorial for you, with a few photos. It's not a pattern, but rather a general guide to how I made my quilt. It measures approximately 38" x 48" (97cm x 121cm).

All fabric for this quilt was 44" wide, and I used a scant 1/4" seam.

This quilt is particularly good if you have a number of fat strips of fabric in your stash (all the strips don't have to be the same width.) You will need a number of strips of fabric (selvedge to selvedge). The strips I had on hand were about 5" x 44" (the fabric strips in the photo below were folded in half - selvedge to selvedge.) Lay the strips down, one under the other until it measures the desired length. Mine was 48" long.

Now take each fat strip, trim the long edge, and cut into thinner strips (selvedge to selvedge). Don't trim the selvedges yet - you will do that once all of the strips have been sewn together.  Some strips I left as their original width (about 5"), and others I cut into two thinner strips (2" - 3"). My strips varied in width between 2" to 5" but there is no right or wrong width. It doesn't matter how many times you cut the strips, but the more times you cut, the more white strips you will need to add. It will still measure the same length when it comes back together.

Lay the strips out until you're happy with the arrangement. Make sure it measures the desired length. You wont lose anything in the seam allowances once the white strips have been added. You may want to add more patterned strips or trim some down.

Now it's time to cut the white strips (all selvedge to selvedge).  Count the number of patterned strips you laid out, take away one, and cut that many 1" white strips (I had 15 patterned strips so cut 14, 1" white strips.)
Cut two 2" white strips (for the back of the quilt.)

Sew a 1" white strip to one side of each patterned strip except the last one at the bottom, and then sew all of the strips together in your arranged order, ironing towards the patterned fabric as you go.

At this stage your quilt top should look something like this. If you don't want a pieced back you could just trim the selvedges from each side of the quilt and your quilt top would measure almost 44" wide.

However, if you would like to make an easy pieced back, after trimming the sides of your quilt, cut a strip down the length of one side of your quilt top (mine is 5" wide.)

My quilt top measured 38" wide.

Add a 2" white strip to both sides of the patterned strip you cut from the edge of the quilt top. The white strips will probably not be as long as your patterned strip- that's fine. Iron your seams towards the white fabric to reduce bulk in the seams.

For the backing I used a piece of fabric approximately the same length as my quilt top. Then made a horizontal cut about a third of the way down and added the pieced strip (as shown below.) Trim the pieced strip in line with the rest of the backing fabric.  The pieced back should now measure at least 2 inches bigger than the quilt top all the way around.

Now for the fun part. This is a really easy quilt to quilt because you can use the seams as a guide. I straight machine stitched 1/4" inside the patterned strips and hand quilted with red perle cotton no. 8 down the centre of the white strips. I didn't mark any lines, just eyeballed it. It's not perfect, but I like that hand crafted look.

 And here's the back...

It doesn't get much simpler than that! Enjoy! And let me know if you have any questions.