July 7, 2010

It's Called "Stripping"...

I thought you might like to follow some of the process for making the blocks for my latest master bedroom quilt project. (Apologies if you have no interest whatsoever! I promise I won't do this every day.) I decided on the fabrics that would be used in this quilt, and where each fabric should be located on the blocks. Actually, I really like the fact that it only uses three different fabrics, and I think you could safely use just two if you wanted to.

I started by looking at how the square is laid out and then worked out in my head how I might make the process a bit simpler than cutting out 1) large squares, 2)narrow strips and 3) small squares and then sewing them all together.
Quilters know that you can sew strips together, and if you've made the strips the right dimension to start, you'll be able to cut and assemble much quicker. (Hence, the term "stripping". Those clever girls!)
First, I chose the leaf fabric. I need to have 6 1/2" squares of that fabric. I also need to sew that square to 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangles of gold paisley fabric, so I cut strips of leaf fabric 6 1/2" wide by the full width of the fabric (42"). Then I cut 2 1/2" wide paisley fabric the full width of the fabric (again 42").
After I cut the strips, I put the leaf and paisley fabrics (right sides together) and sewed them using a 1/4" seam.
I ended up with strips of combined fabric (all 42" long). I pressed the seam open so it looked like this.
Then I did the same with the gold paisley and green fabric. Remember, the paisley needs to be 6 1/2" long by 2 1/2" wide when finished, and it's sewn to a 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" vine square.
I sewed the strips together as before, and pressed the seam open along the full length of the fabric.
It looks like this. Now I have to cut the fabric strips to end up with the blocks in the sizes I need.
Remember, I need 6 1/2" squares of the leave fabric and 6 1/2" x 2 1/2" strips of the gold. I know that my width for the blocks is correct, so I just measure off 6 1/2" and cut across the strip. I'll repeat this down the full strip of fabric, making sure I square up each time so that the blocks are even for the next step.
The next strip has to be cut so that I end up with gold sections that measure 6 1/2' x 2 1/2" and the vine fabric will just be a small square 2 1/2" x 2 1/2". That means I just cut 2 1/2" across the width of the fabric to end up with pieces in the size I need. I'll repeat cutting across the entire combined strip as I did in the previous combination.
You can see here that I end up with the leaf sewn to the paisley, and the paisley added to the vine in the sizes I'll need to make my blocks. After completing all this, I decided to take a breather for the rest of the day. I'll assemble the blocks today and show you how they end up creating a bow tie pattern in the middle of the big blocks.

I know if you're not a quilter, I probably just bored the pants off you. Maybe you can just look at the pictures and let me know what you think. Are you liking my final color choices? I put that finished block on the bed yesterday afternoon. Handsome and I both agree that this is the layout for the fabrics that looked best in our room. Hope you like it as much as we do!

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The French Bear said...

It is lovely!!! I am so in awe of the way you just whip up a quilt Dee, ha ha, it seems like everyday I wake up and log on and tada, you have another something spectacular!!!! You rock sister!!! Never boring...I love this combo, I may give it a try!!!

DeeDee said...

Well Handsome had a good idea making the green leaf the larger part...thanks for showing how this design is done also...cannot wait to see the fisinhed project

Mandy said...

This is looking good. It is surprising just how quickly a quilt top like this can be sewn together.
I look forward to seeing the finished quilt.

Meri Wiley said...

Donna, that's going to be a gorgeous cover for your bed. Are you going to make matching pillows or shams?


Caths Pennies Designs said...

I love the color choices and although I havn't quilted in a few years, your pretty pictures make me want to bring out my sewing machine and unpack my cotton stash!

lisa said...

This is precisely why I don't quilt. LOL There is way too much opportunity for me to mess that up somewhere! I need a private lesson, possibly one of those quilts where it's just big blocks. Hey, maybe a little beginners tutorial, hint..hint. Love the fabric, want to see the whole room when it's finished. Lisa

Anonymous said...

I love making quilts that way; it is so fast. Once you get your visionary color decisions out of the way, it turns into a math procedure!
Except, I've always heard it referred to as Stack and Whack!

trisha too said...

I've never made a quilt this way, but have heard great things about it.

Lovely fabrics . . .


Faerie Moon Creations said...

This is just going to look SO amazingly beautiful when you're done. The patterns are to die for! Theresa

Suzann said...

I am not a quilter, but often dream of being one.
I LOVE this mini tutorial. You've explained it so well that I think even I could do it.



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