Thursday, January 31, 2013

Strippy Stuff!

The other night while I was sewing strip to strip to strip, and butting raw ends when one ran out and there was some of the other left…just laying them in there ---

There were several questions on “Why aren’t you sewing the ends together first? Why do you have all those raw ends??”

I’m just making 4 patches.  And the strip sets are going to be cut apart anyway, so I don’t need seams that I am then going to have to cut away when I cut my twosies.  I just piece in one long chain like this….

((Don't you just love a big tangled clumpy mess of strip piecing?!))

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Where the top strip ended --- just butt another strip on!

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Before pressing, I cut apart the strip set wherever there is a break in the piecing.  It’s too difficult to try to press this all in one long length because some of the shorter pieces are on the top, and some are on the bottom.  Cut them into sections with scissors! 

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A pile of cut-apart strip sets!

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All pressed and ready to match into pre-cut pairs!  Those short ends?  I'll match them with each other.

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Streamline your piecing wherever you can!  Don’t just cut individual twosies into a basket and spend all this time picking one of these and one of those to match up.  If I end up with 5 or 6 four-patches in the quilt that are identical – will it be noticed?  Well, not as long as they are not close together!  Place two strip sets right sides together with the center seams opposing.

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Trimming off one end to give me a good square end.  The excess red/cream set can be matched with something else for more variety!

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Pre-matchd pairs, ready to be fed through the machine, no muss – no fuss!

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If I am doing a TON of four-patches, I’ll take it one step further….stack my strip sets up on the Accuquilt Studio…..and cross-cut them through in already matched pairs.  Here I’ve already picked up several pairs off of the die tray ---very little waste pushed over to the right…pieces too small to save!

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A whole tray of pairs with right sides together ready to sew!

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I’m all set for Quilt-Cam tonight!  9pm eastern ---I’m going to be sewing on my Serata hand-crank.  She’s a sweet girl even if her Lion decal is about worn off in the center.  This machine was designed to also sew in reverse--That was quite the engineering feat in 1910 when she was made.

My day today consists of a meeting with hopes of getting a North Carolina retreat under way for August!  We’ve had a difficult time finding the right place, things were not gelling –it’s a huge amount of work behind the scenes for the gals doing the planning and arranging, and we may have some good news today.  So as soon as I know more, you will know more so stay tuned!


  1. I always learn so much from you! I have streamlined a lot of my piecing. So many quilts, so little time!

  2. I just want to know how you do so many things at the same time and still create new things.
    Thank you for your time sharing your passion with us.

  3. I am LOVING those plaids and shirt fabrics ... has me just "itching" to get into my sewing room and just sew strips together!! "See" you tonight!! Linda

  4. 9 PM Quilt Cam. Not for me, that's three O'clock in the morning for me. I'll be asleep than. Have fun!

  5. I've been using that method for a long time, making little scrappy four patches. I have a big plastic bin full of them. Some day I'm going to put them into a quilt with some neutral background squares. It's on the 10 year plan!

    1. I've been doing it for years and years too, but some could not wrap their head around why I was not sewing the strips end to end first -- a picture is worth 1000 words as they say.

  6. What a great idea, I've been dreading sewing my strips!

  7. I am glad to see the finished products of the strip sewing. When I was watching you do it the other evening I couldn't tell if you were sewing light on dark or random.
    I am glad to see that they are random, just out of the bag so to speak.

  8. Bonnie, you are always so timely with your helpful hints. I've been cutting down my "garlands" draped over the banister this morning to iron tonight during QuiltCam. Now you know I've just got to move a hand-crank from the dining room table to the breakfast bar so I can crank along with you!! Looking forward to seeing your Serata in action.

  9. Thank you for sharing your piecing tips..now to apply them. I can see I need to find shirts to cut up to find the varity of fabrics that yu use. I have a lawyer friend maybe he knows other lawyers that have shirt to donate to build me a strip bin.

  10. How far apart are your sharpie lines? I just got my strip cutter and am loving it! But boy it sure is heavy..

  11. Bonnie, I had two irons bite the dust today. Do you have an iron that you would recommend? I have been asking all of my sewing friends.

  12. Thanks for sharing why and how you sew strips together. I learned something! Again!

  13. Bonnie, thanks for your reply about the irons. I have been hearing that water in the iron causes problems.

  14. cool beans!!!~ I've got to get me an accu cutter. I just have not been able to justify it based on how much I do yet. I am waiting for them to come out with a new one or whatever and the cost to go down. I will get one one day though. Maybe a used one when the new ones come out. I don't know...

  15. Could this be news about the class with Mickey Depre??? I have been holding out for that one!!! I'll be putting my easy street blocks into rows while watching quilt cam tonight!

  16. You know, there are times when all you want to do is some mindless piecing. That is a great way to do it and to come out with something useful at the same time.


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