How to Make a Quilt Block by Sewing Strips Together

By Kristy Robinson
strip, your quilt design
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Save time creating a beautiful quilt by using strip piecing techniques. Strips of fabric are sewn together to make a traditional “nine patch” quilt block or to make new designs for your quilting projects. Complicated looking quilt designs are simplified through the use of strip piecing fabrics. If you can cut and sew a straight line, you can use strip piecing to make a quilt even if you have no experience as a quilter.

Step 1

Cut the strips of fabric to the desired size. Strips can be any size, but ensure the edges are straight for sewing. If the edges are not straight, the finished block may not resemble a square at all. Allow for your seams as you are making the quilt. Each strip will be sewn on two sides initially, so add at least 1/2 inch if you intend to use a 1/4-inch seam allowance in the quilt.

Step 2

Lay the strips out and arrange them in an order the produces a pleasing look. You may wish to experiment with different layouts until you find the one you feel is best for the quilt you have in mind.

Step 3

Sew the strips together in the order you have them laid out. Start with the first two strips and sew together along one edge, maintaining the seam allowance. Sew the third strip along the raw edge of the second strip and continue in this manner until all the strips are sewn together.

Step 4

Cut the strips in the desired length plus the seam allowance. For example, if you need the strips to be 14 inches long for the quilt block, cut them 14 1/2 inches to allow for a 1/4-inch seam. You have already allowed for the seam along the width of the strips so there is no need to add in an additional allowance there.

The strips can be cut into small squares for the “nine patch” quilt, triangles for a twisted strip type quilt or left as long strips depending on the finished quilt design you have decided on.

Step 5

Iron the seams open to flatten them. If you have used contrasting dark and light fabrics, iron the seams towards the darker fabric so they remain as hidden as possible.

Step 6

Sew the cut pieces together to produce the finished square. Joining the pieces only requires straight stitched seams no matter how complicated the finished quilt block design looks. Once you have the pieces sewn together, measure all four sides of the square to ensure they are all the same. If necessary, trim the square so that all sides are the same length.

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