Strip Piecing

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Strip Piecing
I learned about strip piecing with my first quilt, the Irish Chain. The pattern seemed simple enough. But after learning I'd have to cut out all those squares one by one, I felt discouraged. I wondered how long that would take.


Fortunately, I never had to find out. That's because I learned a faster, more accurate way to make my units. It's called strip piecing.

The good news: This method also works with shapes like rectangles, triangles, and diamonds.

Let me show you how this technique works. For this example, I'm using three strips. But the number of strips you'll need depends on the block you're making.




Step 1

Cut three 1" x 6" strips. Arrange them like this:

Arrange Strips


Step 2

Place the dark strip on top of medium strip. Right sides together.

Place Dark Strip on Light Strip

To keep the strips from stretching during sewing, pin along the raw edge.

Pin Strips Together


Step 3

Stitch using a scant ¼" seam allowance.

Stitch Seam

Press seam toward dark strip.

Place Dark Strip on Medium Strip


Step 4

Place the light strip on top of the medium strip. Right sides together. Stitch.

Place Light Strip on Medium Strip

Press seam toward medium strip.

 Place Light Strip on Medium Strip

You now have a 2" x 6" unit. It's time to strip piece our units.


Step 5

Place sewn strips on cutting mat. Keep fabric edges even with grid lines on mat. Line up the 1" mark on the ruler with the left edge of fabric.

Place Sewn Strips on Mat


Step 6

Always cut away from your body!

Rotary cut a 1" strip. This unit should measure 1" x 2". To cut another unit, repeat Steps 4 and 5.

Cut a 2






The strip piecing method makes quilting so much easier. I admire the pioneer women who cut out their shapes one at a time. On the other hand, I embrace the simplicity and speed of modern strip piecing.

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