Creative Ideas for Quilt Strip Piecing

kelly photo 1 Yes, I can admit it… I am a fabric stripper. I spend hours at my machine. I call it my therapy – piecing fabrics to create an artistic element that will wow the eye. I have always enjoyed using up my scraps because they all go together so beautifully. This may seem surprising but in reality it is not. We tend to buy fabric that we like – a certain color family or pattern theme that always catches our eye – it’s like our fabric fingerprint.

Today I enjoyed a video by Carolyn Beam called Piecing a Quilt with Strips. She demonstrated how to make some lovely blocks by simply piecing strips together in creative ways, thus creating a palette to then cut a portion of the block she was working on. This technique is called strip piecing, and it will make a stripper out of you too!

strip piece 1 This block is called a Right and Left Block. It’s not only fun to make, but it would give any quilt added depth and texture. Her block called for a 9-inch center square. She could have used a single piece of fabric, but instead she decided to piece her strips together to transform this block into one with greater interest. She put that square on point and bordered it with half-square triangles.

strip piece 2 Carolyn gives this block an added flare by sewing the strips at angles so that they appear somewhat kiddie-wompus.

strip piece 3 Once all the pieces are sewn together, she demonstrates how to cut off excess to get that look we all desire. And the end result is one of a kind.

strip piece 4 Carolyn does not stop there! She demonstrates the same block using strips pieced together in the same fashion only more exacting and a lot less kiddie-wompus. This time she keeps the strips going left to right while she cuts them on point.The biggest problem you will encounter with this method is the fabric will be cut on the bias which makes it stretchy and easily distorted. Fortunately, Carolyn walks you right though how to stabilize those sides.I particularly enjoyed the blocks she showed near the end of her segment. I couldn’t wait to run to my machine and pile of scraps and give some of her techniques a try.

kelly photo 2 Inspired by the video, I actually got my granddaughter in on the action. She is 6 years old and look what she did!

I would love to see some of your masterpieces using Carolyn Beams ideas. Tune in to her segment and then let the posting begin. I’d love to hear your comments and your ideas. Happy quilting my friends!

Related Video: Piecing a Quilt with Strips

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22 Responses to “Creative Ideas for Quilt Strip Piecing”
  1. Judy Pennington

    Isn’t this similar to paper or foundation piecing? Except she didn’t use any type of foundation? Turned out beautiful, I am an extreme novice. Just bought the beginnings of my fabric stash this past week and am still trying to decide just what I want to do with them. I scored a kitchen sized trash bag full of scraps from Christmas fabrics and while there are some fairly large size pieces, some are so small that this would be a perfect solution for them. Thanks!!

  2. Jodie Anderle

    Very impressive look. Have know the process for a long time but this really shows how artsy and fun it could be.

  3. Charleen

    I liked this video. I’m trying to return to quilting after a 10 year absence. Thanks for the great ideas.

  4. mel1

    very cool ideas I love scrappy piecing and here r new ways to incorporate scrap pieces into traditional design thanks

    • National Quilters Circle

      Thank you for your comment. I am so happy you found it helpful. We would love you to post your end results on our Facebook or Twitter site!

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      • martha

        Well, it isn’t in Texas either. I have tried it four ways and nothing shows the videos. AGAIN! It is not my computer.

        • Customer Service

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  5. Deborah

    I love this idea. I’ve been building my staff for about 8 months. I’m busting at the seams. I’m addicted to fabric. Still learning these cool ways of creating such one of a kind quilts. I’mworking on quilts for my family for this year for Christmas. I’m learning lots of new ideas a them together. With ADD , I’ve got 6 to 8 stopped doing it one time I get bored and I have to move on to another one then I get bored and move on to another one and then I come back work on them and go on to another one. so by Christmas I should have the tops made to all of them. I’m really looking forward to it

  6. martha

    This is something I have been toying with for several months. I purchased remnant stripes. All from quilt stores. I Tore them in to 3 inch strips. I want to do different blocks with the various stripes going all sorts of ways. am I nuts?

  7. Joanne KN

    Can you look through your stash?? I am looking for Northcott 9200 Navy crackle 7/8 yd will even take precuts of this fabric. Thanks for looking. J