In the last ten days two students have asked if I can recommend a beginners project for their first encounter into patchwork. Clever beginners patchwork should start with shapes that are easy to sew together and with the use of clever cutting and re-piecing (or sewing together) they can give a dramatic and complicated finished result. A strip quilt as it is known in the UK or a Jelly roll quilt, is what our friends on the other side of the big pond call the technique is a quick and satisfying patchwork project for the novice sewer. The patchwork grows really quickly and can be used for a baby play mat (as shown below) cushion covers, table runners, lap quilt and much more!
Strip quilting is created by sewing strips of fabric together. The strips of fabric are made from the full width of the fabric, cut from selvedge to selvedge. All strips measure the same width. The strips can be cut by the patchworker or can be bought pre-cut in coordinating packs or bundles often referred to as ‘jelly-rolls’, which is where the other name for this technique comes from.
The strips are sewn together edge to edge using the same seam allowance. Three strips each measuring 8cms in width should be sewn together using a 1cm seam allowance. The three attached strips are then cut at 20cm intervals to form a 20 x 20cms square. This is repeated until you have enough squares for your completed quilt project. Two 20 x 20cm squares are sewn together rotating each square 90 degrees so that the long edge of one piece patchwork is sewn to the short ends of three other strips. One way to speed up the sewing process is to use a quarter inch foot, but I have specified above the metric equivalent as many new patchwork quilters do not possess this foot. If you are lucky to have a quarter inch foot your dimensions would be as follows;Three strips each measuring 3″ in width should be sewn together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. The three attached strips are then cut at 8″ intervals to form an 8 x 8″ square.
November 2, 2016