How to make patchwork quilts

Growing up, I was always fascinated by the beautiful quilts my mother would make. Each one was a labor of love, a testament to her patience and skill. I remember watching her work, her hands deftly guiding the fabric through the sewing machine, her eyes focused on each stitch. It was mesmerizing.


One day, she showed me a technique called strip piecing. It was a revelation. It made the quilting process faster and more efficient, and it opened up a whole new world of design possibilities. Today, I want to share this technique with you. Whether you’re a seasoned quilter or a beginner, I hope you’ll find this tutorial helpful.

Strip Piecing Quilts 101

Strip piecing is a time-saving method that involves sewing long strips of fabric together side by side, then cutting across the strip set to create smaller, already pieced units. It’s a fantastic technique for making quilts more efficiently.

Best Practices When Sewing Strips Together

  • Consistent ¼ inch seam allowance: Keeping your seam allowance accurate and consistent will ensure that your sub-cut units come out the right size.
  • Sewing methods for strip piecing: Most strip piecing projects begin by sewing a set of strips together side by side. To minimize “bowing,” alternate the directions the seams are sewn.
  • Accurate strip piecing using precut fabric strips: Measure the width of one of the strips to find where the 2.5 inch edge officially lies. Then you know what part to use as your guide for your consistent seam allowance.
  • Cutting your own straight strips: If you’re cutting your own strips from yardage, the first important step is to square up the fabric edges. This will ensure that you cut straight strips.

Piecing the Quilt

  1. Sew three different identical sets with one blue, white, and yellow strip in the same order.
  2. When strips are pieced and pressed, return to the cutting mat. Trim the selvage edges.
  3. Cut your units off the strip-set (in this case cut squares 3 ½″ wide). You will get 12 squares from each strip set, for a total of 36 squares measuring 3 ½″ x 3 ½″.
  4. After you’ve cut all of your units, lay them out six across by six down. By rotating the blocks, you can get a variety of designs.
  5. Sew the squares into rows of six blocks each.
  6. For the borders, cut two 2″ x width of fabric strips from your yardage. Sew the strips to opposite sides of the pieced portion. Add final strips to the top and bottom of the quilt.

Strip piecing is a game-changer in the world of quilting. It’s a technique that allows you to create beautiful, intricate designs in a fraction of the time. Whether you’re a seasoned quilter or a beginner, mastering strip piecing will open up a world of possibilities for your quilting projects. So grab your fabric, fire up your sewing machine, and let’s start strip piecing!

Previous articleThe Bricks Baby Quilt Tutorial
Next articleHow to make baby quilt for fast rail fence