Training Tuesday: Strip Piecing, pt 2

Welcome to another Training Tuesday! We will continue with our Strip Piecing article. There are three parts, total. Most of the following will be quotes directly from the source.

Strip Piecing, Part Two

Quilter’s Newsletter, March 1982

Strip Piecing Hints” by Yvonne Porcella

“Strip piecing, in my quiltmaking vocabulary, refers to cutting narrow strips of cloth of various widths and machine sewing the strips together. Strip piecing is easy, requires few tools, and can be done quickly.

“To begin,iron a piece of 44″-wide fabric and refold it in half to measure 22″. Adjust the fabric so that selvedges match up and a wrinkle does not appear along the folded edge. Lay fabric flat and mark accurate lines of various widths across the fabric from selvedge edge to fold edge. Cut along the lines with scissors to make strips. Plastic templates 1/8″ thick and 22″ long aid in marking strips. These templates are available in widths from 1/2″ to 6”.

“I use a quick method of cutting which requires two more tools, an OLFA (brand name) rotary cutter and an OLFA cutting mat. The cutting mat, the recommended surface to use, protects the work table and reduces the dulling of the blade. The rotary cutter, a very sharp circular blade mounted on a lightweight plastic handle (similar to a fabric tracing wheel), cuts through four layers of fabric. Fold the fabric in half, matching up the selvedges, and fold again so the fabric is folded in fourths. Place folded fabric on mat with fold edge lying horizontally and place template across the fabric vertically. Line up the top narrow edge of the plastic template along the folded edge of fabric. Stabilize template with enough hand pressure so it will not shift on the fabric. Draw cutter down along the long edge of template to cut fabric. The rotary cutter cuts the fabric whereas in the previous method the strips are marked and then cut with scissors. Strips will not be accurate if fabric is not folded correctly. If strip when unfolded forms a chevron, the fabric was folded wrong.

“To begin a quilt, cut a variety of strips and have them available to use during the machine piecing. Sew the strips together in pairs. Press all the seams flat on one side. To make a large piece, continue sewing strips together, two strips to two strips, to make four strips or more. To prevent curving of the patchwork, alternate the direction of the sewing machine row of stitching by sewing two strips together in the direction of north to south and then turning strips around to sew four strips together south to north.

“The idea for the quilt began when I gathered together extra cut strips left over from my other patchwork projects. The design of the quilt was done by the random placing of strips to form an artistic composition and range of color. I used an instant camera and reducing glass to help develop the composition. The reducing glass (opposite of the magnifying glass, available at art supply stores) allowed me to see the strips as if the seams were sewn. The instant camera provided a quick look at the quilt in progress and showed where some colors were too weak or too strong. Furthermore, the color picture could be turned to see if the design was better horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, which is much easier than moving an unfinished quilt top.

“Additional patchwork designs used in Takoage were triangles and prairie points. The prairie points were inserted into the seams during the sewing process. Hand quilting was done from the lining side. The lining fabric, a decorator print fabric depicting Japanese kits in flight, was used as a guide for the diagonal quilt pattern”


The above is a picture of “Takoage” by Yvonne Porcella. It finished at 72″ x 82″. Not much else I can add to this section of the magazine. It’s pretty explanatory. However, doesn’t that remind you of the “1600” quilt, also known as the “Jelly Roll Race”?? Funny how ideas develop and change over time! Next week, we’ll see what I consider the beginning of Bargello quilting.





Categories: Quilting | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: