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Strip Piecing is the meat and potatoes of quilting.  Any time you are able to strip piece segments of a block, or an entire block, you save a ton of time!  This weeks tutorial demonstrates how to strip piece a basic Nine Patch block.

If you've never used a rotary cutter, now is the time to learn!  Don't try this method with scissors, it defeats the purpose of accuracy and speed.  Please check out the video I included on the tutorial that shows some basics on using a rotary cutter, mat and ruler.  By the way, no purchase is necessary, but if you lack the basic tools, we have them on sale during Beginner Nine Patch month!

If you're teaching a newbie these rotary cutting skills, please be sure to teach them safety tips, like closing or locking the rotary blade, where to place the opposite hand to prevent getting cut, and how to "walk the hand" up the ruler to keep the pressure even and keep the ruler from slipping.

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Replies to This Discussion

Well guess what I saw last night in a quilting mag??? "U"-shaped pins for just that purpose! Has anyone tried them? They 'seam' a bit unpractical and can't really save us that much time...hmmm.
hahaha - do you mean these? :)

They are great, but I always forget I have them and I seem to fall back on whatever pins are within reach.
Hi Karen and all...Just to add my comment..I pin my seam to get it to the presser foot..then I remove the pin, but hold it down and guide it thru with the awl...that way I see it moving and nothing is distorted. I have 4 nine-patches of the 13 needed, completed and pressed...I'm so satisfied with the results...and I do contribute it to the pressing of the seams to the dark side. Now, they are fun to stitch. Thanks for all the hints. Anne
Good point Anne! I LOVE using an awl....well actually it's a chopstick, but I can call it anything I want, right? Great tip!
Thank you "awl" for pinning tips! I learned the expensive way not to sew over pins (meaning a trip to the repair shop for damaged bobbin case) - of course, now you all have brought up the "awl" or chopstick - is there a video on using it, by chance? No one in my sewing class uses one, but I have those thousands of strips to do on my 2 Boston Commons - made up of thousands of itty-bitty 2" squares. Needless to say, it's a slow process & one I don't have to worry about a timeline on - my instructor told me that she pins rarely (she is so very good, I am always in awe). Anyways, with an awl, I'm guessing that how it works is by pushing down on
a seam just as it goes under presser foot? You put the awl down where you took out the pin?
GeorgiaAnn - your description sounds spot on! I use my awl anywhere I want control but don't want my fingers to go. Yes, I did once sew over my finger many years back and it's not pleasant!
Is anybody in the quilting class right now? What's the best way to measure the first borders with the little corner squares? I'm going through my fabric trying to measure it out, ugh. I'll probably end up opening both intersecting seams, but thought I'd ask in case anyone is "in here" right now.

I've been trying to sew small border strips with corner stones already attached, but keep finding I'm short at the very end. I didn't measure with a tape, but pinned border to quilt and then cut the strip on one end for the corner square - first time was ok, but second one is short. 3rd time should be the charm! I'll ck back in here in a few to see if I'm "helpable"
Problem solved...went to my handy-dandy quilting book and looked it up - I was forgetting the part where you fold the quilt top in half and press the middle to mark it near side - followed by pressing the middle of the border strip and then laying it out matching middle creases. Finally got it and sewed on
the last large border strip and found it just did not match up with quilt top like I thought so headed back to fabric shop for more fabric, lol! I think I found more complimentary fabric this time...hope so. Will use original large border fabric just for the backing now.

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