The Serger Strip Quilt
The Serger Strip Quilt
After I folded my fabric in the Great Fabric Re-Fold of 2014, I decided I really needed to make up a few quick quilts. I found a tutorial for really fast half-square triangles (which are really quarter square triangles – anywho). I decided to take the same idea and make big ole quilt blocks with it using my serger. My serger is sooooooo much faster than my sewing machine and is perfect for straight stitching.
Scrappy Strip Quilt Tutorial
Here’s a little tutorial for how it went:
**You can make this whole thing using a 1/4″ seam allowance and a straight stitch. I used a serger because it was much faster.
First, I cut strips and serged them together in pairs.
I cut a total of 48 strips from 7 different fabrics. Could you use a 40 piece pre cut jelly roll and 2/3 yard of additional fabric but into the remaining 8 strips? Totally.
I serged 6 strips, at random, together to get a row that was 12 1/2″ tall x width of fabric. Here’s what it looks like from the back, on the ironing board.
And the front of the strips. Oh man, these look great in the sun. I have orange, blue, khaki, floral-y brown, blue and orange, again.
Next I cut the strips into squares. These ended up to be 12 1/2″ squares.
If you are using this tutorial to make your own – at this step, measure the width of your strip set and cut the squares to be THAT size. If you have a wider 1/4″ seam allowance, your strip set may finish up 11 3/4″ tall. That is totally fine. Just make sure to cut your squares 11 3/4″.
Lay two blocks on top of each other. Make sure you rotate the top square 90 degrees, so the stripes do not line up. This will be important.
The next step (and here is the magic!) is to sew -or serger- around the entire perimeter of the square.
Love. Love. Love.
Serge. Serge. Serge.
Half-square triangles seem to be generally regarded as a triangle block made from half of a square. When it is finished the block has straight-grain on all the outer edges. Quarter-square triangles are made from one-fourth of a square cut to yield triangles. Those triangles are then sewn back into a block. If you use QUARTER-square triangles as HALF square triangles, be advised that ALL your edges will be bias and stretchy.
Ok, so armed with that info – here’s what comes next:
Quick Quarter Square Triangles:
Take the big serged squares and cut them into quarters. Corner to corner with your rotary cutter.
Open each triangle shape to get a strip-y-square. Below I was arranging the 4 new strip blocks to see which way worked the best. After all the turning and mixing, I went with the first block. ((click on any of them to see them larger))
It is a go! My quilt will end up making little “blocks” if I use the first arrangement. This part was also serged. I did not stitch one “new” block at a time. Instead, I worked in columns. You could definitely work either way, though. The quilt is 6 rows by 8 columns, total.
I chain-serged these like a maniac.
Then I came up with my columns. Two-by-two the columns were joined. It was super crazy because I made this with a random approach, so **chaos theory** what are the odds that two pieces will touch? Ok, pretty good, there are only 7 fabrics BUT what are the odds that two identical blocks would touch? Yeah, 100% because it happened. Le Sigh. Not a deal breaker, though.
Here are two columns right together. I did try to estimate them not having identical fabrics touch, but eh, you know. AND let me just say, I’m not ripping out any serger, 4-thread, overcast business, so I’ll just pretend like I planned that bit. ((cough cough))
One thing you can do with a serger is finish straight seams in record time.
One thing you cannot do with a serger is sew over pins. I did that once in college only to have the pin shear in half and a portion go flying off into the sky. …. so I didn’t pin my intersections ….
On that note- matching 6 of the 8 points seemed like a little victory for me! Who needs those guys on the northeast corner anyway….
The entire edge of the quilt is bias. I’m going use a straight stitch on the sewing machine to “stay stitch” around the whole thing before I start to quilting it. Stay stitching gives the edges stability. I don’t want it to become a big wavy mess. Honestly, I even thought about adding a brown border around the whole thing. Gasp. A border. =) We’ll see.
And that is how my small random baby quilt used up 48 strips.
Of course, I cut twice as many strips as I needed, so I’m going to make another quilt in the same pallet, different layout. Stay tuned for what that will be coming next.