You won’t believe your eyes: sensational quilts from strips (+ giveaway!)

Jelly Rolls, scrappy strips, stash strips, more . . . now YOU can make gorgeous strip quilts galore!

Start with Strips

Master scrap quilter and Instagram sensation Susan Ache (@yardgrl60) shares her secrets for creating beautiful, cozy, heartwarming quilts—and they all start with 2½" fabric strips.

From Start with Strips
Start with Strips

But Susan’s lovely designs are only part of what you’ll discover inside her new book, Start with Strips. You’ll also find her tricks for sorting strips before sewing—it’s a part of the quiltmaking process that often trips up even the most experienced quilter. (If you’ve ever unfurled a Jelly Roll, took a moment to stare at it longingly, and then rolled it right back up, you know what we’re talking about!)

Citrus Grove quilt
Citrus Grove

Once you learn Susan’s sorting method, you’ll feel free to make her sensationally scrappy quilts without fear of choosing colors or prints. And the sorting method works the same for ALL precut fabrics—fat quarters, Layer Cakes, charms and mini-charms, you name it!

Take a peek at the quilts you can create in Start with Strips—don’t they make you want to unfurl that roll, search your stash, and dig into your scraps? The feeling is mutual!

You’ll love creating these oh-so-beautiful quilts—the kind that make a house a home. And guess what? You can join a sew-along in January featuring the special quilt below—follow @yardgrl60 and the hashtag #airboatparade on Instagram to stay in the know!

We’re happy to welcome Susan Ache (pronounced Ah-kee) to Stitch This! as a guest writer today to share one important tip for making quilts from Start with Strips. Take it away, Susan!

But first . . .

FABRIC GIVEAWAY! Our pals at Moda Fabrics are so excited about the release of Start with Strips, they sent us three Jelly Rolls to help us celebrate! To enter to win a copy of the book plus one of these Jelly Rolls (Thrive, Woof Woof, or Big Sky), leave a comment at the end of this post.

Susan AcheBeing a guest blogger is definitely a first for me. Start with Strips is my very first quilt book, so I was thrilled when I was asked to write as a guest blogger. Let’s jump right into the fun stuff.

There should be an app for second guessing yourself. I could have used it during my block and quiltmaking process for this book. I’ll let you in on a little secret: there is one quilt in Start with Strips that I knew exactly how I wanted it to look; I saw it in my mind as clear as day. But the Airboats quilt certainly wasn’t living up to what I had envisioned. I actually made the entire quilt twice! I was beginning to feel like Goldilocks.

Airboats quilt

Airboats quiltLet me tell you how it began. Each block in Airboats calls for three colors and a background. Well, as I say in Start with Strips, the fabrics in your quilt blocks don’t necessarily have to match; they just have to contrast so they show up. My background for the blocks is where the road took a turn toward mush-all-together.

Editing myself, that’s all it took. The backgrounds of the original blocks were all scrappy, and it was just too much. Once the quilt was completed, there was absolutely no place for my eye to see the colors or the blocks. We’ve all heard the statement, “less is more.” In this case, it was the absolute truth. I changed the background to a solid in all of the blocks and voilà, my vision was alive again.

From Start with Strips
A peek at more quilts from
Start with Strips

As much as I love scrappy quilts, sometimes enjoying the calm of one neutral can change an entire look. So, here’s my advice to you: while you choose colors for your own quilts in Start with Strips, keep in mind that you are your own editor. If you are happy with your choices, then it’s right.

Start with StripsThanks for sharing the backstory of Airboats with us, Susan—we love how your vision turned out in reality.

To win a copy of Start with Strips and one of the Jelly Rolls from Moda Fabrics, tell us in the comments:

When it comes to Jelly Rolls, I:

  • Unfurl, sort, and start stitching the minute they’re home.
  • Keep some rolled up just for show, but I’ve rolled out plenty for patchwork too.
  • Just love looking at those perfect, pretty circles—It’s hard for me to open them up!

We’ll choose three random winners one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck! And if you can’t wait to unwind a roll of Jellies and “start with strips,” order the book at ShopMartingale and you can instantly download the eBook for free.


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