Strip quilts to (speedily) eat up your Jelly Roll stash (+ giveaway!)

Quilts from Strip SavvyFess up: how many of you have so many unused 2½" strips that a sinkhole is taking shape in your sewing space? As beautiful as that sinkhole would be, it’s not where we imagined our glorious fabric finds would wind up. Don’t we all want those cotton ribbons of delight to end up in quilts? There’s a time to collect and a time to sew. So why haven’t you sewn with your strips yet?

Just when you thought you’d never find patterns special enough to motivate you to Jelly unRoll, along comes Australian quilter and popular blogger Kate Henderson with her new book Strip Savvy. Her blend of traditional blocks and modern fabrics breathes fresh energy into quilts created for 2½" strips. Whether prettily prepackaged, prepared from your stash, or salvaged from the sinkhole, your strips will be thrilled that Kate’s strip-quilting designs have arrived to inspire you to cut, piece, and finally create quilts!

Today Kate is here at Stitch This! to share her passion for strip quilts with you—along with a few easy machine-quilting ideas that you can try at home. Welcome, Kate!

Kate HendersonEver since I contributed to the book Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe, I’d thought about putting a book proposal together. I had really enjoyed working with Martingale so I put together a few ideas and emailed acquisitions editor Karen Burns, who encouraged me to write a book proposal. I was six months pregnant at the time and in the “I feel great, I can do anything” stage, but I was convinced that writing a quilt book was still a dream and would never happen. I was so surprised when my proposal was accepted. I signed the contract in the hospital after having my fourth daughter. Yes, I know, completely crazy!

Strip SavvyI really love to play around with patterns for precuts. I love the challenge of working out how to turn one of my quilt designs into something you can make with 2½" strips. I have spent more than a few late nights playing around on graph paper seeing what I can do. So naturally my book proposal was all about strip quilts!

As well as challenging myself to make different blocks with 2½" strips, I like to challenge myself to use the leftovers to make borders that complement a design (like in “Wind Farm” and “Snowball Explosion” below). So I have included some quilts with borders and also a few ideas for different borders you can make with scraps from your 2½" strips.

Wind Farm quilt
“Wind Farm”

Snowball Explosion quilt
“Snowball Explosion”

Like most quilters I keep most of my scraps, and my scrap bucket is always overflowing. So I wanted to show how you can cut your scraps into 2½" squares and strips and use them. “Night Sky” and “Steps” (below) are great examples of this. I managed to use so many favorite bits of fabric I had been hoarding.

Night Sky quilt
“Night Sky”

Steps quilt

One thing I really wanted to do for the book was to quilt all my quilts and show that anyone at home can do all of the steps of making a quilt themselves. For some of the quilts, like “Reflections” and “Stepping Up” (below), I just quilted with straight lines using my walking foot.

Reflections quilt from Strip Savvy

Stepping Up quilt from Strip Savvy
“Stepping Up”

For other quilts, like “Open Sesame” (below) I free-motion quilted squares and rectangles to complement the shapes in the pattern.

Open Sesame quilt from Strip Savvy
“Open Sesame”

I hope you have enjoyed this look at what is in my book and you are inspired to grab a Jelly Roll or cut some strips from your stash and get quilting!

Thanks for being here, Kate!

You can see all 18 projects from Strip Savvy here.

When’s the last time you unwrapped a Jelly Roll? Share your strippy story in the comments and you could win a copy of the Strip Savvy eBook! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win.

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Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The randomly chosen winner is Michelle, who writes:

“I opened four of them today to work on a project – adaptation of a log cabin which I will add machine embroidery too. I quilt with friends, so we oohed and awed as we separated our yummy rolls – some batiks some black and whites and in the end could not decide who had the yummiest.  Just know we love them! We are getting on and this cuts the amount of cutting we have to use our sore arms for.”

Michelle, we’ll email you about your prize. Congratulations!


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