Saturday, July 1, 2017

Hive 3 July Tutorial: Strip and Flip Block

Hello friends!

My name is Meredith, and I am so happy to be the queen bee of Hive 3 for July! I blog intermittently over at WhatsNextMa, and am currently living in the beautiful Florida Keys...hello, warm weather all year long!!!

This is my first year participating in a quilting bee, and I have loved every month! I must admit, the part of this bee that stressed me out the most was knowing that I would have to choose just one block for my new friends to make…how to decide!?!

Then, the most wonderful thing happened in our family…my son got engaged to be married!!! And, not one to let the dust settle…he is getting married in August…that’s right…next month!!!

Save the Date Pic1

So, what’s a quilting mom to do? Turn to her new best friends, that’s what! You all get to help me make a quilt for their wedding, yay!!!

I’ve come up with a block that I think should be pretty easy and fun to put together, but will look fabulous with many, many different fabrics…I’m so excited!

On to the block…have you seen the “Strip and Flip” quilts? The first one I can remember seeing was from Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew. The basic premise is that you stitch together strips of fabric horizontally, make two cuts vertically, then flip the resulting middle “strip” the opposite direction, and stitch them back together. It makes a quick quilt with great visual interest.

Well, I’ve taken that idea and miniaturized it!

Blue Strip and Flip Block by WhatsNextMa
Orange Strip and Flip Block by WhatsNextMa

We’re going to be making 16.5” square blocks using the strip and flip technique!

Let’s talk colors…the bride and groom to be both love orange…and the wedding will be shades of blue…so those are the colors that we’ll be using for our strip and flip blocks!

This was the selection of colors I pulled for the strips. Choose whether you are going to make a blue block or an orange block...and pull out at least eleven fabrics in that color. We’ll get to the contrast fabric in a bit…

Blue fabric pull for Strip and Flip block by WhatsNextMa
Orange fabric pull for Strip and Flip block by WhatsNextMa
My blue stash tends toward the navy side of blue…yours may be totally different…and that’s wonderful! The more shades the merrier, I say! Who knew there were so many lovely shades of orange? What you are going for to make visual impact in the block, is a graduation from light to dark in the shades that you use. Color wise – please avoid “muddy” colors, and as far as types of prints…I love modern...skip the calicos please! Batiks are fine, if they are what you have, but try to not make the entire block from batiks…mix it up!

From your strip fabric color, choose eleven fabrics that go well together, and lay them out in a mostly light to dark order…I say mostly, because I’m not stuck on this being perfect!

Chosen fabrics for Stitch and Flip block by WhatsNextMa

As you can see in my picture above, the second fabric in is darker than the third…I really love that fabric, and wanted to feature it in the block…putting it between the two lighter strips highlights it, and I think that’s great! So definitely give yourself some leeway in the color order to have fun!

Press your strips so that they are flat, then cut 2” wide by approximately 18” long.

Cut strips to 2" wide by 18" long for Stitch and Flip block by WhatsNextMa

Lay out your strips in sewing order, then get ready to stitch them together along the long side...but first...please lower your stitch length to 1.8 - 1.6!

Shorten stitch length to 1.8 - 1.6 

I do my own quilting on my little home machine, and have found that pressing seams open for the most part does wonderful things for making that much, much easier...lowering your stitch length helps maintain the integrity of the stitches even when pressed open.

After you've lowered your stitch length, stitch your strips together along the long edge. I stitched mine into pairs, then stitched the pairs together, pressing my seams open after each one was sewn. If you find it easier to stitch them all and then press open, that's fine too!

Strip set for Strip and Flip block by WhatsNextMa

A word about 'bowing'...don't worry about it! The strips are made a little bigger than needed to give some leeway to trim down, and a wonky strip here or there isn't going to ruin a no stressing! If you really don't like the idea of curvy strips...just be careful when you are pressing, that's when I find mine get out of shape. 

P.S. If my strips are a little curvier than I care for them to be, a light spritz with the water bottle usually relaxes the fabric, and I can press it again more carefully.

Please remember to press your seams open for the strip set...

Seams pressed open on back

After you've got your block of strips, it's time to trim one edge strait. Line up your ruler markings with the horizontal seams, then cut a strait edge vertically.

Straiten edge of Strip and Flip block by WhatsNextMa

From the straitened edge, cut a four inch strip, and a three inch strip. You should now have three pieces of your main color in a strip set.

Cut pieces for Strip and Flip block by WhatsNextMa

Now is the time to bring out the contrast fabrics! Lay them out on your strip set, and pick one that contrasts nicely with most of your strip fabrics. 

Select contrast fabric for Strip and Flip block by WhatsNextMa

Cut two 1.25" wide by about 18" long strips of your chosen contrast fabric.

Cut 1.25" strips of contrast fabric for Strip and Flip Block by WhatsNextMa

Stitch the 1.25" wide strips of contrast fabric to each side of the narrower (3") strip set.

Middle strip of Strip and Flip block by WhatsNextMa
Now, I know that I asked you to press your seams open for the strip set...but for these contrast sashing strips, please press the seams toward the sashing, it was smoother that way when I tested the block.

Sashing seams pressed inward toward each other, not open

Place the middle strip set back between the two other pieces, but "flip" it, so that the color graduation is running the opposite direction - isn't that awesome!?!

Ready to attach middle strip of Strip and Flip Block by WhatsNextMa

Stitch the two remaining seams on the sides of the middle strip, you now have one fabulous "Strip and Flip Block"!

Untrimmed Strip and Flip block by WhatsNextMa

At this point you would normally trim the block to 16.5" square...

Finished Blue Strip and Flip block by WhatsNextMa
Finished Orange Strip and Flip Block by WhatsNextMa

But, may I ask that you send me your blocks untrimmed, please? I have an extra large square ruler, and would prefer to do all the trimming myself this time. :-)

I am looking forward to seeing all the creative combinations that you come up with from the blues and oranges in your stash...and am so glad to have quilty friends to help on this happy occasion!!!

It is going to be so much fun to surprise these two with their first quilt!

Save the Date Pic2

Thank you!!!



Jan @Cocoa Quilts said...

I am not in your hive, but I love your block. What a great quick block. Can hardly wait to see how the quilt turns out.

Meredith said...

Thank you, Jan! I'm ridiculously excited about this quilt, and will be sure to share as it comes together!

Judith said...

This looks like fun. I'm looking forward to making it just as soon as our out-of-town company leaves.

Lisa J. said...

Congratulations! How very exciting for you. I'm happy to contribute to this quilt and it's in my very favourite colour combination.