The Fabric Maverick says... You can strip at any age!
July 8, 2008
Yes, you can strip and still not be rejected by your church group! How? Let me tell you. I am always intrigued by books that promise a quilt in day or a weekend. I, usually, cannot even cut all the pieces required in a weekend! I picked a project at ramdon from "Jelly Roll Quilts" by Pam and Nicky Lintott. They are a mother and daughter team from England. They do not actually promise a quilt top in a weekend, but as I discovered you could complete a top in a weekend. Of course, I cannot give you instructions for this pattern because of copyright issues. I selected the project named Spiral Strips. This project is great for a beginner. It uses one jelly roll (40 strips) and two uards of fabric for the border and binding. No special tools were required other than a rotary cutter, mat, square ruler and 6" x 24" ruler. Nancy gave me a jelly roll at Christmas called "S-S-S-S Silly Safari". It was always my intent to make a baby quilt for Victoria's grandchild. For once, the child will not be graduating from college before I get it done.
First the authors recommend that you do not wash the jelly roll strips. I did test for color fastness by rubbing a wet white paperttowel across the very bright colors. When I wash this quilt, I will use a carbona dye catcher just to make sure there is no dye transfer to the other fabric. I did wash the border fabric.
- Most of the projects call for separating the jelly roll into light and dark strips. Some of these may fall into the medium color range. I just picked one color to be a light or dark strip. In the end, you will see that it will not make a difference to the design. Here is where you begin to strip! You will sew a strip set of alternating light and dark strips. The key for this project to be successful is an accurate seam allowance. The strip set must be 8 1/2". If it is not, review your seam allowance until you get it right. It took me 15 hours to complete the quilt top. I was stunned! Due to an old sewing injury, I can only sew 2 hours straight. I worked over 2 weekends. A very motivated person could finish in a weekend. I would expect a beginner to take a little longer.
Beginners can practice these skills:
- Sewing an accurate 1/4" seam allowance
- Accurate measuring (Measure twice, cut once)
- Chain Piecing
- Properly measuring and attaching a border
Reviewing the book from a beginner's perspective, there are a couple of criticisms. The book does not tell you how much backing each project will require. My finished project was a 60" square. If I used 108" fabric, I would need 1 7/8 yards of fabric. If I used 45" fabric, I would need about 3 2/3 yards of fabric. There is always some leftover fabric that may be used for a future project. The General Techniques section is very good except it assumes the quilter knows all about backing. My complaint about all quilting books I have seen is that they always end withe the phrase "Quilt as desired". I believe that there is an assumption that you will be having someone else do the quilting.
My tips for beginning quilters are:
1. Pick a jelly roll with a lot of pattern. If you make a mistake, it is less likely that the quilt police will arrest you.
2. Read all instructions thoroughly.
3. Quit when you become tired or you will be using Mr. Seam Ripper.
I do agree with the authors that jelly rolls can become addictive. I have just purchased 2 more. In all, I give this book an A-.
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