Strip piecing – Tutorial

Do you do strip piecing as speed piecing method?
There are a lot of variation of strip piecing quilt pattern and fast quilt making tutorials out there. Here, I am not going to write about any particular type of them but very basic of what you are supposed to do when sewing strips together because they might be a quick interesting quilt making method but it can go wrong if not careful.

  1. Cut fabrics. In my case they are 2 1/2″ and they are full width of fabrics.  As straight as possible to the grain of fabric in order to minimise the stretch. Lay them in order of your choice.

cut strips

2. Stitch the first two strips together. Do not stretch neither of fabric. Stretched fabric will shrink back to the natural state once they are not held by force. Just lay them flat with edges matching together. Feed through the machine without pulling in any directions. Use smaller throat hole if machine tends to move fabric to right or left. Use a sharp needle such as microtex from Schmetz. I use size 75/11 for piecing. Also old dull needles are not good.

The stitch length needs to be shorter, 1.5 – 1.8 because when they will be pulled when they are cross cut and resewn and the stitches shouldn’t be unravel.

stitching 01

stitched strips

All stitched together.

3. Stitch left end to right end to make it to a tube shape. Since there are four of strips I can use the seam in the middle to match up two ends. Smooth them out from that seam in side way and let two ends match. No twisting or skewing. If the number of strips are odd number, find the centre and smooth out side way. Matching up opposite seams may help too.

stitching to tube

4. Press to organise the seam allowance. In this case, they need to be folded alternately. In some case, all need to face the same way. There is no need to press firmly here since they are going to be stitched again.


No stretched, skewed fabric.

5. Cross cut. Place the ruler level to the fabric horizontally. Measure the length needed and cut. As you cut along, something happens to the fabric and the ruler won’t be level to the fabric anymore. Always check that first and measure. And if necessary, go back to trim the other side.

cutting 02

Check where the arrows point. Three edges of fabric should be level with ruler.

6. Rip seams to open tubes. I place them on a table as I open each seam so I won’t mix up.


My best friend, a seam ripper!


7. Stitch them up. Everything above were cared, this process become very easy. Seams will match up without any force. Seam allowance will nestle together naturally. The finished work should be very square.

Now off you go to find about “trip around the world”, ” Bergello”, “lone star”, “railway fence”, and even “nine or four patch” and make them!





Janie Kemp
July 29, 2017 12:21 am

Thank you, Tomomi. This is a clear and direct tutorial with helpful tips.

July 29, 2017 7:38 am

So true about the measuring

Melanie McNeil
July 29, 2017 1:04 pm

I do use strip piecing now and then, but mostly not. When I do, I try to cut my strips along the selvage instead of WOF, because they are straighter and more stable that way. It’s a good tip to shorten the stitch length. I haven’t done that before but it would help. thanks for the tips.