Sunday, February 27, 2011

Of Strips and Strata...tutorial two

Hello everyone!  Today I will demonstrate how to make string blocks using strata.  Now this is a term I came across in Persing and Hoover's book "Stratavarious Quilts."  Since then, I have noticed the term used by other quilt designers in various magazines.  Strata, is a term used to describe a piece of made fabric using 22 inch or longer strip of varying widths.  Scroll down and you'll see what I mean. 


Here are some of my strips, cut and ready to use.  I cut 1", 1.5", 2", 2.25", 2.5" 2.75" and 3" strips.  All strips (except for the lone short one in the photo) are 22 inches long and cut from fat quarters.

I make my first selection, grabbing two strips with different widths.  You could plan your colour scheme or you could go scrappy and just pick at random.  Sew these together, right sides facing of course, then press open.  Finger pressing is fine at this time, again it's a matter of preference.

Continue adding strips, alternating the sides you add the strips to.

Before I began, I decided I wanted my final blocks to be 6.5 inches.  After putting several strips together, I press the newly made 'fabric', and measure the width.  Always make sure your new fabric is wider than your desired block.  For this example, I needed 7 strips to make it wide enough.

Place your ruler on top of the fabric, at an angle, as shown above. 

Begin to trim away the excess fabric.

You will end up with two blocks.  Don't despair, the rest of your new fabric will not go to  waste.  See that triangular piece of fabric on the lower left?  You take that and place it on top of the larger piece on the right in the photo.  Take the triangular piece on the upper left and place in below the larger piece.

Now sew the two top pieces together, then do the same for the bottom pieces.

You should be able to get another two squares from your made fabric this way.

Here are the four blocks done.


  1. Very nice! What a fun quilt this can be. I happen to know Barb (she lives near me) and I have met her sister as well. Both are very nice.

  2. Still, in this version it appears that you have more waste than the first version. Also, you don't get to use scraps.


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