One of my favorite resources is to sew strips into sets that would make good borders or other uses. These strip sets are very versatile and are good to have on hand to pull out and use whenever needed.
Here I am going to show you how I use strips.
Now you may see stuff you already know how to do but I hope I can inspire someone to try my easy way to use strips.
This is a set of strips. I cut most of mine about 10" long.( The width varies.) as it is a good size to work with. This set was done by my friend Dorothy. She had never done much sewing for quilting so I started her out on sewing strips to get used to sewing these. As you can see the seams are really crooked. This is great for beginners. The seams don't have to be straight. Your blocks will have a crooked look to them on purpose. The borders will be crooked on purpose. I like the look.
Notice the one on the left has the seam from corner to corner. The one on the right was centered in the middle strip
I use the strip sets for borders. Sometimes I cut the border off first and in alot of cases I sew the whole thing onto my quilt block and then trim off what I need.
Lay your template on the strips and decide if you want the corners to be on the seams or centered in the middle of a strip. Cut out the squares wherever you get the look you want for your squares. I cut them close together and you won't have alot of waste leftover
I use two differant types of sets. This one is all meds and darks with no lights.
Here I used white or light every other strip. This will make a differance in how the overall look results.
I do small projects so my strip sizes are trimmed accordingly. After two strips are sewn I trim the inside one to 3/4" from the seam. I like to use a wide strip on the ends so when I sew them on I can have bit extra because when you finish the project those ends can get lost in the edges. If it is wider I end up with a finish strip that is the same size as the middle ones. I hate losing those ends to the edge of the quilt. I turn mine rt side out but you if you use binding you will still lose some of that last strip under the binding. In this little piece I trimmed to 5/8" and ended up with a scant 1/2" finished strip. I have trimmed them to 1/2" and end up with a 1/4" for my smaller items like coin purses eyeglass cases etc.
Ok here are the squares cut out. I cut these out with the corners on the seams
These are not sewn together but you get the idea of how to place them for this look
After you cut out squares there will be some leftovers like these two. I pull the parts off that are small bits and then I have two pieces I can sew together. If you have a wide end on one then I trim it.
I sew two of these recycled sections together and cut out a square from the center
This is what you see people use the most for a layout. These blocks are the ones where the seams don't match on purpose. They are crooked in places on purpose.
Here you see them in an X pattern
Here you can lay them in the same direction. This is a good way to "create" your own fabric to cut up and use. I have cut hearts out of them or you could use them for several other things. I have used them to make houses. It gives the house an interesting look.
This is one idea for using them as a border
Ok here are some projects I have done in the past that you can see how I used the strips or squares.
Here I used the same corner idea in a hotpad
This is a wall hanging I made many years ago. I used the light dark scheme for the strip corners.
Here is a hotpad and you can see the light and dark in the design. It is good to decide when you put your strips together how you want the finished project to look
This one is all the same direction
Here is another layout design with using Xs in the corners
I like to play with placement til I get something I like
Here is a hotpad with the traditional placing of these blocks
These were one of my favorites to make when I was short on time.
An eyeglass case
This one is actually a Kansas Dugout but I wanted to show the color options y ou can get with these kind of squares. A Kansas Dugout is a 3 strip block while my strip sets tend to be 4 or 5 strips in a block. I called this hotpad Xs and Ox or Tic Tac Toe! LOL
Another hotpad with a border
This is a coin purse about 5" square
These bookmarks are the leftovers. I cut some of them on an angle and sewed them together like you would a crazy quilt.
More bookmarks-- Nothing goes to waste!!
And here is the Doll Quilt I made for roseOFsharon for the Doll Quilt swap this month. You can see I used the squares and then I used the borders on top and bottom. Two of the hearts were cut out of the strip sets. As I already had these strip sets setting in a bin on my shelf it drastically shortened the time needed to make this quilt. I like having resources already done ahead.
Checkbook cover. I cut border like sections of the strip sets and then I tack every place the seams meet with a stitch. Then I trim each side to the size I want from the seam. This makes it easier to handle. You get tiny squares without having to handle each and every square. Each square is about 1/2" finished