Class 130 Lesson 5: Sewing Strips

“42. The ability to make good art depends a lot on your willingness to make lots of bad art in between.” Comes from a list of life truths from David Cain.

I make quite a few bad seams before I make a good one. dsc_0777

Bad seams make me want to quit. The trick is when I find a bad seam, to immediately commit to sticking with it another 5 minutes and then checking in to see if I still want to quit. Usually, by then I’ve already ripped out the seam and thought of what I need to adjust. I’ve got my focus back and decide to try again.

It’s not wasted effort, though it feels like it might be. It’s a learning curve. Learning curves are great to be on because it means I’m learning! Which is the point.


Okay, enough about the hard parts. The best parts of quilting are when things come together and start looking beautiful. Finally! We’re sewing. After all that work getting setup, we get to put our fabric pieces together. The Harriet method for sewing strip goes:

  1. Stack strips wrong sides together.
  2. Feed through the machine paying attention to 1/4″ seam guides.
  3. Press seams closed to set stitches.
  4. Open fabric, finger pressing seams to dark side (or as specified.)
  5. Spray with starch on the right side.
  6. Press seams on the right side of the fabric.
  7. Measure strips from seam-to-edge and trim as needed.


Basic sewing, with a lot of little tweaks to get it just right. Having strips like that can be such a satisfying start to piecing great blocks. These turned out about 1/8″ too thin, but I ripped, adjusted my 1/4″ seam guides at my machine, sewed a new little tester, and then got some beautiful strips. Bad art on my way to making good art!

What about you? Do you use this method, or do you have a different way to make strips? Do you get bad seams? How do you deal with it?

This post is part of a series where I work through Quilter’s Academy, a book by Harriet Hargrave & Carrie Hargrave. See archives for the rest of the series.


join the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s