Module 1 Chapter 3

From Chapter 2

Before starting chapter 3 I had been asked to make another 4 square block using the three pin method of holding in place as described on p35 of Module 1. The blocks which I had made hadn’t been centred terribly well and my tutor suggested I try this method so as to make sure the centre of the four squares was exact. I carried out this task and the result is far more satisfactory than my other attempts


Chapter 3 Rotary Cutting

As I have been using a rotary cutter for some time now, I already had the cutter, mat and ruler. However, it’s always good to go over the correct way of using this equipment as it’s easy to allow bad habits to set in!

I had several fat quarters in my fabric stash and so was all ready to get going on this chapter.


I ironed out my fabrics and photographed those I planned on using, ready to print off on paper. This task, as I’ve mentioned before has been a great eye opener for me, showing me how different fabrics will look together in different shapes and sizes without actually cutting the fabric itself and therefore causing waste if I don’t like the outcome. I am saving all the photos that I am taking of the fabrics, in a folder on my laptop so that they are ready for any future tasks I may need them for.

I have worked my way through the instructions on p45 of Module 1. Preparing the fabric by folding in half on the straight of grain and using the ruler and cutter to trim off the rough edges and prepare the fabric for use.

I then continued working through the instructions and cut strips of different fabrics into different widths.

Chapter 3 Task 1a

For this task I was asked to rotary cut a variety of strips in different widths as test pieces. I cut each fabric into 11/2”, 2”, 21/2” and 3” strips

Task 1b

I then rotary cut a pile of squares from some of those strips, layering the strips into 6 layers to cut at the same time


Task 2

I then chose a range of fabrics to explore different layouts. I lay these fabrics together to decide which looked the best together. I had already photographed each fabric and printed them off.

Task 3a

For this task I used the scanned pictures of fabric, using a pencil and ruler to mark parallel lines and cut them out with scissors, varying the width of strips.

Layout Trials

Here I made up several different arrangements by placing 3 scanned strips together, varying narrow/medium/wide widths and different colours/designs.

a)                                   b)                                     c)

d)                                                       e)

a)  Strips getting progressively narrower  b) symmetrical sandwich with same fabrics on outer edge  c) 3 different widths with very narrow one in centre using complimentary colours  d) symmetrical strips with widest/boldest design strip in centre  e) same width strips in 3 different fabrics each with 2 patterned and 1 plain design

Continuing with Layout Trials I used a bold patterned fabric and cut into 11/2” strips. I then cut the same width strips from plain and less bold patterned fabric but with coordinating colour scheme. I rearranged these fabrics to try different variations.



Task 4

For this task I was asked to look up Amish Roman Stripe and Amish Roman Bars quilt patterns.

I really like the Amish style of quilts and noticed in A World of Quilts by Cassandra Ellis a chapter on Welsh Bars which is very similar to the Amish patterns. Cassandra says in her book regarding the Welsh pattern “Most of the mining and rural communities were isolated, so their quilts soon developed a signature look. There was very little outside influence, until returning families brought quilts back with them from America. Fabrics were often plain and used in striking combinations, with intricate quilting patterns that made them highly sought after.”

I found these photos of Amish Bar quilts in the images section on line

I was then asked to choose 3 arrangements from my test layouts, arranging the strips into 3 sets of 3 and stitching each set together using a ¼” SA. The tip given for this task was to stitch from alternate ends to prevent the trips from curving. I pressed the seams to one side on the reverse.


Task 5

I then cut each of the long stitched strips into 5” sections using my ruler and rotary cutter. I used these sections to make up different layouts, this was a good task to carry out to see which sections looked OK together and which looked too ‘busy’ I chose two different designs and stitched them together



For the xtra task I had to cut shapes from one of my strip patchwork designs. I used the templates that I had made at the beginning of chapter 2, drawing around

each template on the back of the patchwork. I used a 2”x2” square, 2”x1” rectangle and 1”x1” squares. Cutting out each shape with scissors.

Task 6

Design a Block with Tapered Strips of Paper

This task asked me to produce a decorative design using a varied range of papers in two colours, cutting into shapes with inverted seams. Inverted Seams means that they look like they’ve been sewn on the wrong side, thus the edges of the fabric are exposed on the RS and not the WS. This gives an added dimension to the piece of work.

I used papers that I had collected from pieces of wrapping paper and pages torn from a non-glossy magazine. The task asked for the paper to be cut into tapered strips, varying in width but of the same length.

I used a ruler and rotary cutter and then ran the edge of the scissor blades along the ruler to form a crease in the paper and so be able to fold the edges up neatly to give the impression of an inverted seam.

I then glued the shapes onto paper before gluing into my course book

Task 7

This task was similar to task 6 but with using fabric and then cutting the finished piece into square blocks.  I wasn’t sure about the instruction which says ‘Use rotary cutter to cut 3”x6” fabric squares from a stack of three fabrics’ as 3”x6” clearly isn’t a square, so made 6”x6” squares

I used fabric of similar colours to the paper I used and cut out tapered strips, laying them all out on my cutting board and moving around to find the order that I liked best and making sure the strips alternated in wide/narrow widths so as to maintain as straight a base line as possible. I then stitched the strips right sides, together using a ¼” SA.

I used my rotary cutter to trim the edges and then cut into two same size squares.

Task 8

This task was a repeat of task 7 but with using both traditional and inverted seams

After pressing, I trimmed the edges and once again cut two equal sized square blocks from the joined fabric. I found that I preferred the seams pressed to one side rather than pressed open.



For this xtra task I was asked to produce a multiple patchwork block by stitching together a selection of squares, rectangles and strips.

I enjoyed this task as I do like to make quilts by ‘designing as I go along’ 🙂

I have tried to make the points all fit together neatly but I haven’t always succeeded.



Author: Lindsey Toms

Maker and designer of handmade quilts

Leave a Reply

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