For many quilts I piece, I like to use Jelly rolls, so I thought I’d share some tips for sewing with strips…jelly roll (or 2 1/2″ wide strips), honey buns (1 1/2″ wide strips), and even larger strips all save time for quilters. But there are some helpful tips that can help make your strip sewing more accurate!
First, cut accurately.
When cutting your own strips, accuracy is a must. I just use an OMNI 6″ X 24″ Grid ruler and for me that works great.
Check your seam allowance.
A good time to double check your 1/4″ seam allowance is at the beginning of a strip-pieced project. If each seam is off just a small amount the amounts can really add up. If your strip sets are measuring a little smaller than they should you may want to try pressing the seams open.
Whether you decide to press your seam allowances open or to one side, be especially careful when pressing strip sets. You can actually add “curves” into your strip sets if you move your iron in an arc while pressing. Make straight movements with your iron that are perpendicular to your strip set.
Cut longer strips into shorter pieces for more accuracy.
If your pattern allows, you might want to try cutting longer strips into shorter pieces for sewing and pressing. This can make it easier to be accurate and can also help minimize added waves or curves when ironing.
Sew strips together in alternate directions.
This is another technique you can use to keep your strip sets straight. When sewing more than two strips together, start at the opposite end from the one you started on when sewing the previous seam. Make a light pencil mark on the back of each strip added near the end where you began sewing to help you remember.
I hope these tips will help make your jelly roll and strip set sewing more enjoyable and more accurate!