Segmented Strips of Fabric

Many art quilt makers and all traditional quiltmakers find ourselves with scraps and offcuts at the end of every project. I believe these two words are in are interchangeable, although I myself think of offcuts as being ‘larger’ scraps. However, everything is relative, and there is no precision here. I tend to save pieces as small as about 2 square inches, depending on how precious it is to me, but I’ll skip defining ‘precious’ just now.

My regular readers know I’ve been using strips of fabric in my work for decades – I just love segmented strips of colour. I’ve both pieced them into backgrounds –

and since 2020-21 I’ve also been laying them onto the fabric background and overstitching them, a process called ‘couching’ in embroideryspeak.

Testing – a strip oversewn in several different black threads.

If I had a dollar for every time someone has commented “You do such intricate patchwork!!” I’d be wealthy !

Dark and light scrap assemblies before cutting across to produce segmented strips.

But my readers know the starting point is to machine sew varying widths of strips, long side to side, and cut across those groups of strips. I use pretty small stitching so that when I cut across these ‘collections’ of fabric bits, to make strips varying from 0.5 to 1.5 cm wide, they hold together well in the handling.

In the past week I’ve been working on two segmented strip projects. In one, I’ve dipped into my large quantity of blue-green scraps to form strips oversewn with neon green stitching. Sized 30cm square or 12″x12″, my 2024 SAQA Auction quilt is well advanced –

And finally, I’m now in the strip assembling stage of desert coloured scraps to use in a much larger work, as you might assume from these ~1m+ strips. The background fabric could be black, cream, or a burnt gold which I might dull down a bit by overdyeing it… or maybe none of those, but there’s plenty of time.

Strip assemblies for use in a larger work with a desert landscape theme.

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