Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wonky Strip Block

Annabellouise asked me whether I had a pattern for my wonky strip blocks.   
So that had me thinking that I could put together a tutorial.  
I'm sure there are a gazillion ways to make wonky things out there in cyber-world but.....
I use special strips to make mine.  lol   
And I'd like to show you what I do.  

First let me show you my Go Tumbler die.   When I'm cutting tumblers I'll cut my fabric into 7½" strips (length of fabric) and then fold that strip over three times to fit that outside measurement shown by the arrows.

Once I've cut Tumblers I'm left with a lot of those wonky outside strips.    Like these >>>

 (click on the pics to enlarge.  Many of the pictures have additional info added)

So that's where my strings come from for these blocks I'm making.   Since the length of these strips are limited I figured a 5½" paper foundation would be the largest size block I could make.  

Now I start building the block by first laying the center strip diagonally across the square (face up) making sure the fabric covers the tips of the paper.  Some find it helpful to put a spot of washable glue stick to hold the 1st strip in place .... but I've found I really don't need to if I let the needle hold the start and I hold the end corner.  But do what you're comfortable with.  And it really isn't vital that this strip is exactly centered anyway (this is a wonky block after all).  It's more important that all the foundation is covered no matter how you lay on the strips.

 Then add another strip face down and align the two raw edges.  Sew from one edge to the other using a ¼" seam.  

Open and press the seam.  The I'll add the next strip and I like to scramble up the colors to make the block more interesting.  

 Continue to add strips by using some of the smaller pieces for the corners of the blocks as shown.

One half of this block is covered.

 Sometimes I won't like the way a strip fits along the last one sewn so I'll adjust the sewing line by just moving the new strip to where I think it might look better and then sew along the edge of the new strip.  I usually don't even trim the bottom strip but I guess you can if you want to.  It really won't make a difference one way or another.

 Here's one block completely covered and pressed.  

 Now to trim it.   If you enlarge these next few pics you can see the small little adjustments that I make. 
Oh and by the way.... I am a Right Handed Quilter!  And if you are a Left Handed friend you'll have to adjust these instructions because I have no idea how to help you.  hahaha 

Trim up the right side and along the top.  

 Once those first trims are made then flip the block around and line up the ruler along the trimmed fabric NOT the paper edge.  See how small the sliver of fabric is?   Doesn't seem like that would make much of a difference but when you're sewing many many blocks together it does add up.  (well at least that's what 'they' say anyway.  So I guess it must be true) lol

One block finished. 

 Now to remove the paper back.  

And since I can't take a picture AND hold the block at the same time you'll just have to pretend my right hand is holding down the corner of the block while my left starts to tear off the paper.

 This leaves a pretty clean back without having to pick out a lot of loose paper.   Nice huh?  ;0)

There you go!!  That's how I make my Wonky strip blocks.  I hope you've found some small part of this tutorial helpful.  

I've also used tumbler strips to make a border for one of the snuggle Tumbler quilts here.  The only difference is the border blocks were sewn without a foundation paper.


Thanks for stopping by....Linda


  1. GREAT tutorial! And GREAT use of your tumbler die waste strips! AND for the LEFTIES out there - I did a post on how to use the Easy Square Jr. to square up a block - kinda like yours but Left-Handed - hahaha - ;))


    1. Thanks Kitty. I knew I could count on you to show how you lefties do things. Thanks for stopping by. ;0)

  2. Thanks for this tutorial. I will print it out and try it. Love your blocks.


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I hope you're having a great day....Linda


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