Some quilters might shy away from adding striped fabrics to their collection out of a lack
of experience in knowing how to make them work in their design or fear that they will use them “incorrectly”. Stripes are one of the powerhouses of fabric styles, and getting used to thinking of them as an option in your own work will open up new possibilities for interpreting both classic and newer designs. Stripes of all varieties can do a lot of the
design work for you, and by leading the eye in specific directions can make even a fairly
simple design truly sing.
Sedona Stripes uses only striped fabrics, so the visual weight is evenly distributed, and
this is a good place to ‘get your feet wet’ with stripes if they still feel a bit intimidating.
While this design could be made in fabrics other than stripes, the directionality of the
fabric showcases the design to its best advantage.
Stitch-and-flip is an extremely versatile piecing technique that is readily accessible to
even a beginning quilter and really should be in every quiltmaker’s toolbox. By stitching
on the bias before the fabric is cut, it’s easy to avoid the risk of stretching the bias
seams. This technique works great anywhere that a half-square triangle would be used.
A common example is the Snowball Block (below), a traditional quilt block that can be used by itself, but more typically is used as a setting block with other quilt blocks built on the nine-patch base. Short seams can be stitched from corner to corner by eye or with a
sewing guide, but anything longer is usually marked on the reverse side of the fabric.
After the seam is sewn, the excess fabric is trimmed a quarter inch away from the
stitching line toward the corner, and the triangle is then opened and pressed. (Contrasting thread is used for illustrative purposes only–it is recommended to use a piecing thread that matches or blends with your fabrics.)
With larger stitch-and-flip triangles, the cutoff triangles in the corner are big enough that
you will probably be reluctant to discard them, as they can easily be used in a new spinoff
project. The best time to sew these seams is while you already have the fabrics lined
up. After sewing corner to corner, sew another seam a half inch away, toward the
…and after pressing, you have an extra square made of two half-square triangles.
These can be the seeds for a new, related project. Here’s the quilt that came out of the
cutoffs from Sedona Stripes–additional squares were made from the binding fabric and
entirely new fabrics added just for this project.
The long, rectangular blocks that make up Sedona Stripes are very versatile, and you may
want to experiment with additional design possibilities. Different effects can be achieved
by using the same versus different fabrics for the stitch-and-flip corners and by whether
the corners go the same direction or opposite.
Thank you so much for the inspiration, Scott! If you’d like to make Scott’s Sedona Stripes full size quilt, a limited number of quilt kits with Caterpillar Stripes fabrics by Kaffe Fassett are available in our online shop. If you prefer to select different fabrics for your version, and don’t yet have a copy of the May/June 2016 issue of McCall’s Quilting, you can purchase print and digital copies of the magazine here, or download the pattern separately from our online shop.