Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Fabulous Freebies Blog Hop: The Staggered Strips and Squares Tutorial

Are We Hoppy? Today is Day 4 of the Fabulous Freebies Blog Hop hosted by Calico Joan of MooseStash Quilting where bloggers are sharing their favorite freebie project found online--either their own or another bloggers. This is really a fun and great blog hop and I am loving the projects posted so far. Here is the list of the participants:
Monday August 20

Tuesday August 21

Wednesday August 22

something rosemade   You Are Here

Friday August 24
I am happy to be sharing my Staggered Strips and Squares Tutorial which I originally posted back in January.  I love making quilts with lots and lots of fabrics and joining the Fabulous Freebies Blog Hop was a wonderful reason for making another Staggered Strips and Squares quilt. The name of my quilt may be a bit of a misnomer because there are rectangles in this quilt but I originally had planned to use just squares but realized the focal print needed to be more than a 4.5" square.  My latest quilt, Smiling Sloths, which is made entirely of Cotton + Steel prints, old and new and you can see the Sloth print needed to be showcased.
The tutorial was based on a baby quilt I made, The Hinto Minto Baby Quilt and both of these posts will give you an idea as to how I came up with this idea for this quilt and the tutorial.  Since I've made this baby quilt, I have made two lap-size version and in the process of making another one.  What I love about this pattern is that the 2.5" strips were cut from my stash using my die cutter and it's a wonderful way to use up some of the wonderful focal prints I have; also this quilt sews up quickly. 
Over thirty Cotton + Steel prints were used for the The Smiling Sloths quilt; some of the prints are from the first C+S collection by the original five designers who are sadly no longer a part of Cotton + Steel so making this quilt was a little bittersweet.  If you've read any of my previous posts, you will know that I am a big fan of Cotton + Steel fabrics and sometimes have to challenge myself to use the other fabrics in my stash.  
I originally intended to make a baby quilt but because I love the Smiling Sloths with the neon Iguanas so much, I decided to make it a lap size, 56"x72" (approx.).  The Staggered Strips and Squares pattern is very flexible and can be adjusted to any size depending on the amount of fabric you have.  The quilt is based on the pattern I drew up once again on graph paper and my patches and strip blocks are based on increments of 4".  Here are some details of the number of cuts which are in parentheses and the sizes:
  • around 100 strips, 2.5" x 20" were used and then half of these strips were subcut approximately 10" (you may not need all of these and I like to have extra)  Once the strips were sewn together in one long strip and then sewn together, as detailed in the tutorial, the strip sets were then cut as follow: (25) 8-1/2", (12) 12-1/2" and (17)16-1/2".  You can always cut more if needed.
  • the Sloth patches were cut (13) 4.5" x 12.5" 
  • the Accent patches (the navy, gold and coral plaid) were cut (14) 4.5" square
Here's a photo of the patches and blocks laid out on my big design board. As mentioned in my tutorial, the pattern drawn on graph paper is just a guideline and you can always change it around, just make sure the patches and strip sets measure the width of the quilt you decide.  Adjusting the rows is easier when it is made wider than if it's made an inch or two narrower. Also, as you can see by the red arrows, it's okay to have strips sets with the same fabrics next or above each other to create "globs" like I call them to add to the improv look of this pattern.

Here are some close-ups of the horizontal, wavy and straight quilting I did using Coral thread, nice and easy.
The backing is the Alexa Abegg, C+S Hatbox print which I fortunately had yardage along with the gold print for the binding which is a newer print.  I really wanted to use the Navy Add-It-Up print which sadly did not have enough of and couldn't buy more since I am observing an August fabric fast.
The Smiling Sloth Quilt is now the third Staggered Strips and Squares I've made; you can see my second one, Big Cat Crossing here.  I have the fourth one ready to sew now, the patches and strip sets have all been cut. I'm looking forward to making this one because I love the combination of the teal and peach prints which is one of my favorite color combinations this year thanks to Susan of PatchworknPlay who used it for her beautiful Delilah quilt.
If you like making Jelly Roll Race Quilts or making quilts with 2.5" strips, I think you would like making the Staggered Strips and Squares quilt.  It is a great stash buster.  Just like challenging myself to use other fabrics besides my Cotton+Steel stash, I'm doing another challenge to make other quilt patterns besides the Staggered Strips and Squares, of course, after I finish my fourth one.  You can't always make easy quilts, can we now.  

If you haven't already, please visit the other Bloggers' posts; they're fun, inspiring and filled with great resources.  Good Blog Host, Calico Joan has created a Pinterest Board where you can find all of the Fabulous Freebies posts there.  It's nice to be able to have one spot to find all of the Fabulous Freebies posts. 

Thank You Joan for hosting the Fabulous Freebies Blog Hop!


26 comments :

  1. Your Staggered Strips and Squares quilts are fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing your tutorial/process.

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  2. This is a very cool technique! Such interesting and lovely quilts that sew up easily -- that's a winner in my book. I've been reading some of your related posts and my mind is in overdrive thinking of all the possibilities. Thanks for sharing this. I'm inspired!

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  3. Thanks for sharing the tutorial for your adorable quilt. No sloth, you! It's now on my bucket list for the fall, as if I needed to add to it. Will let you know when it's done.

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  4. I'll be adding this to my scrap/stash to do list - thank you!

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  5. I love the colors in this quilt as well as the pattern! So much fun, and I think your quilt name is really fun.

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  6. So cute. I've made Jelly Roll quilts in the past And I really like the twist you have put on it. The sloths are so precious and perfect for showing off this variation and sharing your how to. Thanks.

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  7. Another great staggered strips and squares quilt!

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  8. A great way to use up a whole lot of scraps!! Thanks for sharing:)

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  9. Great colors and a fun pattern for this quilt! Thanks for sharing!!

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  10. Love your colors. Thanks for the freebie!

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  11. Beautiful quilt! Looks like a great stash buster for sure.

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  12. Very versatile pattern! Looks good in every choice of fabrics. Thank you for sharing this fabulous freebie ... :-) Pat

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  13. What a fun way to use those strips. Planned fabrics or scrappy alike, they are so much fun. I see one in forest colors with a big ole Moose in the corner on it! LOL!!

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  14. Wonderful quilt Rose; I'm all cut and started sewing for this from last year's Jelly Roll Race (September?? yikes) using your pattern, and there it still sits.... Think I need a die cutter though, for the next one, as I spent the majority of my day cutting 2.5" strips!

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  15. You have the best names for your quilts, Rose!!! And your jelly roll quilt pattern is a few steps up from the jelly roll race--really wonderful.

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  16. Lovely quilts! Great way to use up all your scraps. Thank you for the pattern and tutorial.

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  17. Hi Rose! I wouldn't have noticed the globs until you red arrowed them. This is a great pattern, and you have done the pattern proud. I look forward to seeing your next version. How fabulous that all the freebies are in one Pinterest board. I'm going to go check that out right now! Happy Thursday to you! ~smile~ Roseanne

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  18. I just love stripy, scrappy quilts and yours is awesome. Thank you for sharing the process!

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  19. This is a beautiful quilt and a great way to use jelly rolls...love it! Thanks for sharing!

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  20. That’s another great quilt Rose! And you have quite a following if all these comments are to go by!

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  21. I love scrappy quilts and I especially like how this one has a feature fabric in the sloths. What fun, thanks for sharing!

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  22. Neat quilt--I have lots of scraps that I could use for this! Thanks for sharing!

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  23. Free and scraps - they go together perfectly. Thanks for sharing with us.

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  24. I'm a little late to the party, but I am deffinitely going to pin this for future use. Thank you for this free pattern. I love quilts that are fast.

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  25. Just love those sloths!!! I also love using up scraps, so thanks for sharing this sweet pattern with us! xx

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