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A week or so ago, I mentioned that I decided that my Sizzix quilting staples would be the 2″ finished square, the 2 1/2″ half square triangle unit, and the 2 1/2″ strip cutter. Today, I am going to tell you why I think that these three dies are so versatile.
I finished up this charity quilt, to be donated to Project Linus, with the aid of the 2 1/2″ strip cutter die. I started this project with the nine spectrum stacked coins blocks, pieced by members of the Sew Fresh sew in a few weeks ago.
First I used the die cutter to cut white sashing strips to border the nine blocks. Very often, patterns call for 2″ finished sashing. This die is long enough so that you can cut through the full width of your fabric, sending it through the machine folded in half just one time, as you do when you cut with your rotary cutter. I found that it was best to send the fabric through with the fold first to prevent bunching or shifting. You do need to purchase extra long cutting pads to accompany this die. (My son is turning the handle here since I can’t do that and take a picture at the same time!)
I then used the die for strip piecing. I cut strips of each color of the spectrum and sewed them together with a 1/4″ seam allowance and pressed. I then cut 2 1/2″ strips perpendicular to my piecing seams to get perfect rows of 2″ finished squares. I used those for the top and bottom border, followed by another row of sashing. You could use this technique to create an Around the World or Postage Stamp quilt top (both on my someday list, by the way).
Then I used the strip cutting die to prepare my binding. Quilters tend to cut their binding strips to either 2 1/4″ or 2 1/2.” After cutting the strips, they are sewn together with a 45 degree angle seam. Then they are folded in half and ironed.
In this simple project, the die was used for three purposes: sashing, strip piecing and binding.
I also chose the square and half square triangle unit dies because of the vast number of traditional blocks composed of just those two elements.
This quick mosaic shows just a sampling of blocks made with those components. I happen to enjoy sewing traditional blocks using modern fabrics or a new interpretation of the color scheme so I anticipate getting a lot of use out of these dies. I don’t believe that their use is limited to traditional blocks though, by any means. I’ll show you some blocks using the dies and actual fabric real soon!