Strips & Stripes

Sewing together strips of fabric has long been a popular and convenient way to construct a quilt and to create a striped pattern. In the past, a quiltmaker could cut strips with scissors or tear them along the fabric’s grain; Today, a rotary cutter makes it even easier. Strips can be seamed together, edge to edge, or they can be sewn down to a foundation fabric. Stripes can also be achieved with printed fabrics or by the placement of the light and dark sections of certain blocks, like Log Cabin.

Stripes hold a complex place in textile and clothing history. For centuries in Western societies, stripes held negative connotations and were seen as a pattern only to be worn by clowns, prostitutes, prisoners, and other perceived societal outcasts. Eventually, stripes came into fashion for all, and in the quiltmaking world they continue to be a popular, relatively easy pattern to produce.