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Curved strip piecing with the NEW Banyan Batiks Island Vibes

In previous QUILTsocial blog posts, I’ve shown you how to make projects using fabrics from the Tie One On and African Violets  Banyan Batiks collections from Northcott along with fabrics from the basics Ketan collection.

This week I’ll be using fabrics from the new Banyan Batiks Island Vibes collection that will be in quilt shops in March 2019. After weeks of snow, ice and cold where I live, this was just the fabric I needed to make me think of spring and maybe a vacation in a warm, sunny climate near the water.

There are 3 colorways in this collection and also pre-cut fat quarters. This week I’ll be using fabrics from the Palm Bay colorway along with some Ketan basics to create some curved strip pieced projects.

Fabrics from the Banyan Batiks Island Vibes collection in the Palm Bay colorway
Fabrics from the Banyan Batiks Island Vibes collection in the Palm Bay colorway

I’ll begin by making some sample blocks so you can learn this simple technique for curved strip piecing.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started

5 fat quarters from the Banyan Batiks Island Vibes collection in the Palm Bay colorway
5 fat quarters from the Banyan Batiks Island Vibes collection in the Palm Bay colorway

  • rotary cutter, ruler and board
  • thread that will blend with the fabrics

Just a little information about those fat quarters that we all love to use. All fat quarters are not created equal! Most fat quarters are 18″ long, but if you’re buying fabric in metric measurement, they will be 20″ long. Similarly, some fabrics are not a full 44″ wide. Fortunately, all the Banyan Batiks that I have used are 44″ wide. It’s nice to know you have that extra little bit of fabric in the width. For the projects this week, all the fat quarters are 18″ long and 22″ wide.

Now let’s get started!

  • From each of the 5 fat quarters, cut 2 strips 4″ x WOF (approximately 20″).
  • Arrange the strips in the order that you would like them.

Strips 4" x 20" from each fat quarter of the Banyan Batiks Island Vibes fabric
Strips 4″ x 20″ from each fat quarter.

  • Take the first 2 strips and overlap the long sides by about 1″, keeping right sides up.
  •  Line up the short ends closest to you. It doesn’t matter if the other 2 ends don’t line up.

Overlap the long sides of the strips by about 1" to prepare for curved strip piecing; using Banyan Batiks Island Vibes fabrics.
Overlap the strips by about 1″

  • With your rotary cutter, make a gentle, wavy cut along the length of the strips. Hold the strips in place as needed to make sure they stay overlapped. You want to be cutting through both layers of fabric all the time.

Cut through both layers to make a gentle, wavy cut in preparation for curved strip piecing; using Banyan Batiks Island Vibes fabrics.
Cut through both layers to make a gentle, wavy cut.

  • Remove the little strips of excess fabric from each strip.

Remove excess fabric from each strip; using Banyan Batiks Island Vibes fabrics.
Remove excess fabric from each strip.

  • Sew the long wavy edges, right sides together, using a ¼” seam. If you leave the bottom strip flat on the machine bed and hold the other strip up slightly as you’re sewing, the edges will fit together quite well. Pinning is not necessary – in fact, it seems to make it harder to sew the strips together.
  • Sew slowly! Adjust the speed on your sewing machine if possible, so you aren’t tempted to sew too fast. This isn’t the time for speed sewing!

Stitch slowly to sew the 2 curved edges together, while slightly lifting the top strip; using Banyan Batiks Island Vibes fabrics.
Stitch slowly to sew the 2 curved edges together.

  • Press the seams in one direction – it doesn’t matter which way they go.
  • Lay the third strip on top of the 2 sewn strips, overlapping by about 1″. Line up the bottom edges.
  • Cut another wavy line through both layers. Remove excess fabric and sew the third strip to the previously sewn ones.

3 curved strips sewn together; using Banyan Batiks Island Vibes fabrics
3 curved strips sewn together

  • Sew the remaining 2 strips on in the same way to complete the strip set.

Completed curve pieced strip set with seams pressed to one side; using Banyan Batiks Island Vibes fabrics
3 curved strips sewn together; using Banyan Batiks Island Vibes fabrics

  • Make another curvy strip set with the remaining 4″ strips, this time arranging the 4″  strips in a different order.

Come back tomorrow and I’ll show you how to re-cut these strips to make some curvy, strip-pieced quilt blocks using Island Vibes fabrics from Banyan Batiks collection.

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: Making a versatile Island Vibes curved strip pieced quilt block

Jean has been designing and publishing patterns since 1997. For the past several years she has been designing patterns for new fabric collections by Northcott Fabrics. Her work has been published in several magazines in both Canada and the United States. Jean holds a Fiber Arts Certificate in quilting and has taught extensively throughout Canada, including six national Quilt Canada conferences. She was named "Canadian Teacher of the Year" in 2003 by the Canadian Quilters Association and has won numerous awards for her quilts.

3 Comments

  1. Delaine

    Thank you for the awesome tutorial! It is always nice to have a way to change things up a bit.

    • Thanks Delaine. Glad you enjoyed the tutorial!

  2. Linda Williamson

    Thanks for sharing. I’ll give this a try.

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