Strip Quilt Ideas: Stripology With Gudrun Erla

By Abigail Dolinger

craft-u-logoHello Quilters! Have you been itching to take a Craft University online class? I recently completed the “Stripology” class by Gudrun Erla, and I’d like to tell you about it. If you’re intrigued with strip-piecing and quick piecing techniques, you are going to love this class!

gudrun

book-cover-stripology-2Gudrun bases the seven video lessons on her book, “Stripology 2.” She shows how to make four quilts:  Steamy Windows, Strip Ribbons, Strip Lash, and Strip Twist. Her book gives instructions for making each quilt in three sizes, but even without the book, you can make the projects by following the ample instructions given in the online course. There’s a video and a printable portion for each lesson/quilt.

A key to Gudrun’s speed piecing techniques is the Stripology ruler she designed. Manufactured by Creative Grids, this slotted ruler has several advantages over the rulers I generally use for rotary cutting. Because the ruler is large, completely covering a folded fat quarter, the fabric beneath the ruler does not slide during the cutting process. If you look closely at the ruler, you’ll see markings at the bottom edge (e.g. stars); these markings help you focus on where to make subsequent cuts. I noticed that Gudrun uses an extra large rotary blade for cutting through multiple layers and that she always moves the ruler above the cutting mat when removing the cut strips. If you often cut strips of various widths for your patchwork projects, this is the ruler for you! It is sold with extensive instructions and will greatly shorten your time spent cutting fabric.

stripology-ruler
Stripology ruler
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Steamy Windows by Gudrun Erla

I believe you will enjoy Gudrun’s friendly teaching style. She packs numerous tips and strip quilt ideas into each 20-25 minutes of video instruction. She doesn’t just say “sew these pieces together,” she goes to the sewing machine and sews while you watch. Gudrun gives great pressing instructions, explaining how the seams will mesh with those in the next row. I was glad to see new or unusual concepts demonstrated more than once. For example there were close-up shots of partial seams and also of making rows of half hexagons. I was encouraged to try cutting through multiple fabric layers and sub-cutting multiples of strip-pieced units. The homework for each project pertained to a technique explained in the video. In addition, the homework was incremental, not confusing or overwhelming.

 

 

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Aby Dolinger and her Steamy Windows quilt

Of the four quilts demonstrated in “Stripology,” my favorites are Steamy Windows and Strip Twist. I decided to make Steamy Windows, but I changed it up a bit. My vision of “steamy windows” is lots of gray with pops of yellow light streaming through the fog. I un-sewed some of the strip-pieced gray units to insert yellow fabric, and I turned my blocks 90 degrees to portray the windows of tall skyscrapers composed of glass windows. Most of the windows are steamed over or the lights are off, but some of the offices/apartments have bright lights shimmering through the gray. Incidentally, the gray and yellow fabrics are Essentials and Batiks from Wilmington Prints, and the border print is Graffiti by Another Point of View from Windham Fabrics.

Take a look at the course offerings of Craft University. I’m sure you’ll find something of interest. Once you’ve purchased a class, you own it and may stream to view it over and over again. You may even take notes on your computer as you watch and also post pictures of your projects in a gallery. What a convenient way to take an inspiring quilt class facilitated by a world class teacher!

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