sew hip! strips & bricks - issue 5

My SEW Hip! Strips & Bricks quilt (issue 5, pg 82) has been completed!

I might be tempting fate by saying this, but at this rate I might actually manage to complete my 2010 SEW Hip! Challenge ahead of schedule allowing me to fit in a few extra projects along the way.

One pretty quilt down, what to sew next?!

These are exciting times.


strips & bricks quilt


I really enjoyed making the SEW Hip! Strips & Bricks quilt, it proved to be a worthy contender.

Instead of seesawing wildly between fury and despair as I did with Henrietta the Hippo, the Strips & Bricks quilt gently guided me towards my inadequacies;

  • Apparently I am still useless at cutting fabric – even with a template
  • My haberdashery knowledge is limited
  • I have no foresight

Sewing….it's like Chicken Soup for the Soul without the schmaltz.


rectangles of fabric

Useless cutting skills

The problem with badly cut rectangles doesn't really become apparent until you have to piece them together. It's not that all of your rectangles are misaligned but a significant proportion are; enough to make you wonder if it's actually worth continuing on.

I did despite every third rectangle desperately running away from it's smaller retangleish partner.

….I wonder if there is a Chicken Soup for the Soul – What I learned from Sewing?

safety pins

Safety Pins

A quick word about safety pins. If you plan to make a quilt; buy curved basting pins that are nickle plated. They will last longer and don't ruin your fabric.

I made the mistake of buying the first lot of pins I saw at Spotlight for my Material Obession's Avalon Quilt. Half of them turned out to be either blunt or rusty making pinning impossible.

You will still be able to stab yourself with them.

Gutermann topstitch

Limited haberdashery knowledge

I mentioned earlier that the SEW Hip! Strips & Bricks quilt highlighted a need to improve my haberdashery knowledge. This is especially true with regards to threads.

I haven't got a clue.

The Strips & Bricks quilt needs quilting thread to create lovely lines across the top cover. I went to Spotlight to get some. I came away with some Gutermann Topstitch Col 800.

This is not a quilting thread, this is the kind of thread used on the seams of jeans.


fabric strips - sttips & bricks

Sanity Check

Why didn't I buy quilting thread as per the SEW Hip! instructions?

Two reasons – the Gutermann topstitch thread was texturally more interesting than the quilting thread next to it…. and….the quilting thread next to it said Hand not Machine quilting thread.

Clueless I know.


strips & bricks vertical rows 1cm apart


The SEW HIP! Strips & Bricks quilt instructs you to machine or hand quilt vertical rows about 1cm apart in the strips containing large rectangles (it makes sense when you see the quilt).

My Strips & Bricks quilt was already looking a little skewed due to my poorly cut rectangles so I opted for 1/4" spacing between the quilted rows.

This is the space from the machine needle to the outer edge of the sewing foot.

8 neatly spaced lines

No foresight

This cheat meant that instead of badly guessing my 1cm distances of the 5 lines per rectangle (SEW Hip! version) I had ended up with 8 neatly spaced lines. It's a little more effort but the end result is really great especially with the topstitch thread!

Just be aware that if you choose to use topstitch for the quilting lines you will need to more spools than you think. Buy extras so you don't have to pop out midway through sewing – it's a pain.

I used approximately 1 spool (30m) per 10 lines. In total I used 8 spools to cover all the quilting I did.

top stitch thread - 8 spools


The binding was added onto my Strips & Bricks quilt by hand, well most of it.

I used my little Huskystar E10 to sew one half of the binding onto the back of the quilt and then sewed the topside by hand.

It took about a day of lazy effort which is great for a really nice finish.

binding by hand

So here is my version of the SEW Hip! Strips & Bricks Quilt…it measures 44" x 65.5"…sweet!

Click SEW Hip! Strips & Bricks for fabric info.

sew hip! strips & bricks - fabrics

sew hip! strips & bricks

8 Comments on SEW Hip! Strips & Bricks….completed!

  1. Thank you.. I was initially worried about my choice of fabrics but it works really well with the season here ‘down under’.
    What fabulous sewing project have you got in the pipeline?

  2. It is beautiful, I wish I could locate the magazine so I could make one but so far no luck. Anyone have any suggestions as to where to find it? I have checked the library, the book stores, tried to contact the designer, (She hasn’t gotten back to me) I think I could probably figure it out but the size of the squares(?) are they squares, and the rectangles is throwing me off. Yours is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Jeanne,
    Thanks for your comment. With regards to getting hold of SEW Hip magazines, I get mine from Humphreys Newsagents ( they might be able to send you copies or know of a local distributer in your area.
    I will send you the materials & cutting list separately so you something to start with.
    Have a fantastic day,

  4. I love this pattern and can’t seem to run down a copy of the magazine. Could you possibly send me a copy of the materials and cutting list? I think I can work out the rest. Thanks for your help.

  5. you couldn’t send me one as well could you? I’ve been searching for ages for this pattern. BTW I love the topstitch thread you used – it looks fab

  6. Hi, A while since you posted this but I have also been searching for a pattern for this quilt. Finally found an online copy I can but, but before I do I want to check whether you have any thoughts on whether the straight line quilting could be done with a standard foot or whether you think I would need a walking foot? I have a pretty good Husqvarna Viking machine, but am still playing with this new craft avenue. Thanks & love your selection of fabrics for this design.
    One Little Imp

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