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Greased Lightning Quilt posted: 8/18/2003
by Patricia Littlefield Printable Page
Category: Pieced Level: Easy
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Click on picture for a larger image

Description:
Here's an easy way to use up some of those hunks and chunks of strips that you've collected. You know, those pieces of bindings, borders, and the like that you just cannot throw away. Make a Greased Lightning quilt.

Single Block: 6" finished
Four Block Unit: 12" finished
Finished Quilt with a 4" Border: 44" x 56"
The seam allowance is " throughout (this is very important!)



Cutting:
If making the quilt in the size noted above you will need 48 lights and 48 darks. Dump out your strip collection and separate out all the strips that are less than 16" in length and put them back for another project. Next, sort those that are 20" or longer into two piles: darks and lights. Since I usually make this quilt with 48 blocks, to save time, I match up a light strip with a dark strip as I go until I have forty-eight pairs of strips. Now, press your strips and then trim them so they are all 2" in width. (They need not be the same length, however.)

Construction:
Each block has four parts and each part has four steps:

Instruction Diagram
Step 1: Take one dark strip and place it at right angles on top of a light strip with which it contrasts, and join them with a bias seam.
Step 2: Trim the seam allowance by cutting off the excess fabric on the corner (they are two triangles) and press the seam it toward the darker side of what is now one strip.
Step 3: Take a ruler and lay it over the joined strips with the dark fabric on the right and the diagonal seam line running from the top left to the bottom right. (see illustration below)  
Step 4: Cut a 6 " strip by measuring across the top edge so that the light side ends 4 " from the left and the remaining 2" is on the darker side.
Next:
Instruction Diagram
Take what is left of the original dark strip and place it at right angles on top of what's left of the original light strip and join them with a bias seam. (The same as you did in Step 1) Trim and press as you did in Step 2. Next, take a ruler and lay it over the joined strips with the darker side on the right and the diagonal seam line running from the top left to the bottom right.

This time cut a 6 " strip measuring across so that the light side ends 3 " from the left; the remaining 3" is on the dark side. (Step 4)
Repeat the 4 steps twice more. Each time, when you measure and cut the joined strips, the amount of the light side should measure 1 inch less and the dark side one inch more.

The sequence is:
First 6 " strip is made up of 4 " on the light side and 2" on the dark.
Second 6 " strip is made up of 3 " on the light side and 3" on the dark.
Third 6 " strip is made up of 2 " on the light side and 4" on the dark.
Fourth 6 " strip is made up of 1 " on the light side and 5" on the dark.
Now, stitch strip one to strip two, strips one and two to strip three, and strips one, two, three to strip four and you have your basic Greased Lightning block, which will finish at 6". Make sure you always stitch them together in that order with the strip with the largest light part on your left.
Now comes the best part! As you make your blocks, put them up on your design wall in units of four blocks and arrange them in a way that pleases you. I usually make forty-eight blocks in a 3 (four block units) by 4 (four block units) layout, which, by the time you add a border, comes out to about 44" x 56", a perfect size for a baby quilt.

This is an example of a four-block unit:

Or you could go completely scrappy for a different look or alternate the dark and light strips from one side to the other. The choice is yours! Here are two of the possibilities for a unit of blocks of four; they are endless!


2003 Patricia Littlefield

www.thequiltercommunity.com

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Category: Pieced

Author: Patricia Littlefield
Level: Easy
 



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