Ask Jo: USE UP THOSE STRIPS!!! and more…

Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response to.  That’s when I feature them on the blog.  This is one of those days… I’m telling you about some quilting plans and answering a comment about Facebook.  Here goes…

Judy said:
I am sad. Your blog posts are not showing upon my Facebook feed. Is anyone else having this problem?
I have to remember to Google your blog.”

I talked to Kayla and something was amiss that wasn’t updating my blog posts to Facebook.  That is fixed now.  Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

I have had this question asked before and everything was working correctly.  I thought I would remind everyone a bit how Facebook works.

If you are a person who comes to the blog because you see a blog post listed in your Facebook newsfeed, I want to encourage you to periodically “like” the post…or leave a comment on the post.

Facebook only shows you what they think you want to see.  If you don’t like things or comment on things you see, Facebook assumes you are no longer interested and quit showing you that.

I follow an antique shop that is south of me.  They are a great shop and Kramer and I often sold stuff to them.  I like every one of their posts even if it isn’t a particular antique piece that I love because I want to keep getting their posts in my Facebook feed.

So…like or comment on posts from Jo’s Country Junction that you see on Facebook if you want us to stay in your feed.  If for some reason that doesn’t work, you can always try following and not following.

I got a question from Laurie and that launched me into a HUGE plan that I think I was moving towards…but didn’t know it until she asked the question.

Laurie asked:
Curious Jo if you are limiting your Two-Step to a particular set of colors like the designer did. I am undecided if I want to do that (because I just love hers) or use ALL the colors! I have a bin full of 2.5 squares and strips just waiting for me to get started.”

Let me back up and remind you what my Two-Step quilt is…

The quilt is in the same book as my County Fair quilt…

You can find the book HERE on Amazon.

What Laurie wants to know is…if I am keeping the quilt in a limited color palette.  You can see that the colors she selected are a little softer.  You can see there aren’t blacks or browns in the quilts.

Well, I was thinking about this and I’ve been thinking about it every time I open and close my scrap users system boxes.  I have to use more of this…

Just look at my boxes.  Here is the 2 1/2″ bucket with brights.

Here is the 2 1/2″ bucket with reproduction fabrics and more jeweled tone prints.

Here is yet another bucket with reproduction fabrics that Kelli gave me.

Can you believe I have two others with 2 1/2″ strips…one with batiks…one with shirt fabrics?  Neither of those is very full so I’m not feeling the need to push to use them up.

It’s time friends.   I need to focus on some quilts that will use this up those two big buckets.  It’s not that I don’t use it.  I do all of the time.  But honestly, when I make a quilt, I typically use what I can, cut more from fabric, and add the same amount back in.  AH!!  I want these to be able to shut easily.

Worse news, the 2″ and 1 1/2″ buckets are just as full.

I really want to focus on the 2 1/2″ buckets right now and make a good dent in them.  That means I’m going to be careful but not quite as picky about the very most perfect fabric in a project…so…all of that to say, I’m using bright colors in my Two-Step quilt.  I am using colors of the rainbow plus teal/pink/light blue too.  No browns.  No blacks.

I am focusing my neutrals to be more on the white side of things.

My plan for 2022 is I’m going to try to have at least one project that uses 2 1/2″ fabric strips going on all of the time.  It might be one in reproduction fabrics.  It might be one in brights.  My batik and shirt buckets aren’t so full so I’m going to concentrate on the other two…so watch for some projects to come.  Until 2022, I am going to collect books and patterns and maybe do a project or two…but once 2022 comes I am making it the “Year of the 2 1/2″ strip”.

I have my eye on a couple of quilt books from Amazon to help…and I’ve been paging through some I already have.  It’s fun to get something new now and then so I did order one of them…this one, Start with Strips by Susan Ache.

I’ll do a review on the book coming up.

There are other quilts in the Scrap School book that need 2 1/2″ strips and I’ll be making some of them.

I’d love it if you all would flood me with great quilt books, patterns -free or paid-, along with any ideas or links to great quilts that use 2 1/2″ strips.  Does anyone else have an overflowing 2 1/2″ bucket…or jelly rolls laying around?  Let’s tackle this together.  I’d love to have some people sewing along with me.  It helps me keep my momentum.  Seriously, please flood the comment section with suggestions…I need them.

37 thoughts on “Ask Jo: USE UP THOSE STRIPS!!! and more…”

  1. Hi Jo
    YES YES YES, please I need a sew along as my room is overflowing! I did start off with large buckets but then they seemed to reproduce overnight, EVERY night yikes. Have ordered scrap school, even though here in the UK it’s more expensive I know from your brilliant review it will be worth it. Imagine my horror when up popped a message asking did I want to order Again?! Went in to find i ordered in March but for some stupid reason it went to an old address up north! I never received it and there were no problem for the new residents of 4 years to send it on. All I can assume is 1; it wasn’t delivered or 2; they were so enthralled with it , it had to remain there. No matter what I have my “second ” book arriving tomorrow. So the costs mount just for the book so I MUST make use of my scraps.
    Qu. I have so many Tilda 2 1/2″ strips and they are for the majority small prints, do I need to rescue some large prints to give it some oomph or keep it small and quiet???
    Let us all know when you want to start the Scrap Sew Along.for I am sure we all have scraps , even it’s only enough for a cushion!

  2. For working through 2 1/2″ strips, I highly recommend the books by Kim Brackett. Scrap Basket Beauties, Scrap Basket Surprises, Scrap Basket Sensations = and several others. One year, I started working my way through those books as my inspiration to empty my 2 1/2″ strip drawer. I got sidetracked, but will get back to it at some point.

  3. Jo….Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt Co has a new tutorial called Gramma Mae’s Economy Block which uses such wonderfully bright colors that I got sucked into doing it and I love it. It uses 2 1/2 strips and is easy and fun. Just another possibility…….

  4. Good Moring, Jo, Right now I am hooked on Karen Brown’s videos on You Tube and her web site called Just Get it Done Quilts. She had some great tips for 2.5 strips and squares. Perhaps this will spark an idea for you! have a good day.

  5. Hi Jo! Love your idea of using up those strips! I don’t have nearly as many as you, but I’ll bet I have enough for a child- sized quilt or two that I can donate to Quilts for Kids. I have the book Antique to Heirloom Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott.

  6. How about a Jelly Roll Race quilt done with scraps at least 5 inches long? I do this as a way to do some mindless sewing and it then becomes a donation quilt to the local Nursing home. I always ask them to give it to someone who has no visitors, which I find very sad.

  7. I have tons of strips, some are my scraps and some are bought jelly rolls. (can you believe that a woman was selling her Moda jelly rolls for $10 ?). So I am also on the band wagon to start using up strips. I don’t like cut them up into little pieces like you do, but I might follow along with you. I think you are going to be flooded with ideas, but I do love Kim Brackett. Some of her quilts are smaller than I like and some can’t be enlarged except with borders, but her patterns sure have made some gorgeous quilts for me.

  8. I don’t have a particular suggestion, but I wanted to share a small world incident. My mom recently gave me a few Quilts and More magazines. The Spring/Summer issue features Red Roxy Quilt Co. It caught my eye because I remember you just went there and had said you should have taken pictures. I wondered if you had seen that!

  9. I like your idea! I’m in! I need to use up some of the scraps that are “well aged”! It’s so much easier to gab a fat quarter than to plow through a pile of scraps told what I want but I must try harder to use up those leftovers!

  10. I’m just finishing up a free quilt along called Twos and Fours quilt. You can make the quilt using 2.5” squares and 4.5”x2.5” rectangles. The two bloggers also offered the same quilt done in 3.5” and 6.5”x3.5” rectangles. The blogs are Katyquilts and WeddingdressBlue. Also, I somehow have your page marked on Facebook so that if you have a new post, I see it first. Another way I find your blog entries is on

  11. That book looks intriguing. Thanks for sharing. I have oodles of 2 1/2 squares that I’m saving for some odd reasons. And I have 30’s granny square blocks all cut out. But I continue to buy new. Oh, well.

  12. Sandra J Bogoniewski

    I’m just curious if you ever purchase the kindle version of a book or pattern, or if you always get the printed version? Some of the books you’ve mentioned I’ve wondered if it’s necessary. Back when we used templates so much it was, but patterns now rarely seem to have stuff like that. I love printed copies but we’ve moved so much and probably will again so I could keep more on kindle.

    1. I LOVE print versions. I like holding it in my hand. I love studying the colors. I love taking quilt books with me to bed and lazying in bed looking at them. Those things are harder to do with a ebook version. I know I’m not moving and books are my jam so I stick with books.

    2. I once ordered a computer download book for a class I was taking. I did not care for it. The pages were not set up like the printed book others in the class had… they were segmented for the computer screen. Several screens = one printed page. It was difficult to see a series of instructions at once.

  13. Jo, I would love to ‘follow along with you’ , on your steps to getting the strips into quilt tops…..
    Like you, I have separate boxes of the different sizes, although, not the size of yours.. :)
    I am always looking for ways to use them, so some new ‘fresh’ ideas would be welcome!!

    Thank you for all you do, in passing along fabrics , battings, books, etc. on to others to share…

    Prayers for your healing !! Sue S.

  14. I love using the Arkansas Crossroads block for a quilt, most especially for scrappy ones, alternating with either a nice print or a solid (like white, a color that I can pick up in the border pieces, etc). I like making the blocks larger when I make larger quilts (up to about 120 x 120), and it makes a really big dent in the pile!
    Good luck with your projects!

  15. I had to laugh when I read this blog because at that very moment I was sorting out two and a half inch strips. I would love to see along in 2022!

  16. Laurie E Lauricella

    Yay Jo! I am the Laurie that asked the question. I did start mine but kind of as a leader/ender and a before work sewing project. I had decided to use what I call “happy” colors, which is basically what you described. I am not using brown or black either and sticking to the whiter type fabrics for my light blocks. Can’t wait to see yours. I am certain it will be done way before mine! :)

  17. Jo, Yes let’s use up those 2 1/2 inch squares and strips. I had an overflowing shoe box and then a friend gave me about that many more 2 1/2 ” squares. I made 100 10 1/2 inch blocks that I call granny squares. It’s addictive.
    Also I suggest an adaptation of your “Brick House ” pattern using those myriad 21/2 ” strips and squares. If you will give me your email address, I will send pictures of how I used up those backwards blocks and went on a rabbit trail to see how many ways I could use the block.
    Thanks for the hours you spend blogging and sharing your life. I check in every day.


  18. Here are some (8 total) patterns using 2 1/2″ squares/strips…

  19. Love following you on your quilting adventure. My husband and I are in the road touring with a group on the grand circle in the southwest. Not much quilting going on but occasionally I get my machine oust and sew a few stitches. You are an inspiration and when I get home I need to check that 2.5 “ bin to see if it multiplied in my absence. Will follow you!

  20. I love all of the reader suggestions! Using up stash and scraps are high priorities for me… apparently it is a disease that all quilters share.

  21. Jo – I recently downloaded Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam Lintott. It is on Hoopla. After I read through it I decided to purchase it from Amazon. Even though the designs show the quilts made with Jelly Rolls, I think all of them could be made with scrap 2.5″ strips.

  22. Thanks for letting us know that the Scrap School book was available at a reduced rate on Amazon. Ordered one and it arrived today.

  23. I already bought and received this book from Amazon. I couldn’t believe it was so cheap. I would love to stitch along with you in making one of these quilts or something else. I usually get a lot more done this way. Kim Brackett’s books have some good patterns. You could also do a search on Pinterest.

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