Stitch and Flip Tutorial: Easy Potholder

Posted by on Apr 20, 2013 in Quilting | Comments


Stitch and flip quilting is a quick and easy technique for making quilt blocks. You might sometimes hear it called the “flip and sew” method. This technique can create blocks ranging from log cabins to string blocks and even improvisational piecing. In the simplest form, stitch and flip quilt blocks are foundation-pieced blocks, meaning the top fabric is sewn onto a base fabric. The “flip” comes in when you peel the top fabric back and press the seam.

You can make plenty of quilt blocks using the stitch and flip method. Here are some helpful links that will help you perfect your stitch and flip quilting.

Flying Geese Blocks
Flying geese blocks, like this quilt from Craftsy member Purplequilt, are one common example of stitch and flip quilting. A square is sewn diagonally to the corner of a rectangle, and that corner is trimmed to 1/4” and flipped back. Quiltmaker gives an explanation of how to stitch and flip flying geese. Snowball blocks and square-on-point blocks are two other designs that can be made with the stitch and flip method.

String Blocks

String blocks are popular stitch and flip quilt design, as seen in this pillow from ThursdayJune. Working from foundation fabric or paper, you can sew the right side of a strip onto the right side of the base fabric. The top strip is flipped back and pressed the opposite way, and this method repeats until the base fabric is covered in stitch-and-flip strips. Improv-pieced stitch and flip designs can also create some fun patterns, like a free-pieced chevron block from Jacquie Gering and this Crazy Quilt from Craftsy member jmn111.

Stitch and Flip

When you stitch and flip with batting underneath, it’s called “quilt as you go.” I’ve put together a simple stitch and flip quilt block tutorial using batting, which could be a great way to make a hot pad or mug rug. You can use this same method on a larger scale to piece and quilt an entire baby quilt in one step!

Quilt As You Go: Stitch and Flip Tutorial
Fabric Requirements:
- 9” square of thermal batting
- 9” square of backing fabric
- (1) 4” square for fabric center
- (4) 2 1/2” x 10” fabric strips
- (4) 5” x 5” fabric square or large scraps for corners
- 1 strip 2 1/2” x WOF for binding

Stitch and Flip Step 1

Step 1: Cut a 4” square of fabric for the center and arrange it on point, as pictured.

Stitch and Flip Step 2

Step 2: Add a 2 1/2” strip of fabric to one edge of the center square, with right sides facing. Pin and stitch 1/4” from the edge of both fabrics.

Stitch and Flip Step 3

Step 3: Flip the fabric strip back and press. (If you’d like to quilt straight lines on top of the fabrics to add texture, Elizabeth Hartman shares a great tutorial on how to do this.)

Stitch and Flip Step 4

Step 4: Add a new strip to the next side of the center square. With right sides facing, stitch the strip to the other two fabrics. Flip back and press.

Stitch and Flip Step 5

Step 5: Continue to stitch and flip fabrics around the block until the center square is completely framed. Square up the block with your rotary cutter and ruler.

Stitch and Flip Step 6

Step 6: Add fabric to each corner using the stitch and flip method. Pin the fabric strip to the block, stitch and flip back. Press the triangles and trim the entire block.

Stitch and Flip Step 7

Step 7: The back of your block will show the quilting lines, so make sure to use a matching thread instead of the contrasting thread used here.

Just add binding and your stitch and flip quilt block is ready to be turned into a pot holder, mini quilt or mug rug! No thread will be visible on the front of the block (only the back), but you may add quilting designs if you’d like a more textured look and feel. If you like this technique, Alex Anderson shares a stitch and flip baby quilt pattern which goes together so quickly, the longest step might be binding the quilt!

Have you used stitch and flip quilting in any of your projects?

In case you missed it explore string quilts. Then come back to the Craftsy blog tomorrow to learn how to handle curved piecing.

Comments

  1. Kim Jones says:

    Thank YOU for the great tutorial! Easy to understand and has encouraged me to try this technique!

  2. kathie says:

    I have used dryer sheets after I have done my laundry. They work great.

    1. Kathie L. says:

      What a wonderful idea to use fabric sheets Kathie! That thought would have never occured to me but I am going to try it!

    2. Diann says:

      Kathie – what a great idea! Do you use the dryer sheets just as a foundation, or in place of batting? I have made potholders using this technique, truly enjoy it. I do this for both sides of the potholder, using batting as the foundation. Then place a piece of heat-resistant fabric between them, add the binding and voila! They turn out really attractive. Great gifts and, I am a vendor at Farmers Market and Craft shows in our area. They sell well.

      1. Penelopequilts says:

        Kathie, I love making potholders and I too make them for craft sales. How much do you sell yours for? I sold mine for 15 a pair.

  3. Lori says:

    Or you could satin stitch them together, and quilt as you go

  4. patricia says:

    I also use used dryer sheets. I have used this method in a couple of table runners. Havent tried a quilt yet. I will try this block, I really like it. Thanks

  5. Peggy R says:

    I like this..how would you incorporate the this into a larger quilt?

  6. Wendy says:

    You have made that look simple enough for me to try

  7. Katherine says:

    Just finbished a table runner using this method. Fast and easy

  8. Nancie Jones says:

    This tutorial has made me want to have a go at making this Baby Quilt Thank You.

  9. Moira says:

    Very effective. Quick and easy. I used the same method to make a garden fence quilt.

  10. Erika says:

    How cool is this I never thought to do it like this thank u so much for showing it to me

  11. Sharon says:

    What kind of thermal batting – will Thermore work? Thank you.

  12. kidhauler1948 says:

    We used to make crazy quilts with our scraps using this method but it didn’t have a fancy name back then just used up small scraps and warm quilts.
    Guess I am dating myself.

  13. Chris says:

    I’m confused about the dyer sheets Kathie and Diann spoke about. What are they used for?

  14. Chris says:

    sorry…. dryer sheets is what I meat to type

  15. Pam says:

    Wow, I really liked this tutorial. It was easy to understand, and made me want to try it. So I guess first thing in the morning, I’m going to make a potholder. :)

  16. Betty says:

    My sister in BC was telling me about this method of sewing just last night & said her sewing group just started one of these by pulling all their scraps together & when it’s finished ( they do one every 3-4 weeks) they donate it to people who need it. Gotta try it for myself. Thanks
    :)