I am trying to make a quilt block using strips but after I sew half a dozen it's not straight anymore; the whole thing bends to the side. Is there some kind of quilting secret I don't know to keep these straight? It's really frustrating.
Oh my - been there, done that! My quilting teacher told me the secret is to flip the block each time you add a strip. In other words, sew two strips together, then when you add the next strip start at the bottom instead of the top. Turn the entire block around so the bottom is now the top. Flip it each time you add another strip.
It's also important to make sure your material is on grain before you cut your strips. One way to do this is to pull one thread out of the crosswise grain. Snip the selvedge and pull one of the threads, it's not the easiest thing in the world if you have a tightly woven fabric, but it can be done. Then you can cut the fabric where the pulled thread was. Now you have a straight line to even up your fabric from.
Hope this helps,