Every so often, I get inspired by certain projects, and I realize how easy some of them would be to make, if only I did a bit of prep work. So, now when I start a new project, I cut at least one 2 1/2" strip of each of the fabrics I'm using - and then I set that strip aside. I do that with any Fat Quarters that I buy, as well (and I can't seem to go to any kind of quilt show or shop-hop without buying at least a few FQs!)
The best part about making those strips is that when I want a quick project, I can grab those strips, and I can quickly get a lot done it a short time - and seriously, how long does it take to cut an extra strip when you're already cutting 30 or 40 for another quilt project?
I saw an online request for quilts that are desperately needed for an organization, and as I was trying to decide on what specifically to do, my pre-cut strips started calling my name.... I had seen a picture of a really fun quilt online, and I had printed it off for reference. All it really needed was a lot of 2 1/2" strips, cut into 8 1/2" - 9" lengths. Sew 4 of them together, press all the seams to one side, and trim the finished block to 8 1/2" square. Then, arrange the blocks however you want!
Here's a pic of a few completed blocks, and some of the strips, and the other pic is the layout I'll probably use: