strip sets v. separate piecing
I'm working on a simple pattern that has 8.5" square blocks which have a 4.5" X 8.5" center framed by two 2.5"X 8.5" strips. The directions call for cutting 8.5" strips of the center fabric, cutting that into the rectangles, then cutting the framing fbric into 8.5" strips and then cutting that into 2.5" pieces. So for 35 blocks you cut 35 pieces that are 4.5X8.5 and 70 piecs that are 2.5X8.5. Why would you do that instead of cutting 4.5" strips for the center and sewing those with the 2.5" strips on each side - then cutting the whole thing into 8.5" squares? Is there a reason?
I'm using two different fabrics for the centers - 1 yard each - and cut the first yard as directed. I cut the second yard and sewed it into strip sets before cutting it into the square blocks. I got the same number of blocks out of each yard. They are equally square. I just don't get why you would cut 70 strips 2.5X8.5 when you could cut and sew long strips instead.