UPDATE: I have retitled this blog - Don't do it my way.
Linda from I finally have time has come up with a great solution to all the threads. It is to cut the strips on the bias. Check out her blog about it here. What a clever lady she is and her ribbon looks so lovely. I would still recommend you check out the notes below regarding the finished length of ribbon. But hey - all it needed was some lateral thinking - doh!!!
If you have yet to start project 16 on the Zakka Style Sew Along I have only one word for you - DON'T! Melody Miller's project looks enticing and quaint but it is the final sentence that is the real indicator that this just may not work - "The frayed edges and patchwork really make this ribbon stand out." Actually it makes the ribbon look like a rag. Not only will you spend your time, electricity, cotton and scraps making this project but you will have thread all over yourself, your floor and, if you attempt to wrap a gift, the gift. You will spend as much time trimming the frayed edges and threads as you do stitching the ribbon itself. Unfortunately, this project just didn't work for me.
If you are determined - as I was - to complete as many of the Zakka projects as possible then note that section 5 of this project instructs you to sew strips together "until you achieve the desired length." I believe this should read "until you achieve twice the desired length" because the next paragraph instructs you to fold the ribbon in half matching the short ends. This will half your constructed length. I also cut the ends of my ribbon on the diagonal thinking it would make a neater finish - but in all honesty, nothing is going to make my ribbon look neat.
Maybe it is me - maybe it just didn't work out for me. Melody's ribbon looks so neat. However, I did notice that the pictures in the book have been zig-zag stitched AND overlocked along each edge (look particularly at the large picture on page 76) - that is a huge amount of machine time and cotton. In my opinion you should save yourself some time and energy and pop down your local fabric store to purchase some wonderful, pretty, purpose-made ribbon.