Springy stripes: Strip quilt tutorial

Strip quilt tutorial, Karen Lewis

Pick and piece some bright and bold fabrics for a stunning striped quilt. This is the first of two tutorials by Karen Lewis where we’ll be making the most of simple strips. If you like this design, why not sew up Karen’s matching strip cushion tutorial to use up your scraps with style!

You can see more of Karen’s designs over at karenlewistextiles.com, or follow her on Instagram @karenlewistextiles.

You will need

  • Print fabrics (red): 1yd total
  • Background fabric: 38yd each of nineteen fabrics
  • Backing fabric: 5yds
  • Batting: 66in x 88in
  • Binding fabric: 58yd


  • Seam allowances are 14in, unless otherwise noted. 
  • Press seams open, unless otherwise instructed.
  • RST = right sides together.
  • WOF = width of fabric.
  • WST = wrong sides together.
  • Fabric provided by Robert Kaufman.

We used…

Print fabrics are from the Euclid collection by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman, along with solids from the Brussels Linen collection also by Robert Kaufman, that Karen screen-printed.

How to sew the strip quilt

Finished size

58in x 80in

Cutting out

Step one: From the print fabrics cut eleven (11) 212in x WOF strips. Subcut into:

  • Three (3) 212in x 3812in rectangles. 
  • Six (6) 212in x 2612in rectangles. 
  • Six (6) 212in x 1412in rectangles. 
  • Four (4) 212in squares.

Step two: From each of the nineteen background fabrics, cut two (2) 212in x WOF strips. Sew two matching strips along the short ends, from each set of strips. You will have nineteen long strips. 

Step three: From the remaining background fabrics, cut at least nineteen (19) 212in x WOF strips. Subcut the strips as follows, mixing up the fabrics between lengths:

  • Eight (8) 212in x 2812in strips
  • Twelve (12) 212in x 2212in strips
  • Twelve (12) 212in x 1612in strips
  • Six (6) 212in x 1012in strips.

Step four: From the binding fabric cut eight (8) 212in x WOF strips.

Piecing the strips

Step five: Sew a 212in x 2812in background strip to either side of a 212in print square. Press seams toward the background. Repeat to make four of these strips.

Step six: Sew a 212in x 2212in background strip to either side of a 212in x 1412in print rectangle. Press seams toward the background. Repeat to make six of these strips.

Step seven: Sew a 212in x 1612in background strip to either side of a 212in x 2612in print rectangle. Press seams toward the background. Repeat to make six of these strips.

Step eight: Sew a 212in x 1012in background strip to either side of a 212in x 3812in print rectangle. Press seams toward the background. Repeat to make three of these strips.

Assembling the quilt top

Step nine: Press your print/background strips in half, widthwise, to mark the centres of each strip.

Step ten: Arrange your strips with the long background strips, referring to the photo for placement. 

Step 11: Sew the strips together, aligning the centres of the print/background prints with the centre seams of the long background strips. To avoid bowing, sew each strip from the centre outward, making sure to backstitch a few stitches over the centre each time. Press seams toward the background strips.

Step 12: Trim the excess from the background strips in line with the quilt top.

Quilting and finishing

Step 13: Cut the backing fabric in half across the width. Remove the selvedges and re-join the pieces with a 12in seam. Press the seam open.

Step 14: Press the quilt top and backing well. Make a quilt sandwich by placing the backing fabric right side down, the batting on top, then the quilt top centrally and right side up. Baste the layers together using your preferred method. 

Step 15: Quilt as desired. Karen quilted a horizontal swirly design. 

Step 16: Trim off the excess batting and backing fabric and square up the quilt. 

Step 17: Join the binding strips together end-to-end using diagonal seams. Press the seams open and trim away the dog ears, then fold in half lengthwise, WST, and press. 

Step 18: Sew the binding to the front of the quilt, folding a mitre at each corner, then fold it over to the back of the quilt and hand stitch in place to finish. 

Complete the set!

Had fun making this quilt? Now try making our strip cushion tutorial to match!

strip cushion tutorial