Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tutorial: Squares and Strips Bed Quilt


This is a great quilt for a beginner who wants to tackle something big…and a good way to use a fat quarter bundle that’s collecting dust (wouldn’t we all love that problem?!).


* The blocks are all 8" finished (8 1/2" unfinished).

* Each fat quarter will make 4 + 1/3 blocks.   Each 1/4 yard will make 4 + 1/4 blocks.  So if you know the number of blocks you want…divide that by 4.3 or 4.25, and that’s how many fat quarters or 1/4 yards you’ll need.

* The table below is a guideline…measure your mattress to make sure what size you’ll need.  Remember that a large quilt can shrink as much as 4" in each direction depending on the batting.



# of Blocks

# of Fat Quarters

OR   # of 1/4 yards


56" x 64"





64" x 88"





88" x 96"





104" x 96"




1. If you’re using fat quartersdownload and print the cutting diagrams HERE.

If you’re using 1/4 yardsdownload and print the cutting diagrams HERE.

Be aware there is VERY little waste if you use fat quarters.  This is ALL of my scraps from 3 fat quarters:


No wasting fabric here!  Once your comfortable cutting, stack 2 fat quarters or 1/4 yards and cut at the same time.  If your FQ’s are wonky and you’re short a strip or 2…just substitute it for something else…no one will know. ;)

2.  Choose a 4 1/2" square and sew a 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" strip from a different fabric onto each side of the square.  Press out.  Repeat with a 2 1/2" x 8 1/2" strip on the top and bottom.  Press out.   Repeat until all of these pieces are gone.  You’ll have 1 of these blocks for each fat quarter or 1/4 yard you cut.


3.  Sew the remaining 2 1/2" x 8 1/2" strips into sets of 4 until they are gone.  I like to press my seams open.


4.  Sew the 2 1/2" squares together into 16 patch blocks.  Sew the squares into rows of 4 first and press, alternating the pressing direction for each row (or press seams open).  Sew the rows together to make a block and repeat until the squares are gone. 


There aren’t many of these blocks…but if you want more variety in your quilt you can always make some more with scrap squares!

5.  The rest of your blocks will be your plain 8 1/2" squares.

6.  Layout the blocks randomly:

# of Blocks per Row

# of Rows














6.  Sew the blocks into rows and press, alternating pressing directions with each row.  Sew the rows together and press. 

* When sewing together a large quilt like this, I sew the blocks together into sections.  I layout and sew one quadrant at a time, then sew the 4 quadrants together to make the large quilt top.  It’s like making 4 mini quilts and sewing them together to make the large quilt…and its much easier to handle under my sewing machine.


* My fabric is Seaside by Riley Blake Designs, and Vintage Modern (the red, green, and grey rectangles) by Moda.   Which is why I called it my Seaside quilt for those of you that asked…no one said I was good at naming quilts!


Happy Quilting!


SoozeM said...

Well what you may lack in naming quilts (not saying that you do BTW!) you certainly make up for in designing them, this is gorgeous (and I like the name, it suits it!).

stellamaria said...

thank you for the tutorial ! i like this quilt very much !

greetings from germany

Melanie said...

Fabulous quilt! I have lots of fat quarters to use up :)

Leigh Walter said...

Oh Allison this is beautiful!! Just a question, in photo of the whole quilt top, bottom row, second in from the right, have you joined 2.5 x 8.5 strips together for that one, or is that a 8.5 x 8.5 block that just happens to be stripey? I've read the tutorial twice but might be missing something (it is early here!) Very excited to try this one out! Thanks, Leigh

Carla said...

Hello Allison.

First of all absolutely love this quilt. Congratulations!!

I have linked this post in my blog, because I really liked it. Please let me know if you don't mind, if you do I will take it out

Thank You for yet another idea, if I didin't have enough already ;-)

Have a great day


Judith Blinkenberg said...

Oh Thank you so much. Now I know what to buy. (I have many fat quarter bundles i need to use, older lines) You are a super person you know!

Shawn said...

Thank you Alison and I love Seaside and your creative quilts!!!

Carol said...

What a very fun quilt...Love it! Thank you for sharing it with us!

Gene Black said...

Wow thanks for such an easy but fun quilt design. I did download the cutting directions for FQs as I need to use some of mine. (it seems I prefer to "save" them) LOL. Maybe I can whip up one of these beauties from some of them.

Karen H said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I have added it to my list of projects I want to try! :)

piece peace said...

I have a Halloween themed FQ bundle that I adore, but I had not found the right use for them until now. Thank you so much.

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

I just love all the projects you feature! I AM going to tackle a quilt one of these days. But right now, I'm going to take a look at all your previous posts. :@

Katie Fleming said...

I love this quilt! Thanks for posting the directions!!!

- Katie Fleming
Kate Michelle Designs

Julie said...

I love it! Especially all of the size variations! Would this work well with fat 1/8ths too? I have a bunch of those lying around. If not could you shoot me some other ideas that might? Thanks so much!

Debby/Darthy said...

This is beautiful. I can't say thank you enough for the hard work you've put into this tutorial. I'm sure I speak for many quilters when I say how much you are appreciated. Thank you.

Jess said...

I am so glad that you made a tutorial for this quilt. I loved this quilt when you posted a picture of it. Thanks so much.

Jill S. said...

I love every single quilt you design! Your style is amazing, I own several of your patterns, plus I've made your zig zag quilt, your double hourglass,the disappearing 9 patch, your kaleiscope,the shortcake and the bizzy kid (3 times now). Now I WILL be making the seaside!! Seriously, I LOVE you STUFF!! Thank you for your amazing patterns and tutorials!

Kathy said...

Thank you for the directions. I had to write down your stuff as I don't have my printer with me but well worth the time. I can't wait to make it.

The Baldwin Family said...

Thanks for the freebie!! Printing it out now to add to my ever growing "to do" list.

Allison said...

Some of the blocks are Striped they look like strip blocks but are just Stripes. I placed some of my strip blocks next to each other to add some interest to make long sections of strips!

Goddess in Progress said...

I ADORE this. Bookmarking it, for sure. In fact, I'm teaching a friend how to quilt this summer, and we might just have to use this tutorial!

EG said...

This is great - so sweet and homey! Thanks for the tute!

Betsy Lynn said...

You are such a sweetie for giving us this tutorial! It's a fabulous quilt and is now on my to-do list!

Becca said...

Thank you for the tutorial...this looks fun! I've had a set of fat quarters collecting dust for, oh, 6 years? It might just get cut into!

Stefanie said...

So I saw the quilt.
Thought, "I'd like to do that one"
And there you go challenging me higher,

it rocks!

Krista Hansen said...

Beautiful! Love it!

Holly said...


Patti said...

Gorgeous just love it. Thanks so much.

ancee said...

Thank you lovely lady for this wonderful tutorial. It was so kind of you to share w/ great pictures & explanations....& all for free!
You & your blog are greatly appreciated by me!
Fondly, Nancy

Kristin said...

Wow! this is great!

domesticduck said...

Thank you for the tutorial, this is just what I was lookin for to get started on my first quilt!

db2dc534-c1f8-11e1-b9b3-000bcdcb2996 said...

Allison, I too, am loving your quilt and your hard work on the tutorial.....thank you soooo much! You mentioned about the shrinkage of quilts....."depending on the batting"..
Is there a batting that shrinks less than others??? Thanks

Allison said...

A 100% Cotton batting will shrink more than a 80/20 or polyester usually says on the package how much shrinkage to expect.

Deanne said...

Great quilt design. I really like the lack of scraps left over!

Carole M said...

keeping this one for later! I actually do have a fat quarter bundle laying in wait...

Sheila said...

Thank you for a great tutorial and fun pattern. I actually have a weakness for fat quarters and have a lot! Looking forward to trying this one :)

trish said...

This is awesome Allison! Seriously. I am doing this next! :o) I have a layer cake of Millie's Closet just waiting to be played with and this is the perfect pattern! My quilt will turn out a wee bit smaller, but I plan to add a border around it. :o)
Thanks so much for the tutorial. :o)
Have a great weekend. Trish

Peggy said...

Oh I am so excited as I have fat quarters, layer cakes, and miscellaneous yardage which is sitting pretty, gathering dust! I know exactly what to use it for now... this quilt... as a belated baby gift. (yeah she is now a little over 2 years old... oops!)

Once again thank you so very much for sharing your expertise with us! I learn so much from you!!

jodi@Pleasant-Home said...

Love everything about this Allison!

toots2u said...

this is fabulous and i really appreciate the tutorial! thank you so much!!

SewingSophia said...

Thank you so much for sharing this turorial!! Great to use all scraps of fabric!! Nothing goes to waste!!

The Church Family said...

Stunning!!! If only I could quilt... :) Blessings!

Taylor @ That's Sew Taylor! :)

miki said...

I love all of your quilts and have purchased some of your patterns. Thanks for this one.
Question: When I click on the cutting layout links it takes me to the Google Drive homepage and not to a specific file. Can you help? Thanks!

Jess said...

What a beautiful quilt top! Thank you so much for the tutorial. I can't wait to make one for myself. I love that red floral print!

Aunt Spicy said...

A-totally love this is a cheery, breezy summer quilt, perfect name for it as well!

Chris {frecklemama} said...

This isn't a tutorial, it's a free Cluck Cluck Sew pattern! So generous of you to share it with us. I love that you provide size options. I know it takes more time and effort, so pls know how appreciated it is!

Jude said...

love this quilt and will put it on my to do list

Mermaid Sews said...

Thank you so much for this, I love this quilt sooo much.

Di said...

Thank you for such a great tutorial. I have started making a quilt with a jelly roll , charm pack and a couple of FQ. I don't know how it will turn out but it is a lovely pattern. Thank you. Di x

EG said...

Have you quilted this one? I made 2 (crib-sized or so) and I can't decide how to quilt them.

Augustsnow said...

This is wonderful. but your cutting instruction links no longer work. :( I would love to get get them since I have several fat quarter bundles awaiting an adventure.

Caleighs_Mom said...

I am trying to get the cutting instructions - but the links aren't working. Can you help me - I was really excited about making this quilt.
Thank you!!

Andrea Turner said...

Thanks for this tutorial! I'm working on a quilt from it right now.

Debbie said...

I love this quilt and the tutorial. Making this as a Linus project Friday, at FatQuarters quilt shop in Vista, California. Thank you for the great directions.

Jan Griggs said...

Thank u so much for all your tutiorals u make beautiful quilts. the question i have is this, when I went to download the instructions for fat quarters it takes me to google drive how in the world do I find the instructions? thank u !! Jan

Ruth S. said...

You have me inspired! Thanks for sharing.

...I am Nora..... said...

Gosh! It's fab....but you're 2 days too late!!!!!!!

I sat up for hours the other night working out how many blocks I would get out of my Seaside bundle to make the pinwheel quilt from Moda Bakeshop into a larger throw for my caravan!!! If only I'd curbed the enthusiasm and waited!

But my gosh what an inspiration to get going on it....not sure about the quilting bit though! :/

Thanks for sharing it's great for novices like me!

Nita said...

Beautiful! and perfect for those fat quarter bundles I've got hanging around! Thank you very much!

Kjersten said...

Beautiful quilt. Thanks for the tutorial. I am excited to use it for a fat quarter bundle I have had around for a long time. It's perfect!

Jo Robertson jorobexeter(at)gmail(dot)com said...

I'm making this quilt at the moment - what did you choose for the binding? the photos on the blog show it unbound. I'm scratching my head over what to choose from the different seaside fabrics. I would have gone for one of the darker blues but I have the pale turquoise flower print for my backing.

Cat from Raspberry Rainbow said...

Thank you for this amazing pattern - I am making one right now. It is coming together really quickly, and I am so in love with it. I am sure this wont be the only one I make :)

Lynn said...

I'm so excited to begin this quilt for my son's new bed! I'm using Riley Blake's One for the Boys but only chose 5 of the prints from the collection. I'll probably sprinkle in one or two coordinating solids but should I try to use more than 7 prints or would that be enough?

Thanks for the tutorial. I can't wait to get started!

Allison said...

Lynn I think you'd be fine with 7 prints if you mix in solids that match...if you don't it might be tricky to layout blocks without the same fabrics touching!

Emily Ziegenfus said...

I absolutely love this quilt. Do you think that 40 fat eights would be enough to make this quilt?

Allison said...

Hi Emily! It should might just take some figuring out on the cutting diagrams to make it work!

Serafina K said...

I was just wondering how many different colours you used for this quilt? I know that I need 32 1/4 yards but I feel like 32 different colours could be a little chaotic!

Allison said...

I'm not sure off the top of my head how many there were Serafina...I would say maybe 8-10 different colors in different prints? It was so long ago I don't remember exactly, I used a fat quarter bundle to make it. Hope that helps! -Allison

Serafina K said...

I ended up picking eight, thank you :)

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