Strippy Fat Quarter Quilt Pattern

Strippy fat quarter quilt

Strippy fat quarter quilt

It’s so easy to pick up fat quarters when you’re in a quilt shop, isn’t it?  My problem is deciding how to use them when they begin to pile up at home.  I’ve used nine fat quarters in this quilt pattern and used strip piecing so that it really is a simple quilt to make.  I say that brightly, having made two major mistakes when I made it – but more of that later!  As well as the fat quarters in dark colours, I have used 3/4 yard of white fabric and the quilt measures 43″ by 56″.

Cutting requirements

Nine fat quarters, each one cut into a strip 9.1/2″ wide and a strip 7.1/2″ wide

1.1/2″ strips of white fabric cut across the width of fabric – nine for the quilt and five for the border

Making the fat quarter quilt

Fat quarter of fabric

Fat quarter of fabric

As I’m sure you are aware, a fat quarter of fabric measures broadly 18″ by 21″.  It is made by cutting half a yard of fabric and then cutting that piece in half along the fabric fold line.  This gives you a piece of fabric that is half a yard long and half the width of fabric wide.  Place a fat quarter with the 18″ side across, so that the white selvage is running from side to side.  Line this up with one of the lines on your cutting mat.  In the photo I have folded the bottom of the fabric up so that it all fits on the mat.


Cut two strips from each fat quarter

Cut two strips from each fat quarter

Trim the edge to give a straight edge and then cut one strip 9.1/2″ wide and another strip 7.1/2″ wide.  That more or less uses up your fat quarter completely.





Sew a white strip to the fat quarter strip

Sew a white strip to the fat quarter strip

Cut 1.1/2" strips

Cut 1.1/2″ strips

Sew a 1.1/2″ white strip to the long edge of each of these fat quarter strips.  Press the seam – normally I would say press the seam allowance towards the dark fabric but I found that quite difficult to do so I pressed the seam allowance towards the white fabric.

Cut at 1.1/2″ intervals to make strips that are either 10.1/2″ long or 8.1/2″ long.


Sew three fat quarter strips end to end

Sew three fat quarter strips end to end

Sew three of the 10.1/2″ strips end to end and sew three of the 8.1/2″ strips end to end.  Place the strips so that the white square is always on the right hand side.  Sew these two strips together so that you have one long strip made of three 10.1/2″ strips followed by three 8.1/2″ strips with white squares between each strip and one at the right hand end but not at the left hand end.  This is one complete row of the fat quarter quilt.

Repeat with all the fat quarter strips.  I ended up with forty one rows.  Don’t worry if you have one more or one less row – fabric width varies so the number of strips that you are able to cut from each fat quarter will also vary.



All the rows facing the same way

All the rows facing the same way

Alternate rows reversed

Alternate rows reversed

When you place one row underneath another, all the white squares and fat quarter strips will line up with each other which isn’t terribly interesting, as shown on the left.  However if you reverse the second row so that the 8.1/2″ strips are on the left then the white squares no longer line up.  I feel that this gives a lot more interest to the quilt.  You will also have a white square at the end of alternate rows on each side.

Fat quarter quilt border

Fat quarter quilt border

Fat quarter quilt border

Sew the rows to each other.  I was aiming for random placement of the colours within the quilt but as so often happens when I try for random, I ended up with clumps of colour in places.  In fact I quite liked that look, luckily.

For the border I have used 1.1/2″ strips of white fabric.  This gives rather a nice dog tooth effect on the two short sides.  Sew one 41.1/2″ length to each side of the quilt and then one 56.1/2″ length to the top and the bottom of the  quilt.

That completes the top of the fat quarter quilt.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.


How you can avoid my mistakes

Small strips added on

Small strips added on

I mentioned right at the beginning that I had made two major mistakes.  The first one was that I cut some of the white strips at 2″ rather than 1.1/2″.  There is no excuse for this other than lack of concentration.  I’m blaming this on the New Year’s Eve champagne!  The age old rule ‘measure twice and cut once’ applies here.  The white squares were a mixture of 2″ or 1.1/2″ across each row which meant that the rows were different lengths – and I didn’t notice right up until I began sewing the rows together.  By that time my only options were either to unpick the seams across each row or adjust the length of the shorter rows by adding a bit of fabric at the end, as you can see in the photo.

My second mistake was that I sewed all the rows together beginning with the left hand side of the quilt.  I often do that, but for this particular quilt it made a difference because there are so many rows and they are only 1.1/2″ wide.  What happened was that my fat quarter quilt began to skew – the only way that I will ever get it to lie flat will be by unpicking all the rows and starting again.  The correct method to sew these rows together is to begin at alternate ends:  sew one seam from the left hand side of the quilt and the next seam from the right hand side.

So there you have it – my mistakes that I could have just not mentioned, but I feel that these quilt patterns are more useful to you if you see some of the potential problems.  Here’s the video:

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  1. Welsh mary says:

    Hi Rose
    First of all A Happy New Year … brilliant as usual , thank you for an excellent tutorial and brilliant way to use up all those fat quarters we all bought when we first learned to quilt . You are soooo kind ,
    Thank you so much
    Welsh mary in yorks x

    • Hi Mary. Silly me – I always assumed that you lived in Wales! Fat quarters always sound such a brilliant way of getting variety into your stash – until you realise that they don’t give enough fabric for so many patterns. Happy New Year.

  2. Happy new year ,lovely quilt thanks for being honest we all make mistakes ,at least now I will not make this mistake because you have made us a where ,ha ha enjoy .

  3. Maureen Frost says:

    Dear Rose
    I have just finished your scrape quilt from last month and it turned out great. I used dark red roses for the frame and small blue flowers on white back ground and it looks good with all my scrapes.

  4. Sandra Barnett says:

    Dear Rose,
    Another fine lesson. When I make a mistake I just say “I meant to do that”.
    Some people will never know, but you are honest, and I certainly would not have caught your mistakes.
    Happy New Year and keep teaching us new things.

    • Thanks, Sandra. Another way is to pretend that you’re following the Amish tradition of putting a deliberate mistake into your quilts. Happy New Year.

  5. You have no idea how comforted I am with how honest you are with your mistakes. I am ever grateful for the tutorials that I can watch online and this has taught me from woe to go how to quilt.
    There are a lot of tutorials out there, but they are always ‘perfect’ outcomes. That can be so depressing for me as a learner, when I make mistakes.
    Thank you Rose for not only being honest, but also showing me that it is not the end of the world if my seams don’t match, if my quilting is wonky and so on! My quilts can have a character all of their own and that is ok!

    • Thanks for your kind comments, Julie. I love your phrase ‘woe to go’ – very evocative. Don’t forget that you are probably the only one who sees your mistakes – others will see the overall project (and be impressed!).

  6. D. Friendly (Canada) says:

    Rose – Another interesting project and I applaud that you warned us about two potential pitfalls. One of the nice things about quilting is that there are various ways to recover from these “oops” moments. I do it all of the time! I have a bunch of 1-1/2 inch strips in royal blue from another project which just may find their way into this project and I’ll look for 9 light fat quarters instead of dark.

    • Hi Debra. That’s a great idea – exchanging the light and dark. As you say, there are lots of ways to cover up mistakes. If all else fails, lots of dense quilting can squash down lots of bumps.

      • I understand that some people are having difficulties getting the picture on the video. It seems to be working fine when I try it, so perhaps I could ask you just to try again tomorrow and see if you get the picture then.

  7. Love this one, and appreciate you admitting and explaining the mistakes. I do things like that quite often, and it makes me feel better to know I am not the only one! Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks, Brenda. Oh no, you’re definitely not the only one. I think all quilters keep their seam rippers close by.

  8. Well done Rose. Yet again a great project. I am definitely going to have a go at this one once I have finished my latest project – a Despicable Me Minion quilt !!! Have now sold my Mario and Luigi quilt. Makes a nice change to do something different – I am now into Pixel Art (thanks to my son!!). Cant wait to see your next project.

    • Thanks, Shirley. You’re obvious more into children’s characters than I am – who or what is a Despicable Me Minion? Glad you sold the Mario and Luigi quilts.

  9. I never would have noticed your mistakes. Good that you let your followers know in advance how to sew the strips. Don’t feel stupid Rose. You would roll your eyes in disbelief if you ever saw what I did to the Christmas Tree table runner. Good thing I have all of 2014 to fix my mistakes.

    • Hi Claire. Sounds like you’re feeling better. I’m too honest for my own good – I could have just folded the bumpy parts of the quilt underneath the rest, couldn’t I? I take it the Christmas Tree table runner wasn’t finished in time for Christmas!

  10. Kathleen Lewis says:

    Thanks for sharing the errors. It is nice to know that it happens to all. 🙂

  11. Nola Strang says:

    Thank you Rose for the many quilt ideas and for making something that looks so difficult look so easy. I hope you had a wonderful holiday!!

  12. Pat Sinclair says:

    I admire your honesty … and I am reassured by the fact that I’m not alone in making ‘silly’ mistakes. Thank you for publishing your weekly designs.

    • Thanks, Pat. There was a time when I would have hidden my mistakes from you, but now I think that it’s more helpful for you to see them – even if I do feel stupid admitting to them!

  13. Debbie Walker says:

    As always another brilliant project. Pictures and explanation are easy to follow. Thank you for sharing .