Scrappy Strip Quilt

The Scrappy Strip Quilt pattern is the easiest and fastest to cut and sew. This design is intended to be made with the scraps that are already in your fabric stash. The more varied the fabric scraps are, the more scrappy it will look.

Now since fabric scraps are most often different sizes and different shapes, the term “USABLE YARDS” refers to the total fabric needed after the scraps have been trimmed into strips. For your convenience, the USABLE YARDS is restated as a number of strips of a certain aspect ratio. DO NOT cut strips into this shape. Instead, follow the instructions to sew multiple strips into this shape.

Finished Size Approximately 40″ x 40″

  • Quilt Top Fabrics = Various Scrap Pieces Totaling 1 1/2 Usable Yards = (20 strips 2 1/2” wide by 41” long)
  • Batting = 1 piece 45” x 45”
  • Backing Fabric = 1 piece 45” x 45”
  • Binding Fabric = 1/2 yard (assuming strips are cut 2 1/2” wide)

Finished Size Approximately 40″ x 60″

  • Quilt Top Fabrics = Various Scrap Pieces Totaling 2 1/4 Usable Yards = (30 strips 2 1/2” wide by 41” long)
  • Batting = 1 piece 45” x 66”
  • Backing Fabric = 1 piece 45” x 66”
  • Binding Fabric = 1/2 yard (assuming strips are cut 2 1/2” wide)

Finished Size Approximately 60″ x 72″

  • Quilt Top Fabircs = Various Scrap Pieces Totaling 3 1/8 Usable Yards = (36 strips 2 1/2” wide by 61” long)
  • Batting = 1 piece 64” x 76”
  • Backing Fabric = 1 piece 66” x 78”
  • Binding Fabric = 5/8 yard (assuming strips are cut 2 1/2” wide)

Sewing Instructions:

DO NOT be tempted to use the popular jelly roll instructions that can also be found online as the finished size and aspect ratio will not turn out the same.

  1. Collect fabrics that coordinate in motif style, for example, all leaves, or for another example all with different geometric shapes. Notice from the photo, that all the fabric motifs are small enough that many repetitive motifs are visible in every single strip of fabric. This is not required, but it helps to tie all the fabrics together. Also, if you want the strongest contrast possible in your quilt, then do not attempt to coordinate the colors or the values in each fabric scrap. Use whatever you have and let the overall level of contrast be what it is. For example, the quilt in the above photo coordinated yellows and reds which have a strong contrast due to their placement next to lighter fabrics. But, had those same yellow and red fabrics been placed side by side, the overall level of contrast would have been significantly reduced because red and yellow are so close together on the color wheel. As it is, the cool color hues are so few and far between that their presence is not great enough to produce much contrast at all against the reds and yellows.
  2. Cut the collected fabrics into 2 1/2″ wide strips parallel with the crossgrain of the fabric. Every strip should be cut to a randomly different length that is always less than 40 inches long but longer than 2 inches. True each end of each strip to 90 degrees. If using 100% cotton plain weave quilt fabric scraps, it is easy to find the crossgrain. With hands no less than 5″ apart, gently, VERY GENTLY, tug in opposite directions on the fabric. When the fabric refuses to give but instead shows signs of strain, this is the direction of the grain. The crossgrain is 90 degrees or perpendicular to the grain.
  3. Toss all the strips in the dryer for about 5 minutes to mix them up. Once mixed, put them all into a bag and take the bag to the sewing machine. Without looking into the bag, grab two strips out and sew them together end to end. Do not sew them together along the longest sides. Repeat this step until all the strips have been pulled from the bag and sewn into very long strips. Press seams to one side.
  4. For the smaller two quilt sizes listed above, cut all strips that are now longer than 41″ down to 41″ long and set them aside. For the largest quilt size, cut them down to 61″ long once they are at least that long.
  5. Put the trimmed off portions that are longer than 2″ back into the bag. Put all the other shorter strips back into the bag as well and take them back to the dryer. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have obtained the required number of strips at the correct length for the size you have chosen to make.
  6. Now mix all the strips up as before. Pin two strips together on the long sides. Look down the length to see if any two seams align by chance. If so, either turn one of the strips around 180 degrees so that seams won’t align or select another strip. Always start sewing from the same edge of the quilt top so only one side will reflect any potential uneven cutting errors. This edge can be later trued up if needed. Repeat this step until all the strips are sewn together into one large rectangle. Press.
  7. Quilt and apply a traditional-style binding.



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