Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Improv Strip Block – A Tutorial

Improv Strips Block Tutorial

This morning I was looking around at the unfinished projects in my sewing room, trying to figure out what to work on next. Then my eyes settled on the Kaffe Fassett stripes I bought at the quilt show in Cincinnati and I thought, why not start something new? :) They are really so beautiful, it’s amazing I haven’t cut into them until now.

Kaffe Stripes

I thought I would share my process for making the above block. It is improvisational and hopefully you will find it quite simple to make. I am using fat quarters for this project, but really this would work using strips of scraps as well. Just make sure your scrap strips are at least 12.5″ long.

Step 1

Step 1. Select your fabric and cut it into strips of random widths. I cut 2″ to 3.5″ stripes.

Step 2

Step 2. Randomly sew 2 to 3 strips together lengthwise. The resulting rectangles should be at least 5″ wide.

Step 3

Step 3. Cut a 3.5″ x 3.5″ square for the center of your block. Select 4 strips from Step 2. From these strips, cut 2 pieces 3.5″ x 5″ and 2 pieces 5″ x 12.5″.

Step 4

Step 4. Sew the 3.5″ x 5″ rectangles to the top and bottom of the center square.

Step 5. Sew the 5″ x 12.5″ rectangles to the left and right of the block.

Improv Strips Block

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13 Responses to “Improv Strip Block – A Tutorial”

  1. 1
    Emily says:

    These are gorgeous Faith. Thanks for the awesome tutorial!!

  2. 2
    Meghan says:

    Lovely! Are you making a whole quilt?

    • 3
      Faith says:

      Yes! The strips go together so fast and make enough for several blocks, I think a quilt top will come together fairly quickly this week. :)

  3. 4
    Lynette says:

    Oooo! Stripes play!

  4. 5
    Paige says:

    Those stripes are so fun! Can”t wait to see your top come together!

  5. 6

    Beautiful! I have such a stack of Kaffe stripes. this is a great idea. thanks for the tutorial!

  6. 7
    Lynne says:

    Oh yes, with fabric like that – why not make something new?

  7. 8
    Kate Conklin says:

    Beautiful! Such a great use of those gorgeous stripes.

  8. 9
    JodieTs says:

    I think this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing and having a tutorial on your block.

  9. 10
    Cyrilla Francis says:

    Awesome. Finally, a tutorial on how to make these beautiful blocks. Thank you, Faith from Chicago :)

  10. 11
    Lyn says:

    I am just looking at your blog for the first time. Really nice! Thanks for the gift of your ideas. I like this block so much! I have some leftover chunks of borders that were pieced. I can see using this method to build blocks out of the leftovers and then using these to make unique tote bags or purses.

  11. 12
    Brynn says:

    Beautiful -great composition!

  12. 13
    Cindy Pilkington says:

    I love the Kaffe materials too! I’ve just started quilting and just discovered your blog. Do you have a picture of the finished quilt using the Kaffe stripes? Please email me a link if you do!

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