Diagonal Strip Quilt Tutorial

How to make a Diagonal Strips Quilt using the fast and fun tube method!

There are a few different ways to make these diagonal quilt blocks…but by far my favorite method is this tube method below.  These are fairly easy blocks to make, but I wouldn’t  recommend this quilt to a brand new quilter as there are tons of bias (stretchy) edges to deal with.   Read through the tutorial before you cut all your strips so you know what you’re in for!  

I’m going to take you through making one “tube”, which yields 6 blocks.  At the end of this tutorial you’ll find a chart with sizes, and the amount of strips you’ll need for each.  Use a 1/4″ seam allowance for steps below. 

1. Start with 6 strips 2 1/2″ x the width of the fabric (jelly roll strips work awesome in this quilt!).  


2.  Sew the strips into two sets of 3 strips each.  Press seams OPEN!


3.  Place the strip sets right sides together, matching the outer edges.  Sew the strip sets together along both edges (top and bottom in the photo below) creating an enclosed tube.  


Below you can see the stitches along the top and the bottom (next time I won’t use such a light bottom fabric…sorry!). 


4.  Now you’ll need a large square ruler with a 45 degree line.  I’m using my 9 1/2″ square ruler from this pack, but any large square ruler will work as long as it has a 45 degree line from corner to corner and it’s bigger than your tube.  


5.  Quick note:  I’m right handed, so if you are left handed, start cutting from the left edge of the strip set instead of the right like I do below.  🙂 

Align the 45 degree line on your ruler on the bottom stitch line of stitches.  Make sure it’s lined up with the stitches along the whole length of the ruler.  



Cut along the right edge of the ruler as shown. 


6.  Move the ruler up to the top row of stitches, again lining up the 45 degree mark with the line of stitches, and the corner on the cut edge as shown.  



Cut along the ruler edge to make your first block. 

7.  Move the ruler back down to the bottom row of stitches, line everything up making sure the corner of the ruler is on the cut edge, and make another cut.  


8.  Continue lining the ruler up on the bottom and top, and making cuts until you’ve cut up the whole strip tube.  

Each strip tube yields 6 triangles (blocks).  


9.  Gently open up the triangles, and press the center seams to the side or open.  The edges are cut on the bias grain and are very very stretchy…so handle them gently and don’t pull or push them with your iron.  This tip is fabulous for getting these blocks extra flat without stretching them.

Each block measures 8 1/4″ square.  Actually mine were all just under 8 1/4″…but close enough. 


10.  Repeat the steps above to make all of your blocks, and layout your blocks as desired.  To sew the blocks together, place them right sides together and pin where the seams meet (or just hold the fabric in place like I do) and sew.  Again, be gentle with the bias edges!


The points meet up without too much fuss if you cut them all correctly.


Once it’s sewn into the quilt you can hardly tell some of the seams don’t match up perfectly (some of mine were way off)!  Don’t sweat it too much. 

Spring Strips Quilt Top

After you are done making this quilt top I highly recommend stay stitching (normal stitches/stitch length is fine) around the edges to prevent them from stretching during finishing.  I always add stay stitching to every quilt top! 

Diagonal Strip Quilt, Stay stitch the edges to prevent stretching

Size*:  Baby Crib Small Throw Large Throw Twin
  38 1/2″ x 46 1/2″ 46 1/2″ x 54 1/2″ 54 1/2″ x 69 1/2″ 62″ x 77 1/2″ 69 1/2″ x 85
Number of Blocks:  30 42 63 80 99
Blocks Across x Down: 5 x 6 6 x 7 7 x 9 8 x 10 9 x 11

2 1/2″ strips needed: 

30 42 66 84 102
Tubes to make (6 blocks each): 5 7 11 14 17

*This is assuming a finished block size of 7 3/4″…they may be a bit smaller than that.  Also I didn’t include queen and king sizes because honestly I don’t recommend making this in anything bigger than a twin because of the stretchy edges and lots of seams to match.  Also you’ll die of boredom making all the strip set tubes.  

I found a great video by MSQC showing this tube method here (after I’d written this tutorial…ugh).  It helps to see it in action, and they add white in their version so you can make it with one jelly roll! 

Put any questions in the comments and I’ll try to answer them there.  Happy quilting!




29 Responses to Diagonal Strip Quilt Tutorial

  1. vanniVanni October 6, 2016 at 3:21 am #

    Wow, very nice tips 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. charlotte m. October 6, 2016 at 3:49 am #

    What a great and easy method. I have a jelly roll I have been wanting to use up.

  3. Donna October 6, 2016 at 4:00 am #

    What a beautiful and colorful quilt. I want to try this one so thanks for the tutorial and great photos.

  4. Katie S. October 6, 2016 at 4:01 am #

    Thank you for doing all the work to make this tutorial 💝! I know it was a lot of work, and I wouldmuchrather have it to use than a video. I loveJennys videos on MSQS but they’re so quick and abbreviated that I need to rewind them constantly to actually make anything using them. I would much rather have your super clear and orderly tutorials (or patterns, for that matter) to use. Your quilt is so bright and pleasing and inspiring I’m going to start today making a twin size like it just for ME using a couple jelly rolls–and I hope you have a really nice day, too, doing something fun (maybe styling Jane’s hair (like playing Barbie dolls?)–Just teasing, of course ! Katie S.

    • Allison October 6, 2016 at 10:26 am #

      Thank you Katie! And yes…styling Jane’s hair is kind of like a barbie doll…one with the craziest hair ever. 😉 Thank you and have a great day!

  5. MariaC October 6, 2016 at 4:19 am #

    One of my very first quilts was using this tutorial from MSQC. A very effective design. Just love the fabrics you have used. http://veryspecialcreations.blogspot.com.au/2011/04/quilt-top.html

    • Allison October 6, 2016 at 10:26 am #

      Oh I love the pink and white you used! Beautiful!

  6. Little Quiltsong October 6, 2016 at 4:26 am #

    Thank you for sharing – this is so neat! Love how you explained this method!

  7. kathy o October 6, 2016 at 5:30 am #

    What a cool way to construct a traditional pattern! I love how you design – both patterns and fabrics. Your instructions are always so clear and thought out. Thank you!

  8. Christina in FL October 6, 2016 at 5:49 am #

    Very fun! Thank you!! {Getting out my Accuquilt Go! and cutting strips today! :)))}

  9. Sharlyn A October 6, 2016 at 5:55 am #

    So cute! Maybe I will ignore my housework today. 😉

  10. Susan Shaw October 6, 2016 at 6:25 am #

    Thank you for the tutorial. I had not seen the block done this way. It sure is lots easier than paper piecing the blocks. I like having the strips the same size so that the points intersect, too. Some of the patterns that I have seen, have you use any width of fabric for the strips and then the points do not necessarily intersect. I love the diagonal in the blocks – keeps the eye moving.

  11. Susan Buettner October 6, 2016 at 7:31 am #

    Your tutorial is excellent, the one from MSQC is not for beginners.

  12. ioleen kimmel October 6, 2016 at 7:48 am #

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. Will be giving this a try.

  13. Buffy October 6, 2016 at 8:04 am #

    Love learning new cutting techniques! Its like learning a magic trick 🙂 can’t wait to try…. great tutorial, great instruction.

  14. Pat S October 6, 2016 at 9:48 am #

    This is such a pretty top. Thanks for sharing the technique. Tube quilts are fun to make. I just finished a Summer In The Park from MSQC so I’m a bit ‘tubed out’ right now but I do have a jelly roll that would be great for this.

    • Allison October 6, 2016 at 10:28 am #

      I was “tubed” out after making this one…..all those strip sets is a bit BORING! 😉

      • Pat S October 6, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

        Yes, exactly what I meant by ‘tubed out’. The result is fun but sewing all those long strips can make you nod off. 😀

  15. tisha @ quiltytherapy October 6, 2016 at 2:31 pm #

    I have been sitting on some jelly roll scraps and I think this would work well. The cutting technique is great. Tubes usually scare me that they would move, but the stitching, makes sense. Off to add this to my TO DO list.

  16. Vicki W. October 6, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

    “Also you’ll die of boredom making the strip set tubes …”. Hahaha!

  17. Louisa @ Sewmotion October 7, 2016 at 5:46 am #

    A great tutorial, and yet another brilliant use for jelly roll strips! Thanks for sharing, and I love your fabrics btw! 🙂

  18. grandmagordy2 October 7, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

    I love it! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Anja @ Anja Quilts October 7, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

    Thanks for sharing. I haven’t seen this technique before.

  20. Helen Barrass October 8, 2016 at 1:48 am #

    Thanks So much for sharing! Just starting out quilting and love how clear your tutorials are! 🙂

  21. hellomellydesigns October 8, 2016 at 8:32 pm #

    I love how this quilt turned out! I’ve never made a strip quilt because I didn’t want to foundation piece, but this is much simpler! Gotta have a good Netflix binge going for all those long strip seams 😉 but a stunning result for all that effort!

  22. Tiffany October 10, 2016 at 8:34 am #

    This is wonderful! Thanks for the tutorial.

  23. Allison in Alabama October 13, 2016 at 8:14 am #

    Nice method!! Thanks for sharing – great tutorial! Nice photography!!!

  24. Sarah October 14, 2016 at 7:24 pm #

    oh man this is so awesome!! No waste!! Thanks so much for sharing. xoxo

  25. beckyroberts October 25, 2016 at 8:56 am #

    I have such a hard time with strips cut on the diagonal! What a great tutorial. Fantastic pictures and illustration of your method. Thanks for this!

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