Squares and Strips Bed Quilt

Squares and Strips, Free Fat quarter pattern in 4 sizes
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?!).
Squares and Strips, Free Fat quarter pattern in 4 sizes

You can now find a printable version of this free quilt tutorial at the link below.  Enjoy!!

Strips and Squares Bed Quilt Tutorial

* 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.
Squares and Strips, Free Fat quarter pattern in 4 sizes


* 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!

86 Responses to Squares and Strips Bed Quilt

  1. SoozeM June 28, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    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!).

  2. stellamaria June 28, 2012 at 6:56 am #

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

    greetings from germany

  3. Melanie June 28, 2012 at 7:07 am #

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

  4. Leigh Walter June 28, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    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

  5. Carla June 28, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    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


  6. Judith Blinkenberg June 28, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    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!

  7. Shawn June 28, 2012 at 9:41 am #

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

  8. Carol June 28, 2012 at 10:17 am #

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

  9. Gene Black June 28, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    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.

  10. Karen H June 28, 2012 at 11:31 am #

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

  11. piece peace June 28, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    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.

  12. Vickie @ Ranger 911 June 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    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. :@

  13. Katie Fleming June 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

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

    – Katie Fleming
    Kate Michelle Designs

  14. Julie June 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    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!

  15. Debby/Darthy June 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    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.

  16. Jess June 28, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    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.

  17. Jill S. June 28, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    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!

  18. Kathy June 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    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.

  19. The Baldwin Family June 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

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

  20. allison June 28, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Some of the blocks are Striped fabrics….so 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!

  21. Goddess in Progress June 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    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!

  22. EG June 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

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

  23. Betsy Lynn June 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

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

  24. Becca June 28, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    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!

  25. Stefanie June 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

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

    it rocks!

  26. Krista Hansen June 28, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    Beautiful! Love it!

  27. Holly June 28, 2012 at 11:01 pm #


  28. Patti June 29, 2012 at 4:34 am #

    Gorgeous just love it. Thanks so much.

  29. ancee June 29, 2012 at 7:57 am #

    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

  30. Kristin June 29, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    Wow! this is great!

  31. domesticduck June 29, 2012 at 11:48 am #

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

  32. db2dc534-c1f8-11e1-b9b3-000bcdcb2996 June 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    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

  33. allison June 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

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

  34. Deanne June 30, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

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

  35. Carole M June 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

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

  36. Sheila June 30, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    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 :)

  37. trish June 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    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

  38. Peggy June 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    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!!

  39. jodi@Pleasant-Home June 30, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

    Love everything about this Allison!

  40. toots2u June 30, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

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

  41. SewingSophia July 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

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

  42. The Church Family July 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

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

    Taylor @ That's Sew Taylor! :)

  43. miki July 2, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    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!

  44. Jess July 2, 2012 at 2:18 am #

    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!

  45. Aunt Spicy July 3, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

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

  46. Chris {frecklemama} July 5, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    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!

  47. Jude July 6, 2012 at 1:13 am #

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

  48. Mermaid Sews July 6, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

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

  49. Di July 11, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

    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

  50. EG July 25, 2012 at 1:09 am #

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

  51. Augustsnow July 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    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.

  52. Caleighs_Mom July 29, 2012 at 6:35 am #

    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!!

  53. Andrea Turner August 4, 2012 at 1:55 am #

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

  54. Debbie August 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    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.

  55. Jan Griggs August 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    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

  56. Ruth S. August 23, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    You have me inspired! Thanks for sharing.

  57. ...I am Nora..... August 23, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    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!

  58. Nita August 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

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

  59. Kjersten September 23, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    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!

  60. 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.

  61. Cat from Raspberry Rainbow August 21, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    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 :)

  62. Lynn November 15, 2013 at 2:47 am #

    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!

  63. allison November 15, 2013 at 2:59 am #

    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!

  64. Emily Ziegenfus February 18, 2014 at 12:10 am #

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

  65. allison February 18, 2014 at 4:48 am #

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

  66. Serafina K February 28, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    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!

  67. allison February 28, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

    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

  68. Serafina K March 1, 2014 at 4:49 am #

    I ended up picking eight, thank you :)

  69. leXi February 1, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

    I'm using scraps and wanted to know how many of each style block would I need for a queen sized quilt, can you help me?

  70. Shannon Whitehill March 24, 2015 at 12:09 am #

    So lovely! Adding this to my to do list… planning to make the throw sized using August from Cotton + Steel

  71. Nanna Liz May 24, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

    I have a lot of Kanvas Cabana II nautical fabric and I've been letting them stew until I found the right pattern for them. This is it! I make Quilts of Valor almost exclusively and it will be going to someone in the Navy or Marines. I'm just going to put a border on the throw size to make it a little bigger. Thank you!

  72. Maddie November 14, 2015 at 9:25 pm #

    This quilt is so beyond beautiful. I have never made one so amazing in my life. Thank you so so so much.

  73. Carole Lloyd January 13, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

    Thank you so much for your beautiful site. I love your work and I wanted to start making my first full sized quilt by learning a new square a week. You have really helped me by helping me start by work out the materials I need. Thank you for being so generous in sharing for free. What an inspiration you are.

  74. Vicky January 4, 2017 at 4:32 am #

    I love this! Is there any way I can get a copy of the pattern for 1/4 yards? It’s not letting me download it.
    Thank you!

  75. Lora Carver May 3, 2019 at 9:19 pm #

    It’s now May of 2019… and I finally finished this quilt! A few years late but it’s such a nice pattern!

    • Allison May 3, 2019 at 9:23 pm #

      LOL love it! At least you finished!

  76. Charlotte Gurling February 2, 2020 at 9:38 am #

    hi what is meant with “FAT” in the sentence of fat square

  77. Ann September 2, 2020 at 7:26 am #

    I have the sewn squares that are 8 inch and the strips that are 8 and 8.5 inch and the straight squares that are 8.5 inch. Does this mean I have to trim to make the same size? Or did I cut wrong.

  78. Valerie April 24, 2021 at 10:56 am #

    Hi there! On your download cutting instructions there are a bunch of 2 1/2 inch squares to cut out. I don’t see that in your pattern here. Was that more of an after thing to make a different square? I’m going nuts trying to figure out what I’m missing. Thank you!

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