wonky stripes quilt pattern.

hello quilters. if you are interested in a quilt that does not require gads of painstaking measuring, cutting, and piecing, this is the quilt for you. this design works well with both planned fabrics and scraps.

how much fabric should you buy? great question, but it depends on how big you want to make your quilt. at the end, i will show you how to calculate your fabric needs if you want to do a different sized quilt. the materials list is for a quilt that has 7.5" squares and a final size about 60" x 60".

  • 1/3 yard of each of 9 fabrics for the quilt design
  • 2 yards of fabric for the quilt top border
  • 3 2/3 yards of fabric for the back
  • 1/3 yard of binding fabric
  • 64" x 64" square of batting
  • 1 spool of quilting thread

quilt top:
take each of your 9 fabrics and cut along the long side of each to make 5 or 6 wonky strips (i.e. smaller at one end). to ensure that your strips are appropriately wonky, i recommend using scissors instead of a rotary cutter. you can also do wavy lines, but these are more complex to sew. see my tutorial on sewing wavy lines.

cut wonky strips.

mix up all of the long strips. create strip sets with different fabrics. sew strips together with a 1/4" seam allowance.  make sure the strip set is at least 8" wide. press the seams open, using starch as you iron. starch is your friend!!! it not only helps to create flat seams, it also acts as sizing, so that the fabric will hold its shape when you start cutting.

mix together fabrics and sew together strip sets.

cut each strip set into five 8" squares. you should end up with 45 squares. using the clear plastic quilting rulers and a rotary cutter is the easiest way to complete this task. if you do not possess these items, then find yourself some joann's coupons and go shopping. seriously. it is possible to cut these squares without these tools, but why on earth would you want to make your life extra difficult?

cut out squares. finished square.

set aside 9 squares for the quilt back. lay 36 of the squares on a large, flat surface (i use the floor), and move them around until you are satisfied with the arrangement. for this design you should use a checkerboard-style pattern with vertical-lined squares next to horizontal-lined squares (see picture - orange squares represent vertical-lined and green squares represent horizontal-lined). sew the squares together with a 1/4" seam allowance. press the seams open. again, be generous with the starch.

arranging vertical and horizontal stripes in a checkerboard pattern.
arranging the squares of a large quilt that was made with this pattern.

lay out your border fabric. you will need to cut four 7" strips the length of the fabric (i.e. 7" x 72" strips). attach your borders either with mitered corners or butted edges...your choice. trim any excess fabric.

now for the quilt back. sew together the remaining 9 pattern squares. press the seams open (don't forget the starch!). lay out your backing fabric. cut out two pieces. 16" x 64" and 40" x 64". sew the strip of squares to the long edge of one piece of backing fabric. then attach the other piece of backing fabric to the other side of the strip of squares. press the seams open.

cutting the backing pieces.
the assembled quilt back.

since this post is focused on the quilt pattern, not on teaching you how to make a quilt, i have included links to helpful tutorials for the final steps of quilt creation.
  1. make your quilt sandwich.
  2. quilt your quilt. unless you are a die-hard traditionalist, i assume you will be using a machine to do the quilting. you can do free-motion quilting (more free-motion quilting) or straight-line quilting (which also includes stitch-in-the-ditch quilting). trim the excess fabric from the edges.
  3. attach binding (more binding and more binding).
  4. create a quilt label (i do hand-embroidered labels, but that is a tutorial for another day). and sew it onto the back of the quilt.

voila!! you have a lovely wonky stripes quilt.
a larger version of the same quilt pattern.

calculating fabric for alternate quilt sizes.
the measurements in this example are the ones i used to calculate how much fabric was needed for the 60" x 60" square quilt.

quilt top design:
most fabric is 42-44" wide, but that includes selvages, so we will assume you have a usable section at least 41" wide. we want an 8" square, which means that we need 8" + seam allowances. since we will be cutting our fabric into strips, we should add in a few inches for seam allowances. to be safe, i would purchase 12" of fabric (1/3 of a yard), which will yield 5 squares. each additional 12" piece of fabric will result in another 5 squares. our quilt calls for 44 squares, so we will need 9 different fabrics (9 fabrics x 5 squares per fabric = 45 squares, which is 1 more than we need).

determining fabric requirements for quilt top pattern.

quilt top border:
this design includes a 6" border. the quilt top is to be 60" wide, so you need to buy at least 64" of fabric (this includes extra for seam allowances). buy 2 yards of border fabric.

quilt back:
this design uses 8 squares from the quilt top sewn together to form a strip down one side of the back. the rest of the backing fabric can be whatever your heart desires, just remember that the quilt back needs to be a couple of inches larger on all sides. for this size quilt, you will need 128" (3 2/3 yards) of fabric. you will have excess, but there is no way to avoid this (unless you want to piece together your backing, in which case you can create your 64" square any way that works for you).

quilt innards:
you need quilt batting that is at least a 64" square. you can buy whatever batting you prefer - personally i prefer low loft cotton batting. my standard is warm & natural, but when it is available my favorite is a 50% cotton, 50% bamboo batting.

quilt binding: 
you will need to cut 2.5" strips and sew them together until you have enough binding to go around all four sides of the quilt. the binding will be 60" x 4 = 120", plus a little extra, so you need at least 130" of binding. your strips will be 41" long (the width of your fabric), so you just need to know how many to sew together to get the desired length. 4 strips will be about 164" long. perfect. 4 strips x 2.5" wide = 10" of fabric. to be safe, you should buy at least 12" of binding fabric.
determining fabric requirements for quilt binding.


  1. You are a gem! This will be my next quilt! Don't tell Nipper, but I'm buying more fabric RIGHT NOW!

  2. so glad you like it! there is definitely still some measuring/cutting, but the main chunk of the design is super friendly. and you can use the same squares in so many different ways....