Jun 13, 2014

Easy Strip Diamond Quilt Block


Addie Grace's quilt is about to be delivered, so I can now share how it took shape - without spoiling the surprise for Grammie!!  :)

These will be the blocks for the top:

Isn't that just cute? Going from strips to...

... Well, I guess I'd better start the tutorial; otherwise, I'll just go on babbling and babbling about all of the cuteness instead of getting things done!

But before we start, let's give credit to whom credit is due... The very first time I saw this technique was with Jenny Doan, in her video Amazing Jelly Roll Quilt Pattern by 3 Dudes.  After that, I've seen it pop up in several sites and even on the cover of a quilting magazine one day in the craft aisle... I really like the way this block is built, and I had been waiting for the chance to work on it.

How-e-ver... I didn't want it "even." Jenny's video and all of the other pictures I've seen are of blocks made with strips of the same width - but not me!  As usual, I had to do something different!

So, here is my version of a strippy diamond.  Of course, you can use scraps. They just have to be long enough to have a strip. The step where width and length matter is making squares.  Just keep reading and you'll see what I'm talking about!  :)

Keep sewing strips together until you have enough to...

...get squares.  There really isn't a fix measurement here. Some people use jelly rolls, which are sets of 2.5" wide fabric strips.  If you sew five of those together, you'll have a total width of 10.5" - as long as you are sewing 1/4" seams!  

Remember when I mentioned that there is a step when length/width matter? Well, this is it!

In Addie's quilt, I used strips of different widths, so I kept sewing strips together until I got 9".  I then went ahead and cut 9" squares, like so:

After a while, I had a bunch of squares and some leftover fabric.  Don't worry, I managed to use these in the quilt - you know I don't like to ignore precious scraps!!  :)

Of course, I had a bunch of trimmed fabric as well!  Isn't this cute?  Well, I decided to tease Addie's grandma and put it on her desk on Monday morning... It was there to welcome her to another work week!  I had this second of thinking that I was being mean by teasing her with the trimmings, but she just loved it!  She actually kept the little bundle in her desk drawer! Isn't she a sweet grammie?

Going back to the strip diamonds...

The next step is to put one square on top of the other, right sides together. Take a look at the next picture for a good idea on how to do it...  One square has strips going up and down, while the other one has strips going left to right, or right to left; i.e. horizontal strips in one square and vertical in the other.  Capisci?

Make sure that both pieces are very well aligned; go ahead and sew a 1/4" seam ALL AROUND the square. I know it's sort of difficult to see in the following picture, but...

... here is a blue line to make it all easier to see!  Yep, the blue line is right on top of the seam.

Get ready for some super fun in the next step...  You need to make two diagonal cuts, from corner to corner.

Cut Number 1:

Cut Number 2:

You'll have something that looks like this:

... and you'll have a cute, little mountain of striped triangular bundles that will transform after pressing into something just awesome!

See?!  Isn't that just amazing!  By the way (and just in case you really need some motivation to go on with your day...) this is one of the things I love the most about quilting... Change, transformation and unveiling are just too exciting not to talk about them!

These babies are ready to go into Addie's quilt!

And this is how diamonds will look.  Because I used strips with different widths, the seams won't match exactly - that's part of the look I was going for!

If you'd like the seams to match, just use strips that are the same width.  :)

The only thing I was going for is avoiding something like the following picture. There are two pinks together, and there are three chunky strips in the center of the diamond (and their seams actually match).  I wanted a scrappy look, so I tried to combine the units in such a way it didn't happen. Because of the number of units and the size of the quilt, I ended up focusing more on seams that didn't match rather than on repetitive colors.  

This is the point where you can play with arrangement.  For example, I thought of the following by matching the orientation...  It does look like a patch or steps...  

Another arrangement is an "X".  I will sash Addie's quilt, so it will only have diamonds.  However, if you decide to go ahead without sashing, you will have a series of diamond - X - diamond - X...  It is also really cute and fun to make!

Addie's quilt is finally taking shape and I can't wait to finish it!  The more I work with it, the more I want to keep adding and working with it, hehe... I guess this is that quilt bug that fuzzies up ideas in my head!  :)

Here is a little preview... Not too bad, huh?

Have a wonderful day and stay blessed!


  1. It is adorable. Love the colors. I may need to use you pattern for a cool quilt I plan to make fir a special little girl that I tutor.

  2. Hey Sam! I'm glad you liked it! I'm sure that little girl will love it! :)

  3. I luv the challenge of this quilt.... My brain wants to sew on straight seams None the less it woo be splendid! Thanx for sharing!

  4. Hi Susan :) Well, it may look more complicated that it actually seems, but I think that it's safe to say that you're sewing straight seams; what makes it look skewed is the way you align the fabric. Anyway, I hope you give it a try, and feel free to write if you have any questions. You'll have lots of fun doing it!

  5. Loving this.Just cut up a bunch of scraps into strips and am gonna do it.

  6. Loving this.Just cut up a bunch of scraps into strips and am gonna do it.

  7. I'm glad you liked it Nonna! You'll have lots of fun! :)