Sunday 25 January 2015

Setting Odd Blocks with 2 1/2" Strips

This post updated on January 13, 2021 

Donated to Ride With Rouge
to support  the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta.

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Having some nice odd blocks in my stash that I wanted to use up got me thinking about how I could lay them out in a pleasing, simple way for a charity quilt project. 

I also had a huge pile of 2 1/2" Strips and they worked beautifully as a setting background for the odd blocks.  When I am done working on a new quilt I will often cut the remnants of fabric into these strips for future use.  Keeping these in 2 bags, one with warm colors and one with cool colors keeps them ready for my next scrap quilt.  Here is the Warm & Cool Color Demo. 

For this quilt I used the warm colors.  The gray neutrals worked because of the warm undertones. 

This completed top is approx. 60 x 60". 

Printer-friendly PDF of this pattern available here:

Start by adding a neutral border to your odd block
with enough fabric that you can trim it to 12 1/2"
Note:  This lovely gray fabric was one of my husband's shirts that was almost brand new.  He didn't like it.  Normally I would not recommend used clothing for quilts, but when the fabric is still very new it is a good recycle idea.  Make sure it is 100% cotton. 
Use small pieces of painters tape to mark off your 12 1/2" size. 
Trim your blocks, being sure to centre them in your border.  

 My quilt used 6 blocks, but you can easily use any number that you have. 

Using this 2 1/2" Strip Quilting Method and your warm colored neutrals, make your setting background strips.  It took about 40 WOF (width of fabric) strips to have enough for my background.  You will need 6 strips side-by-side to make the 12 1/2" setting background pieces.  These strips are joined on the bias, but this is not necessary.  I chose to do this so the diagonal would repeat throughout my quilt because of the diagonal pattern in my odd blocks. 

After you have pairs of strips, divide them into 3 even lengths and
sew them together until 6 strips are joined. 

Next, lay out your odd blocks on the floor or a design board in a pleasing pattern, imagining your strips in between.  Keep in mind the finished quilt size that you desire when you do this. 
Measure the length in between your blocks. 
Cut the 6-strip sets to this desired length,
adding 1/2" for your seam allowance. 
Sew the 6-strip sets in between your blocks and
continue with this process until your top is complete. 



 I love this quilt top and I'm sure someone very special will enjoy it :)



Check out these awesome patterns:

Canadian Heart Quilt

Split Triangle Rows
(made with HSTs)

San Tan Valley Sunset 
(made with 2 1/2" strips and odd blocks)

Double Option Stars - Easy Strip Quilting Technique!
(made with 2 1/2" strips)

How to Apply a Quilt Border 
(even if you know how).



  1. Super idea! People are always giving me extra blocks along with scraps for the comfort quilts I make. I need to put them out on the floor and try this. Thanks!!!

  2. Thank you Linda! I always enjoy your comments.

  3. Just the inspiration i needed to use some "collected" jelly rolls!!!! Thank You for the wonderful idea! Hugs, GB

  4. Just the inspiration i needed to use some "collected" jelly rolls!!!! Thank You for the wonderful idea! Hugs, GB

    1. Thank you Barbara! I have another version of this with recycled jeans that you might also like:

  5. I tried my first strip quilt top this week and after I had sewn about half my top together realized that I was creating an arc instead of a rectangle. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hi Charlotte, I'm glad you asked because this can happen with repeated long seams that are done side-to-side. You aren't doing anything wrong. There is an easy fix. Alternate your seams, sewing one from top-to-bottom, then the next bottom-to-top.

  6. I love your version and I am so pleased that you shared your photo with me.

  7. Hi! I love this quilt. I do no know how to do the blocks. I am denied access to the site you gave in your response Caroline. Can you help?

    1. Here...give this url a try.

  8. This link no longer works..... "2 1/2" Strip Quilting Method"

    1. Thank you. I appreciate you letting me know. 😊Melanie