If life imitates art, I hope that my life will soon start taking its cues from this quilt. Calm in palette, playful in perspective and full of surprises, this Diagonal Stripe Quilt is a real inspiration for the sewing table and beyond!

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

The construction of this quilt is an excellent practice in the art of organized chaos: It requires an accuracy of skill but a surrender of complete control. The stripes are all pieced, cut and sewn in random order, coming together by chance in striking diagonal lines. The result is a stunning mix of precise lines, subtle color shifts and bold punctuations. Let life-like-a-Diagonal-Stripe-Quilt begin! -Corinne

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

Materials

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

You will also need . . .

Recommended tools . . .

Size

Finished Measurements: 54 inches by 71 inches

Notes

Prewash all of the fabrics (but not the batting).

Use a precise ¼-inch seam allowance for all piecing. Use your machine’s ¼-inch foot if you have one.

Pattern

This pattern is also available as a printer-friendly PDF. Just click here!

Cut

NOTE: If you’re new to rotary cutting, please refer to our Rotary Cutting Tutorial before you start.

For the Quilt Top

From Colors A + B, cut sixteen 3 ¼-inch wide strips from selvage to selvage (32 strips total).

From Color C, cut eight 3 ¼-inch wide strips from selvage to selvage. Cut each of these strips in half to create sixteen 3 ¼-inch by 45-inch strips.

From Color D, cut eight 1 ½-inch wide strips from selvage to selvage.

Trim off the selvage edges of each strip. Each piece will be approximately 42 inches long. The exact length of each strip will vary slightly from fabric to fabric.

For the Binding

From Color B, cut seven 2 ½-inch strips from selvage to selvage and then trim off the selvages.

Piece the Fabric Strips

For the Quilt Top

Jumble together the 3 ¼-inch wide strips from Color A, B + C and put them into a paper bag. Pulling from this bag (no looking!) make two piles of 21 strips each (Pile A + B) and one pile of 6 strips (Pile C). Do not worry about having an even amount of colors in each pile. The random mix of colors and tones is part of the charm of this quilt!

In no particular order, piece together all of the strips from Pile A. Here’s how . . .

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

With their right sides facing each other, stack two ends of two strips so that they form a 90-degree angle and there is a square shape where they overlap. Pin in place.

Using your preferred fabric-marking tool, draw a diagonal line from the top left corner of this square to the bottom right corner, as shown above. Sew the strips together along this marked line. Trim the seam allowance to ¼ inch.

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

Press the seam towards the more opaque fabric. The joining seam will run diagonal to the long edge of the strip.

Repeat these steps to attach the third strip to the end of the second and so on, until you have attached all the strips from the pile.

NOTE: Since the fabrics used in this project have no clear right or wrong side, always check the previous seam to make sure that you are stacking the fabrics with their right sides together.

This is Strip A.

Repeat with Pile B. This is Strip B.

Piece all of the Color D 1 ½-inch in the same way. This is Strip C.

Leave the strips in Pile C unsewn for now.

For the Binding

Piece all of the Color B 2 ½-inch strips in the same way described above.

Once all the binding strips are sewn together, press the resulting long strip in half lengthwise with its right side facing out.

This is the Binding Strip. Set it aside.

Trim the Fabric Strips for the Quilt Top

Strips A + B

Cut 1 of each of the following lengths from both Strip A and Strip B (26 total pieces):

6, 13, 20, 27, 34, 41, 48, 55, 62, 69, 76, 83, and 90 inches.

Also, choosing lengths from both Strips A and B, cut a total of three 93 ½-inch long pieces.

Cut all the pieces in random order, keeping in mind the following guidelines:

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

1. A diagonal joining seam should be no closer than 4 inches to a cut edge. This may require a little strategy: If, when starting a new measurement, you find that there’s a diagonal seam at the beginning of the strip, just trim it off, discard it, and start the measurement from the clean edge. (Don’t worry; the strip is plenty long to trim off an end or two here and there!) Or if you find that the seam is too close to the far end of a strip, cut a longer strip instead. And finally, if you find that you need more fabric to cut all of the pieces, use the unsewn pieces from Pile C to attach extra length.

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

2. Each cut piece should have no more than 1 color change. For this reason, I recommend cutting the longer pieces from sections of the strip where two of the same fabrics have been sewn side by side. If you do not have enough sections like this on your strips, use the unsewn pieces from Pile C to make them.

Once all the pieces are cut, separate them into 3 piles:

Piles 1 and 2 should have 1 of each of the cut lengths from 6 to 90 inches.

Pile 3 should have the three 93 ½-inch pieces.

Strip C

From the Color D strip cut one of each of the following lengths:

13, 20, 41, 69, 76 and 83 inches.

Add the 20, 41 and 83-inch strips to Pile 1 and the 13, 69 and 76-inch strips to Pile 2.

Piece the Quilt Top

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

You will piece the Quilt Top starting with the two corner sections (Sections 1 + 2). Each of these sections starts in a corner with a 6-inch piece and works towards the middle, ending with a 90-inch piece.
Once these two Sections are complete, you will join the 93 ½-inch pieces (Section 3), and then sew all of the Sections together.

Section 1

For this Section, you will use the pieces from Pile 1.

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

Lay out the 13-inch piece with the right side facing up.

With right sides together, center the 6-inch piece on top. There should be 3 ½ inches of the 13-inch strip sticking out on either side.

Pin in place along one raw edge. Sew along the pinned edge.

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

Press the seam towards the more opaque fabric. If you are pressing towards the longer strip, make a small snip into the seam allowance of the longer strip at each edge of the shorter strip, making sure not to cut past the seam line. This allows you to fold the seam allowance toward the longer strip while keeping the fabric flat.

NOTE: For strips with multiple fabrics, fold the seam allowance towards the side with the most more opaque fabrics.

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

Now, lay the 20-inch strip out flat. With right sides together, center the 13-inch piece on top, lining up their long edges.

Pin along the two long raw edges. Sew along the pinned edge and press the seam as described above.

Continue to work in this manner, always attaching the strip that is 7 inches longer than the last strip you attached, with this one exception:

Attach each Color D strips to the same length piece. In this Section, for example, you will attach the 20-inch Color D strip to the third strip, i.e the 20-inch strip.

NOTE: As you are working, be aware of how the pieces are coming together and how the seams of the strips relate to each other. The colors should blend nicely and none of the seams from the pieced strips should line up.

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

If you notice seams from two adjacent strips lining up as you pin, first try to flip the strip around. If this still doesn’t solve the problem, you may want to trim the strip and add on to one end using the strips from Pile C.

Section 2

Piece Section 2 in the same way as described for Section 1, making sure to attach the Color D strips to the same-size pieces.

Section 3

With its right side facing up, lay one of the 93 ½-inch pieces out flat.

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

With right sides together, lay a second 93 ½-inch piece on top of the first, shifting it 3 ½ inches to the left. The right hand edge of the bottom piece should poke out 3 ½ inches.

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

The left hand edge of the top should overhang the bottom by 3 ½ inches.
Pin together along one long edge. Sew along the pinned edge and press the seam as described above.

Press the seam toward side with the more opaque fabrics.To keep the fabric flat, you will need to snip into the seam allowance on one side as described for Section 1.

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

Repeat with the third 93 ½-inch piece, again staggering to the left.

Sew the Sections Together

Lay Section 1 out flat with the right side facing up and the 6-inch corner at the top..

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

With right sides together, lay Section 3 on top so its bottom raw edge aligns with the long raw edge of Section 1. Shift Section 3 so that the right edge of the bottom strip is flush with the right end of the 90-inch strip from Section 1 and its left edge has a 3 ½-inch overhang.

Pin along the aligned raw edges. Sew along the pinned edge and press the seam as described above.

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

Repeat with Section 2 and the opposite side of Section 3:
Lay Sections 1 + 3 out flat with the right side facing up and the 6-inch corner at the top.

With right sides together, lay Section 2 on top so its long raw edge aligns with the raw edge of Section 3. Shift Section 2 so that the left edge of the 90-inch strip is flush with the left edge of the bottom 93 1/2-inch strip. The 90-inch strip’s right edge lands 3 ½ inches shy of the longer strip’s end.

Pin along the aligned raw edges. Sew along the pinned edge and press the seam as described above.

You’re all done with the top!

Baste + Quilt

Trim the Backing Fabric (Color C) to approximately 62 by 80 inches. Use this, the batting and the Quilt Top to create the quilt sandwich and then baste. For detailed instructions, please refer to our Denim Pinwheel Quilt project and scroll down to the “Baste” section.

I quilted my top using my machine’s walking foot, stitching in the ditch along all of the long seams (not the joining seams of the strips). I sewed right beside the seam on the side without the seam allowances pressed under it. Feel free to quilt in any style you like, as long as there are quilting stitches no less than 8 inches apart.

Trim the Quilt Edges

Once the blanket is basted and quilted, trim the edges straight. Here’s how . . .

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

Using your preferred fabric-marking tool, mark a line down the center of the two 6-inch pieces in the top left and bottom right corners of the quilt.

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

 

Lay the Quilt out flat with the right side facing up. Working from corner to corner, use a clear quilting ruler to draw a straight line that connects the mark on the 6-inch piece to the seam between the flush strips at the opposite corner. The line will run just below the quilt’s jagged raw edges. Use the clear quilting ruler to make sure this first line is at a 45-degree angle to the strips.

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho

Repeat around the next three sides, squaring each line to the previous line.

Trim the quilt along these marked lines. For the most precise cuts, use a rotary cutter with a clear quilting ruler on a self-healing cutting mat.

Using the clear quilting ruler, make sure all corners of the quilt are straight and squared. Trim as needed.

Bind

Once all of the edges are trimmed and squared bind the quilt with the prepared Binding Strip. For detailed instructions on how to bind a quilt with double fold binding, please check out our Sewing on Double Fold Binding tutorial!

Diagonal Stripe Quilt | Purl Soho