Category Archives: Japanese Inspired Strip Quilt

Japanese Inspired Strip Quilt

Japanese Inspired Strip Quilt

Hello Dear Friends and Readers, some time ago my son gave me a few pieces of beautiful Japanese fabrics.  These few pieces became the inspiration for a quilt I constructed for him.  I used all these pieces as the basis for the colour palate choices.  I then combined them with fabrics I already had in my stash which I think are complementary to the original pieces. The colour palate then was blues, blacks, browns, golds and reds.  I ensured a sufficient mix of fabrics to give plenty of interest.

I decided to make a strip quilt.

I have not given a specific size for this quilt because that is up to you. The methodology remains the same. This is a good way to use up fabric scraps. Combining them with a few beautiful Japanese fabrics, makes it special. Also a good design for charity quilts.

Requirements for the Japanese Inspired Strip Quilt

Assorted Japanese prints (fat quarters are great)

Complementary fabric scraps / strips from your stash

Solid Red for the framing borders and binding and a few 2 1/2” strips in the main part of the quilt.

Solid taupe for the main borders

Japanese Inspired Strip Quilt
Japanese Inspired Strip Quilt

Making 2 1/2” Strips

I did not use a Jelly Roll but rather, cut my own 2 1/2” strips. I should explain that the Japanese fabrics were all cut from Fat Quarters. This accounts for the different lengths of strips.

I cut all the fabrics into 2 1/2″ strips, then joined them all together making sure there was good distribution of the fabrics before commencing the piecing. The strips were of differing lengths. For tips on making the strips see this link Obsession with Pre Cuts / Make Your Own

Make the width of the quilt larger than required then square up after all the strips are sewn together.

Once all the strips were sewn together I framed the quilt with narrow red borders, followed by bordering the quilt in a somber taupe solid colour, which makes all the other fabrics jump out from the quilt, giving them proper representation.

Making the Red Framing Borders

The red framing borders are all cut from 1” strips of the solid red fabric. They are then sewn around the finished centre of strips to give them a frame. The “Window” borders at each end of the quilt are made in the same way. The framing red borders finish ar ½” width.


Please see note below about Lessons In Strip Quilts.

Japanese Inspired Strip Quilt
Japanese Inspired Strip Quilt

I used the small leftover 2 ½” squares leftover from the cutting and the ends of the strips when squaring up the centre to make a “window” style border at the ends of the quilt.

Japanese Inspired Strip Quilt
Japanese Inspired Strip Quilt

I quilted the strips in the ditch and then stipple quilted all of the taupe areas.  I used the same red as the narrow borders for the binding which ties it all together.

Lessons In Strip Quilts

The lessons learned with making a strip quilt of this type is that the strips cannot be added continuously.  The width of the quilt should be decided first. Then sew groups of five strips at a time alternating sewing from either side is the way to go, then joining the groups of five together.  This is important as it will prevent bowing of the fabric and design.

Japanese Inspired Strip Quilt
Japanese Inspired Strip Quilt

I have combined Japanese fabrics with complementary quilting prints and solids.  I believe the combination works well and although the design is simple it makes a striking quilt with lasting appeal.

Japanese Inspired Strip Quilt
Japanese Inspired Strip Quilt

Thank you for joining me on this scrappy strip quilt journey. It is actually a beautiful finished project because of the addition of the various Japanese prints. It makes me feel like making another!

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© Susan Stuklis 2015