Have you ever tried improv quilting with wonky strips? This ombre stratus quilt combines wonky, improv strips with a super fun ombre layout! The Stratus Quilt is block-based and a really fun way to dip your toe into improv quilting!
Stratus Quilt Sew Along
Before we dive too far into the specifics of this Ombre Stratus quilt, I’d like to invite you to join the Sew Along! The Stratus Quilt Sew Along will begin on October 4th and it’s a fantastic opportunity for me to walk you through making this quilt every step of the way!
Designing this Blue Ombre Quilt
I originally designed the Stratus Quilt Pattern to use up fabric scraps and to be a great stash buster. It wasn’t until I was playing around with the coloring sheet that I realized how fun it would be to make it ombre. Once i created the ombre version, I just knew I had to include instructions for it in the quilt pattern too!
If you want to play around with color placement, be sure to download the free coloring sheet. I love to use the ReColor app for an easy way to color it digitally.
Blue Ombre Solid Fabrics for Sale
If you love these fun, blue solid fabrics, you’re in luck! For a limited time, I have them available in my shop! Grab yourself a Stratus Quilt Kit or even a Fat Quarter bundle that you can use on any other project you want! The fabrics are all solid Painter’s Palette solids from PBS, which is one of my favorite fabric brands for quilting cotton.
The Stratus Quilt kit includes all the fabric you need to make the quilt top and the binding. It also includes a paper copy of the Stratus Quilt Pattern!
Ombre Stratus Quilt Tips & Tricks
The first thing I would recommend doing is arranging your fabrics from light to dark, even before cutting them! You can easily do this by taking a photo of your fabric bundle and then editing it to black and white. Looking at the fabrics in black and white helps the contrast to be more obvious.
When you start cutting your strips, I’d recommend cutting fewer strips for the lightest color and the darkest color than you do for the others, especially if you plan to arrange your ombre like I did, from one corner to the opposite corner.
The ombre blends very well when Color 2 is paired with the color 1 shade lighter AND 1 shade darker. To make this happen easily, make blocks pairing color 1 & 2, and then the next blocks I paired up colors 2 & 3. Then the next ones are pairing color 3 & 4, and so on.
My Favorite Quilting Tools for Wonky Strip Improv Quilting
For any quilt, I always recommend using Best Press. Best Press or an alternative to spray starch is helpful to keep your fabric from stretching while you are sewing or pressing. For best results, apply your starch to your fabric prior to pressing & cutting.
The basic rulers I’d recommend are a long ruler, like 6″ x 24″, and a square; my 6.5″ square ruler is super useful! If you want to make it a little easier, you might also consider investing in some extra tools, but they’re totally optional!
When it comes to more fancy rulers, I am a HUGE fan of the Stripology XL Ruler – I used mine to cut out all the strips for sashing, borders, and binding!
Alternatively, if you enjoy using AccuQuilt like I do, you can use this AccuQuilt Strip die for the sashing and border strips, and this other strip die for the binding. A Square die is also helpful for trimming your blocks.
Quilting on this Stratus Quilt
Since the Stratus quilt is so geometric, it gives a really great opportunity to play with curves in your quilting design! I chose to have this quilt quilted on a long arm using an edge to edge design with fun waves, curves, and loops!