Stratus Quilt Pattern: Easy Improv Quilt for Beginners

If you want to try out an easy improv quilt pattern featuring wonky strips, the Stratus Quilt pattern is perfect! Stratus is beginner friendly and has the perfect combination of wonky blocks and precise sashing! The addition of sashing helps to keep your improv quilt from getting too wonky!

The Stratus quilt pattern includes instructions for either an Ombre color version or a completely scrappy option too. The scrappy version makes it a great stash buster! You can use Fat Quarters or 1/3 yd. cuts for the ombre version, or any scraps for the scattered version.

See more about the Stratus Quilt in this quick video:

This article contains affiliate links to some of my favorite quilting tools; the affiliate links allow me to make a small commission on purchases made after clicking on the links, but does not alter the shopping experience for you!

Stratus Quilt Pattern Sizes

The Stratus quilt pattern includes 4 complete sizes! The smallest size is Mini size, which makes a fun wall hanging or pillow. The quilt pattern goes up to Queen bed size by adding more blocks. The blocks are the same size in all quilt sizes.

  • Mini Size: 20″ x 20″
  • Baby Size: 38″ x 50″
  • Throw Size: 62″ x 74″
  • Queen Size: 92″ x 98″

The main component in the Stratus quilt pattern design is improv strip piecing. If you’ve never tried improv sewing, this is a great pattern to get started! And if you want a little extra help with making the quilt, stay tuned for the upcoming Sew Along! We’ll kick off the Sew Along on October 4th, 2021!

Difficulty of the Stratus Quilt Pattern

The Stratus quilt pattern is great for a confident beginner quilter. If you’ve made a quilt before or are confident in your 1/4″ straight seam, then this quilt will be a great one for you! The Stratus pattern features wonky improv blocks that are just fun & carefree. Then it combines that creative process with structure and precision as you add the sashing between the quilt blocks.

Homemade Emily Jane improv quilt pattern stash buster

Techniques in the Stratus Quilt Pattern

The Stratus pattern includes comprehensive step-by-step instructions filled with lots of diagrams to make an Ombre improv quilt, or a scrappy version. I encourage you to use up fabric scraps and make a scrappy version of the Stratus pattern.

The scrappy, scattered version is a great way to use up fabrics in your stash! You can keep it monochromatic, or pick from a variety of colors for a fun color palette!

scrappy scattered improv baby quilt - modern neutral Stratus Quilt

Recommended Tools for Making the Stratus Quilt Pattern

The Stratus quilt pattern is an improv-based pattern that is great for beginners, and you can use just the basic quilting tools to make this pattern.

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.

Ombre wonky strips quilt by Homemade Emily Jane

Using Pre-cuts for Making a Scrappy Stratus Quilt

If you have been quilting for a little while, there’s a good chance you may have impulse purchased some pre-cut fabrics! If I’m right about that, this pattern is a great way to show off those fabric collections that you fell in love with. You can make the Stratus quilt Fat Quarters, or even 2.5″ strips of fabric. See the full fabric requirements on the pattern to see if you have what you need on hand.

monochromatic green scrappy Stratus Quilt using Riley Blake Basics

Inspiration behind the Stratus Quilt Pattern

The Stratus quilt pattern was actually born out of a desire to use up scraps from one of my previous quilt patterns – funny how that works out!! I originally designed it as an easy & mindless way to use scraps. I knew I wanted it to be care-free and fast, but I also wanted it to mix the fun, wonky strips with a bit of structure, like the sashing!

Once I got the design into my computer software and created a coloring sheet, I played with colors in the ReColor App, and that’s where the Ombre version came to life! Once I colored it ombre, I just knew I had to include the Ombre instructions in the pattern too!

Ombre Blue Stratus Quilt in throw size

Pattern Tester Stratus Quilt Variations

I had a few wonderful quilt pattern testers for the Stratus quilt and I’m so excited to show you their versions!

First off, this burnt orange baby quilt was made by Stephanie from @OctoberintheWild. I love the way she used a low volume for the sashing to add some extra fun! The quilting was done by @redwillowquilts, and isn’t it just perfect?!

scrappy baby Stratus Quilt, low volume sashing on the improv Stratus Quilt Pattern
scrappy baby Stratus Quilt

My pattern tester Laura from @sharingseams made this amazing blue and green ombre version from a Michael Miller fat quarter bundle! I love how the colors come together and really pop!

Ombre Stratus quilt

Ashley from @whalingcityquiltco really made this baby size Stratus Quilt fun with some jungle and tropical animal print fabrics! I’m a little obsessed with this fun quilt and I absolutely love the way the fabrics are a combination of solid, blenders, and prints!

jungle theme baby quilt wonky strips improv quilting
Baby size Stratus Quilt made by Ashley

Additional Versions for more Quilty Inspiration

I’ve personally made a few different Stratus quilts, and will include more details about each of them up on my blog. Check them out at the links below as they get posted:

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