Roman Stripes, an Easy Scrap Quilt Block Pattern

  • 01 of 03

    Sew Roman Stripes Quilt Blocks

    Roman Stripes Quilt Block Pattern
    Janet Wickell

    Here's a quilt block pattern for Roman Stripes, a design that's been known by several names. The Roman Stripes quilt block works nicely in many types of quilt layouts and is the perfect choice for a scrap quilt created from columns or rows of strippy-set blocks.

    Roman Stripes was the eighth block used in the ​Backwards Medallion Sampler Quilt project.

    Finished Block Size: 6" x 6"

    Roman Stripes Cutting Instructions - One Quilt Block

    • (24) scraps that will work with your layout, each 1-1/4" tall and slightly more than 2" wide
    • (4) accent bars, each 7/8" x 6-1/2"

    Note: the block you'll sew has 8 scrappy patches in each of its columns, not 9 as shown above.

    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    Assemble the Roman Stripes Quilt Block

    Roman Stripes Quilt Block
    © Janet Wickell

    Use a calibrated quarter inch seam allowance for all steps.

    1. Arrange your narrow bars and the assorted patches into vertical rows as shown in the illustration, top. Each patchwork column is created with eight of the small patches.
    2. Rearrange the small patchwork rectangles until you are happy with the layout.
    3. Sew the pieces in one patchwork column together, matching long edges carefully and matching short edges along one side (your patches may differ slightly in width).
    4. Press to set each seam before pressing seam allowances either direction.
    5. The patchwork column should measure 6-1/2" tall. If it is shorter, press again (carefully, avoiding stretch) to 'release' any bits of the seam allowance.
    6. Using your rotary ruler, square up the sides of the column, making the column exactly 2" wide. Do not remove fabric from the column's top and bottom.
    7. Repeat to assemble the remaining two columns.
    8. Sew components of all columns together, matching edges carefully. Press seam allowances away from the narrow bars. The Roman Stripes quilt block should measure 6-1/2" x 6-1/2".

    If you prefer to avoid the trimming step, cut each of the 24 pieces exactly 1-1/4" x 2" and match all edges carefully when sewing the columns.

    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    How to Make Strip Pieced Roman Stripes Quilt Blocks

    Strip Pieced Quilt Blocks
    © Janet Wickell

    It's easy to strip piece a batch of Roman Stripes quilt blocks. Follow the instructions below to create groups of 20 blocks that finish at either 6" square or 12" square.

    Strip sets each contain four strips of fabric -- they could be assembled with eight, but using four makes it easier to mix the segments around to create a scrappy looking quilt. Another plus: sets with fewer fabric strips are sometimes easier to sew and handle.

    If your quilt is orderly, and you find it is easier to arrange all strips together, sew eight strips side by side, rather than four.

    Beginning quilters should learn how to rotary cut long strips of fabric before beginning.

    Make Twenty 6" Roman Square Quilt Blocks

    • Cut (24) 1-1/4" wide strips of fabric across the entire crosswise grain... in other words, from selvage to selvage. Use 24 different fabrics for a very scrappy look, or repeat some fabrics.
    • Cut (80) 7/8" x 6-1/2" accent bars.

    Make Twenty 12" Roman Square Quilt Blocks

    • Cut (24) 2" wide strips of fabric across the entire crosswise grain... in other words, from selvage to selvage. Use 24 different fabrics for a very scrappy look, or repeat some fabrics.
    • Cut (24) 2" x 29" strips of fabric (can match the 24 above, or be different fabrics for a scrappier quilt)
    • Cut (80) 1-1/4" x 12-1/2" accent bars

    Sew the Strip Sets

    1. Choose four matching-length fabrics. Sew the fabrics together lengthwise and press seam allowances either direction. Avoid sewing a distorted strip set by adding each new strip starting at the end of the seam you just completed. See Strip Piecing Tips for Quilters for more information.
    2. Square up one end of the strip set and cut as many segments from it as possible, top illustration.
      • 2" segments for 6-inch quilt blocks, OR
      • 3-1/2" segments for 12-inch quilt blocks
    3. Make additional 4-fabric strip sets from matching-length fabrics. Cut a total of 120 segments for 20 quilt blocks.
    4. Arrange six segments into three columns as shown, bottom illustration. Sew segments in each column together to create 8-strip sections. Press new seam allowances either direction.
    5. Finish block by sewing narrow accent strips to columns as shown on page 2.
    6. The small quilt block should measure 6-1/2" x 6-1/2"; the large block should measure 12-1/2" x 12-1/2".
    7. Continue sewing to create a total of 20 quilt blocks.

    If your blocks are skewed or not the correct size, try one of my easy methods to square up quilt blocks.

    Preview the Blocks

    It's helpful to use a design wall (which can be as simple as a length of flannel tacked to a wall, or a piece of styrofoam insulation) to preview block layouts before sewing.