Raw Edge Strip Denim Quilt Block: Easy Quilt-As-You-Go

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If you’re looking for a super simple but great-looking denim quilt, I think you’ll love this quilt block!

As you guys know, my guilty pleasures are denim and fabric scraps, and this quilt block perfectly combines both of these materials.

This is perfect for using up long pieces of thin and skinny fabric.

This quilt-as-you-go method is simple and easy, and even someone without any quilting knowledge can make it!

Supply List

  • Denim Fabric cut from Old Jeans that won’t be worn again
  • Long strips of scrap fabric (can be scraps from other clothing or quilting scraps like I used)
  • Batting

How to Make Raw Edge Strip Denim Quilt Blocks

These quilt blocks are simple and quick to make and look really effective when you piece them together.

When you piece four together to make a larger square, they make an ‘X’ shape. I’m pretty partial to this type of quilt block and I’ve done something similar in my X Marks the Scrap Quilt.

I love their slightly rough look, which is due to the raw edges of the strips of fabric sewn on top of the denim to create each part of the ‘X’.

I also have another scrap denim tutorial that makes a diamond shape when you piece four squares together.

Step One: Cut Your Quilt Blocks

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

I made my denim block 7 inches square because that was the biggest square size I could get from the denim I was working with.

You can make your square any size you like.

I haven’t pieced these blocks together to make a full quilt yet, so I can’t tell you how many squares I’ll end up with, but you can make any number of blocks depending on how large you want your finished quilt to be.

These blocks work together in groups of four, so make sure you make a multiple of four.

You’ll also need to cut some quilt batting to the same size as your squares – cut just as many batting squares as you have denim squares.

Another side note: you don’t have to use denim as your background. You could use quilting cotton in a variety of colors, plain white, or any other scrap fabric you have to hand!

Step Two: Layer Your Fabric and Prepare Your Design

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

When I had all my squares cut, I sorted through all the long, thin pieces of scrap fabric I had in my stash.

You guys know I love to color block my quilts, so first up, I sorted all the scraps into various colors.

Once you’ve sorted your strips into colors, you can lay them on the denim squares to figure out which order you want to stitch the thin strips on.

I placed the batting on the bottom, placed the denim square on top, and then laid out the strips on top of the denim.

I used three strips for each square and ran them diagonally across each square.

At this point, I played around with the strips to see which order I wanted to sew them in. This is what I came up with for the white strips:

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Step Three: Sew The First Strip On

Place your first strip diagonally across your denim square.

This doesn’t need to be exactly perfect on each square, the beauty of this method is it’s supposed to look a little scrappy, raw edged, and rustic.

When you sew the first stitch line, leave a 1/4 inch from the raw edge of the first strip of fabric.

You can sew all the first diagonal strips onto every square before you move on to sewing the second strip.

This will save you heaps of time compared to sewing all three strips onto each block, one block at a time!

Top Tip To Speed Things Up!

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

I like to get things done quickly. You probably know that about me if you watch my YouTube videos!

I love finding techniques that cut corners and save me time, and this quilt was no exception.

To save time on sewing the strips, I like to sew any really long strips onto multiple blocks, one after the other, and just snip them apart once I’ve finished sewing.

Step Four: Sew On A Few More Stitch Lines/Quilting Lines

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

After I sewed the first strip of fabric onto all of my squares, I went back in and sewed a second line, roughly 1/4 inch away from the first line – you can choose the distance between stitch lines you like as long as it is enough to secure the strip in place.

Depending on the strips’ thickness, continue to sew a second and even a third or fourth line onto your fabric strips. Remember, you don’t need to do one block at a time.

Simply leave an inch or so of space when you reach the end of your first block, and then continue stitching right onto your next block.

You can separate the blocks after you’ve finished.

Step Five: Add The Next Strip

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Next up, I added the second thin strip of scrap fabric, slightly overlapping the first strip.

I sewed almost on top of the last line of sewing I did on the previous strip and then repeated step four (adding more lines of stitching) until all the blocks had a second strip of fabric attached with three or so lines of stitching.

Step Six: Add The Last Strip

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Next up, I added the last strip of fabric and continued to stitch straight lines all the way across, until I was around 1/4 inch from the edge of the fabric.

The edges of these strips will fray a little, especially after the quilt has been washed, but that is part of its charm!

Step Seven: Trim The Edges

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Using this method, sometimes the fabric moves slightly as it passes through the machine.

To be honest, it didn’t move all that much, so the only bits of trimming I did were to square off the strips with the edges of the square.

This quilt isn’t supposed to look absolutely perfect. I know that the fabric strips won’t line up exactly when I start piecing them together to make the larger X blocks, but again, I think that’s the beauty of it!

Step Eight: Piece Together Four Squares

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

The last step of this tutorial is to piece together four squares to create one large block.

Lay the two left pieces right side to right side. If I were to do that with the fabric you can see in the picture above, I would flip the bottom square up on top of the top square.

Then, sew across the bottom of the two squares where you want them to join. Repeat with the squares on the right so that it looks like this:

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Now it’s time to make the last join. Put the two pieces of fabric right side to right side once again and sew down the side, leaving a 1/4 inch seam.

For interest, if you have loads of scrap denim to use up, check out my denim placemats!

Finished Raw Edge Quilt Block

My original plan was to have various color strips, but now that I’ve pieced together the first four squares to make the ‘X’ design I was going for, I quite like the look of it and might just go for white strips on denim for the whole quilt.

What do you think? Should I make the quilt out of different colors or all white?

Photo: Scrap Fabric Love
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Video Tutorial for Denim Quilt Block

If you’re more of a visual learner, I have a whole YouTube channel where I show all my quilts and quilting techniques. You can watch the tutorial for this quilt block here:

Other Quilt Blocks You Might Like: