Washi Tape Quilt Block


Hello, Moda Bake Shop readers! I’m Lisa Calle of Vintage Modern Quilts and I have a fun, easy tutorial to get you started sewing in the new year.  This improv quilt block sews up quickly and with ease. Make just few and you’ve got a stylish modern mini!

This quilt finishes at 20½” x 20½” (mini), 67″ x 86″ (twin), and 86″ x 95½” (queen). Fabric requirements are shown for the queen size version.



1 Layer Cake® {Ombré by V and Co.}
2 Bella Solids Layer Cakes® {9900LC-98} OR 6¼ yards Bella Solids in desired color
8½ yards backing fabric
¾ yards binding fabric



This quilt is pieced in an improvisational style so no two will turn out the same. Each block requires 2 to 3 washi strips. Follow the chart below to cut fabric for your desired size. The number of strips range from 2 per block to 3 per block. Eight strips can be cut from each layer cake. Unfinished strips measure 1¼” x 10″ (meaning that is the size strip to cut from the Layer Cake® square).

SIZE 20½” x 20½” 67″ x 86″ 86″ x 95½”
NO. OF BLOCKS 4 blocks

2 x 2 layout

63 blocks

7 x 9 layout

90 blocks

9 x 10 layout

NO. OF STRIPS 8 to 12 126 to 189 180 to 270
NO. OF LAYER CAKES* 4 to 6* 16 to 24 23 to 34
BKGD FABRIC ½ yard 4½ yards 6¼ yards

*A Layer Cake® measures 10″ square; (8) 1¼” wide strips can be cut from each one.

**The mini version can be made with just one Layer Cake® square. Using more Layer Cake® squares will produce a more colorful quilt.

Cut the number of desired washi tape strips.

Make an angled cut on background Layer Cake®.


Sew a washi tape strip between the cut pieces. Be sure to visually align the background pieces as you are sewing them to the washi tape strip as it’s very easy to sew a triangle on backwards. Lightly starch and press to the darker fabric. Repeat the process of adding washi tape strips as desired.

TIP: Set a washi tape strip on the edge of your ruler when decided where to cut on the background fabric. This will help you see if you are trying to cut an area that is too long for the strip.


Square up each block to 10″. Repeat the process to make the desired number of blocks.


This quilt finishes at 20½” x 20½” (mini), 67″ x 86″ (twin), and 86″ x 95½” (queen).



Lisa Calle

36 comments on “Washi Tape Quilt Block

  1. Rosemaryflower says:

    Oh this looks great fun. I would love to see a quilt top all made up.
    This would make a very cool table cloth or runner as well, or hey, maybe even a bed pillow cover.
    I like this block!!!
    thanks a lot for sharing

  2. cruisefan says:

    Sorry, I am not enthusiastic about this pattern.
    It is in my eyes nothing special, neither stylish nor modern, just “bla” – even for a beginner it will soon be boring.
    Lisa, you showed such nice patterns here; things I really like/enjoy and printed them for making “one day” when I have more time… but this one is nothing to write home about.
    Nevertheless – thanks for all the other patterns you shared with us – I wish you all the best for 2016.

    • Lisa Calle says:

      Hi there! You may not know this but I am the editor here at the Moda Bake Shop. That means I am responsible for all the content, including filling the gaps when Chefs can’t meet their deadlines. This was a last minute project and I spent all morning working on it while chasing my two toddlers around. Creativity under duress, you might call it! I can certainly understand if these or other posts here are not to your taste. There’s a little something for everyone on the Moda Bake Shop and I am proud of these blocks. To be honest, I am proud of everything that gets posted on the Moda Bake Shop because I know the ladies and gentleman who share their patterns put a lot of heart and hard work into their designs. Since it started in 2009, the Moda Bake Shop has been a kind and happy community of fabric and sewing obsessed people. I hope that you will continue to visit and help us keep this space friendly and welcoming.

      • Jean Jankovich says:

        Lisa, I love your version of a modern block and will be giving it a try. There are endless possibilities of what can be made with a 10″‘square–sometimes just a touch of color is all that a quilter wants so that they can have fun with doing some quilt doodling– wouldn’t the combo be great for your block? Thanks for your inspiration- happy quilting!

      • Michelle says:

        Lisa I want to compliment you on a gracious reply. I greatly appreciate the time and effort that goes into each and every ‘recipe’ on the site. We are unique individuals and the variety of projects, techniques, and skill levels means most of us will find projects that appeal.

        Me I like this simple block. I have a FQ bundle that has been beckoning me. I can see this block done up with a black background in my future.

        It is very generous of Moda and the various designers to share their patterns with us. I understand that you are promoting Moda products, but the lack of advertising is quite refreshing.

  3. Karen Matta says:

    I just don’t like modern quilts. Too much white space and too little piecing work. This one is not at all to my taste, but each to his own.

  4. Yummy Tango Shoes says:

    I’m learning to sew and would love to quilt. I’d love to try your pattern! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Robin says:

    Love this one Lisa. So nice to see a design with lots of open space for quilting and texture.
    Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Aunt Fran says:

    This would be a very interesting way to introduce a touch of color into a white room! Very nice.

  7. Kate says:

    I’m surprised to see negative comments in response to a free pattern like this! I really like this block and can imagine it would look very effective as a larger quilt. Frankly, there are a lot of free patterns on the Internet that don’t appeal to my taste but complaining about it seems a strange thing to do when quilting is such a diverse hobby – there’s something for everybody! Thanks for the cool free pattern, Lisa!

  8. blg2240 says:

    Whatever do you do with all of your spare time? Hope you know I’m kidding. The Moda Bake Shop is one of my favorite places to visit. Moda fabric is one of my favorites and with the patterns from all of the talented designers as “chefs” how can I go wrong? My collection of layer cakes cries out for projects and while I’m not usually inspired by the modern look, I really like the clean lines of your pattern. Many thanks for all that you do, for the Bake Shop, for the fabric, and most of all for the happiest site on the ‘net.

  9. Lisa – thanks for this simple and modern block. I’m envisioning adding a mod applique flower (offset of course) to bring the simple piecing (my style) even more my style with the added applique. Since piecing is not my trick – this is perfect for me <3 The bonus with this block is TONS of white space for Free Motion Quilting. Happy New Year and thanks again!

    • Annie F says:

      I agree with you ! I see this white space as an opportunity to be a little creative with embroidery , embellishments, appliqué, etc. the beginning quilter needs this type of project as well as a more advanced artist.

  10. Jill says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I have been working on a lot of quilt backs lately, & this would be so fun to use the leftover scraps from the front.

  11. Pat T. says:

    Thank you, Lisa, for all you do!
    And, thank you for sharing this modern block!
    (I’d like to use a variation of it for a baby quilt… perhaps a solid medium blue background, and colorful solids for the strips???… It will be my “pick-up-sticks” baby quilt???!)
    I really like Jill’s idea (previous comment) of using this on the back of a quilt, using leftover fabrics from the quilt front, too!
    *Thank you, Lisa, for the inspiration!*
    Pat T.
    in Michigan

  12. Erin says:

    I like the solid tape! I am gonna mix them with some tiny prints like the fun patterns on washi tape!

  13. MARILYN R. says:

    I love this. I’m tho long about using black as my background and at 3 strips in each block.

  14. RobinSue says:

    What a fun block and a great way to use scrap strips, both solid and print. Thanks for the inspiration.

  15. Sarah says:

    Very fun idea for those of us familiar with washi tape. In your editorial capacity, think that you should feel free to just delete the hostile comments, unless these add something to the conversation. It isn’t really an issue of free speech in this context and gratuitous negativity does bring down the tone.

  16. JulieAnn says:

    Lisa, thanks so much for the tutorial. Wouldn’t it make a cute toddler I Spy quilt? Lots of ideas. What I love so much about the quilting community is that on the majority it is made up of positive, generous and supportive quilters.

  17. Marta says:

    Really like this block. It will be the first new project in The New Year. I just have to decide If I am going to use scraps or marbles or solids.

  18. Becky says:

    What is a Washi strip? I don’t see it listed in the ingredients either.

  19. Wendy Coffin says:

    Lisa, this is a clever idea for ombre strips that you came up with. I think it would hold the interest of beginners, each block is an impromptu surprise. It reminds me a bit of confetti on snow, so very appropriate for New Years! I may have to try it & give it a confetti name!
    Wendy in NH

  20. Melanie C says:

    I love this block…especially that it uses a layer cake…my favorite to collect :). I’m so excited for the ombre fabric to be available!

  21. loosecannon2 says:

    Lisa, Do not be discouraged with the negatives that may appear now & then. Those of us with an imagination can think of many different ways to use this very beautiful block by adding our own designs if we want or to simply quilt it as it is to give that special room a glow with the whiteness.

    Since recovering from the cancers I crave “White” in everything as several of my fellow cancer survivors do—Odd, yes we know. I am in the process of repainting my bedroom/bath walls a white & this pattern used as throw pillows, a lap quilt which I continue to use for the afternoon rests, or a nice bed quilt under which to snuggle & to give thanks once again for my survival.

    I do not understand someone complaining about others work–for Goodness Sake, Life is Short—get a life!

  22. cruisefan says:

    Thanks for leaving my , what some of you readers call “negative” comment, in here, Lisa.
    Of course I know that you are the editor. I also can understand the stress of creating a pattern with two little ones running around.
    And I find it nice that free speech is still available here!

    As I wrote before I really like other patterns from Lisa, as well as I like a LOT of the patterns here in the Moda Bake Shop, just this one is not my taste.
    I know I am not alone with my opinion, see Karen Matta’s comment.
    Maybe others just don’t dare to write about it?

    Nevertheless, you go and enjoy this one and I will enjoy another one. Okay?

  23. Ioleen says:

    I would use a navy blue background or a grey instead of the white. There is a number of ways to use this pattern. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Linda K says:

    I’m hoping that the trend to make negative comments for the sake of “free speech” doesn’t continue to invade sites like this that inspire our creativity. I check the Moda Bake Shop often to see what’s new and, best of all, free. I have actually made blocks similar to this with my scrap batiks and found it to be a fun and challenging thing to do and was very happy with the results. Thanks for providing this service to your followers!

  25. Chris Teague says:

    Thank you for posting this tutorial on using pre-cuts and strips to make a unique unstructured quilt… The loosely-created, yet carefully constructed blocks can teach the quilter how to improvise and still maintain high integrity in the final modern finish quilt top. I’d love to see your finished piece and will happily wait until you post it. Take all the time you want……

  26. kathy mc says:

    Great idea and would love to try this! I did some research on what a washi strip was and wonder if you could give your version of how to make them. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Cat says:

    I think this would look really good in black with bright rainbow coloured strips. Love the block, simple but effective, thankyou.

  28. NanaV says:

    Great modern idea that can be adapted to many fabric choices : print ground w/solid striping, dark solid ground with print striping… like all great patterns, this is a wonderful launching point!
    Thanks for shari nag it at such a busy, lovely time.

  29. eleanor says:

    Hi Lisa, I tried making some improv slicing blocks over Christmas this year, new to me technique. I thought it would be so easy but as soon as you cut to add a second strip to the block to make an X the first stripe gets offline when you go to sew them back together. I decided to look into how to make dealing with this easier and remember seeing this tutorial going around. I was really hoping that you would have gone over this. Like in the last photo, how did you keep the pink strip lined up when you added the dark blue strip? I hope that question made sense and that this is something that could be discussed on Moda Bake Shop in the future. I think the block is cute but I feel like we are left hanging a bit.

  30. Brenda says:

    what is a washi strip? you talk about sewing then into the squares but where did they come from? is that the binding?

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