Scott Murkin introduced the strata technique of quilt block construction in an article titled “Strata Quilts: Layer Upon Layer” in the May 2008 issue of American Quilter magazine.

Ocean Strata

I experimented and used the method several times.

It starts with squares of fabric. Layer cakes (15”) work well.

Begin by stacking two squares together. Use a rotary cutter to cut a curve from near the lower right corner to the upper left corner (or vice versa). Swap the left halves and stitch the curved seam to make 2 new squares.

Repeat with another pair of squares.

You now have 4 squares with a curved seam from one corner to the other.

Take 2 unrelated squares and cut another curved seam somewhere outside the first seam. The seams may cross if you wish.

Repeat as often as you like. When you finish, you will need to trim the final squares into a uniform size before constructing your quilt.

In the example above, the middle and bottom blocks clearly show the first cut and swap, with the bright print and the purple squiggle.

For the Gift of Prometheus I used a limited palette, with duplicates to put together the original 25 squares.

Gift of Prometheus

For Neptune’s Realm, I made my curved cuts in a more horizontal plane, rather than corner to corner. It did result in a more restful effect.

Neptune’s Realm