The square in a square quilt block can be a stand-alone quilt block or a unit in another quilt block. There are several different methods to make this basic building quilt block, but I prefer this method for its ease of cutting and sewing. With this method, there are some scraps, but you don’t need to handle bias edges on your finished square block, which can easily stretch your quilt block out of shape.
This quilt block is made from two fabrics. It has a center square that is surrounded by triangles to make a larger square. The center creates a focal point in the quilt block. You can use this center area to highlight a special fabric, even fussy cutting a design.
Popular with both beginners for how easy it is to put together, experienced quilters use this block as an element in intricate quilt designs. It is used in both traditional and modern quilt patterns.
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Here is a layout of the quilt block:
Determining how to cut your fabric is pretty easy. For the center fabric, cut a square the finished block size plus 1/2″ for seam allowances. For the corners, cut four (4) squares the finished block size divided by two (2), plus 1/2″ for seam allowances. Here is a fabric calculator for the fabric requirements:
Here is a step-by-step tutorial with photos to help you make this quilt block.
This block is used as a center in many traditional quilt blocks and as a building block for more complex quilt designs. It is a timeless block combined with other elements to create unique quilt layouts and patterns.
You can start your center block with a charm pack or layer cake square. A charm pack will make a finished 5-inch block, and a layer cake square will make a finished 10-inch block.
Tips and ideas for square in a square quilt blocks
- Sort through your scraps and small pieces and cut a variety of fabrics to make these blocks. Sew the seams as leaders or enders when you are quilting. The unfinished squares can be saved for future projects. This is a great way to use up your scraps.
- These blocks can be combined with other units to make different quilt blocks for baby quilts, throw quilts, lap quilts, and larger quilts.
- Use different fabrics for the center and corners. Make sure there is enough value difference in the colors that the center square pops. Have fun with different pieces of fabric and fun patterns.
- You could use small-scale prints for the corners and a large-scale print for the center. Use a novelty fabric for the center and fussy cut some elements to feature in the quilt block.
Here are a few square quilt block patterns that use the square in a square as the center block.
Indiana Puzzle is a nine-patch format quilt block with this featured block at the center, surrounded by half square triangles that shift their angles.
Browse through more free patterns on Create Whimsy.