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Beginner Quilt Block Patterns and Units

Master these and you CAN piece anything!

Beginner Quilt Block Pattern Lessons

This handful of quilt block patterns forms the basis for probably 95% of all pieced blocks you'll ever make.

When you can piece these accurately, your finished quilt blocks are going to be a dream to work with. No more tweaking 'cause it's off just a wee bit.

All can be rotary cut and traditionally pieced. Some have quick piecing techniques. Still others are easily paper pieced. Even a few use specialty rulers for all you gadget-gals!

Each technique includes a list of pros and cons to help you choose the best one for your next quilting project.

The list consists of:

Each quilt block patterns page has cutting charts for several sizes, free, downloadable paper piecing patterns (if applicable), tips for easier piecing and instructions for cutting with directional fabrics.

Where you see a 'Download' title, please feel free to download and print these materials. Keep them close to you in your sewing room. Click here for help or troubleshooting when downloading.

The information is provided for your own personal use

Can you share it with friends?

I'd prefer that you send them back to this website for them to print their own copy. Providing this free information is my way of thanking you for visiting...and hopefully visiting often to see all the new things that are added. It'd be wonderful if your friends found it, too.

If you are a guild member and would like to include some of the downloads in your newsletter, please click here to contact me directly.

Top Tips for Perfect Patchwork

As you begin these quilt block patterns, here are my top tips for better pieced results.

  1. Slow down. Resist the temptation to stitch as fast as you can. You have more control at slower speeds. More control means less ripping.
  2. Stitch an good 1/4" seam. Take the time to do a sewing test to check that your settings yield spot-on results. Click here to learn how to check your seam allowances with a quick sewing test.
  3. Cut accurately. Make sure to cut exactly next to the ruler for accurately sized patches.
  4. Starch your fabric. Yes, I know it's an extra step. But you cut, stitch and press all more accurately with starched fabrics. (Just remember to wash the starch out at the end of your project.)
  5. Press as you go. Click here to learn this super simple pressing secret for flatter blocks than you ever dreamed possible...and it works for paper piecing, too!
  6. Practice. There is nothing like practice to build confidence. There is nothing better than feeling confident in your abilities.

Let's get started!

The Building Blocks

If a particular technique isn't underlined (indicating an active link to that page) it is in the process of being written and photographed.

Please feel free to bookmark this page and return as they are completed. As the individual techniques are uploaded that information is published on the Generations Quilt Patterns Facebook page.

Rail Fence Quilt Block

This easy quilt block pattern is simply strips of fabric sewn together into strip sets. These strip sets are, in turn, sub-cut into blocks. The technique for this block is used again for both four- and nine-patch quilt blocks.

Once you've mastered the sewing test for your seam allowance setting, you're ready for the Rail Fence!

The Techniques

#1: Strip Piecing

#2: Traditional Piecing

Half Square Triangle

Made from right angle or 90 degree triangles; the bias edge is the long one opposite the 90 degree angle. The two short edges are on the straight of grain.

These units can be pieced in a multitude of ways.

It also makes a good alternate block to reduce the total amount of piecing in your quilt designs.

The Techniques

#1: Sandwich or Quick Pieced

#2: Make one plus a bonus

#3: No mark, 4 at a time

#4: Fast and easy, 8 at a time

#5: Specialty rulers

#6: Triangle paper

#7: More triangle paper options

Quarter Square Triangles

Another 90 degree right triangle, except this time the long edge opposite the right or 90 degree angle is on the straight of grain. The short edges are on the bias.

This block can be pieced with two, three or four fabrics for more versatility.

The Techniques

#1: Rotary Cut Patches

#2: Sandwich or Quick Piecing Method

#3: Quarter Square Triangle Ruler

#4: 3-Patch Quarter Square Triangles

Four Patches

A common unit within blocks or a block in its own right, the Four Patch adds directional movement to your quilt design.

A perfect block for beginners to hone their seam allowance accuracy on!

The Techniques

#1: Rotary cut patches

#2: Strip piecing

Nine Patches

Versatile for both scrappy and planned color placement, this block can be used on its own or alternated with others to form interesting chains through your quilt pattern.

The Birthday Quilt is one of my most favorite Nine Patch quilt pattern.

The Techniques

#1: Strip Piecing & Rotary Cut Patches

#2: Two from 2 Squares: A Positive/A Negative

#3: You CAN Strip Piece a Single Nine Patch

Flying Geese

Used most often as units within a block or for sashing and borders, Flying Geese add movement to a patchwork design.

The Techniques

#1: Rotary cut patches

#2: Connector Corners

#3: No waste - four at a time

#4: 3D or One Seam

#5: Paper Piecing

#6: Specialty Rulers

Square in a Square

Whether its set edge to edge in a simple design layout or part of another design, the Square in a Square is a terrific place to show off a focus fabric or machine embroidery.

Also known as the Diamond in a Square block.

The Techniques

#1: Connector Corners

#2: Paper Piecing

#3: Rotary Cut Patches

Triangles in a Square

While not as common as the other units, this one shows up time and again within blocks. Used alternately with block with HSTs on their outside edge, it forms the optical illusion of curves.

The Techniques

#1: Paper Piecing

#2: Specialty Rulers

After you've mastered these quilt block patterns...

Link to Free Quilt Block Patterns Library're ready for bigger challenges.

Visit our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library to see our ever-growing selection of patterns for your personal use.

If you're in need of inspiration, visit our Quilt Design Library which shows a variety of block patterns and layouts to help spark your own creativity!

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Fold-N-Stitch Wreath pattern
Fold-N-Stitch Wreath
by Poorhouse Quilt Design

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by Lori Holt

Gypsy Wife
by Jen Kingwell


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