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These 5-inch quilt block patterns finish at 5-inches with an unfinished measurement of 5-1/2".
That means those 5-inch charm squares you've got stashed will not work as alternate squares. To use them that way, you'll need to check out our 4 1/2" quilt block patterns page. :)
All of the block patterns presented one can be drawn on one of the four grids below.
Think of a grid like graph paper.
After drafting your block on a grid, assign different measurements to change the block size, i.e. one square equals 1" or one square equals 1-1/2", etc.
To see this in action, simply look at the bottom of any cutting charts in any tutorial. There you'll see the size assigned that's assigned to a grid square and the resulting finished block size.
Now wait just a cotton-picking' minute! 5-inch finished quilt block patterns drawn on a 4x4 grid?
Yep. I, too, had a momentary WTH-moment as I pulled block patterns for this section.
But remember, we're looking for rotary-cutter friendly measurements. That means anything that's a whole inch or ends in 1/4", 1/2" or 3/4".
5" ÷ 4 grid units = 1-1/4"
For this section each grid square is 1-1/4". :)
So yes, it is indeed possible to have a 5 inch finished block whose design is drawn on a 4x4 grid!
Use this 5-1/2" square Creative Grids ruler to square up all your 5-inch finished quilt blocks with ease.
Creative Grids rulers have the little grippy dots on the back side that slide across your fabric until you press down to cut. There are grippy edges, too. 1/4" on two sides, 1/2" on the other two sides. (The grippers show up rather gray in the photo above.)
For accurate measuring, remember to position the 1" markings in the upper corner (farthest away from you as you cut) of your dominant hand. If you're a rightie, that means the 1"s are in the upper right corner, if you're a leftie, in the upper left. :)
Pair this ruler with either a smaller mat (12"x18") or a rotating one (either 12" or 17" square) and you have the best of all trimming worlds—a ruler exactly the size you need and a turnable mat so you don't disturb the block as you're trimming.
The Go! 5-1/2" square die (5" finished, shown right here), #55803 is perfect for mass cutting 5-1/2" alternate squares to insert between your 5 inch finished quilt blocks.
The beauty of using an alternate square layout is that you need to piece half the blocks plus one.
That saves A LOT of sewing time!
If you choose to use these solid squares, remember to design a quilt with odd numbers of blocks in both the rows and columns in order for the design to be symmetrical. Your quilt will have either all pieced blocks in the corners or all solid cut squares.
You've decided on your quilt block and now you're ready to make a quilt.
It's important that it fits your bed the way you envision it.
There are downloadable charts on this website already for each bed size with blocks with finished sizes from 1-1/2" to 12" in 1/2" increments. You can find those downloads (by bed type) here.
I thought it'd ALSO be helpful to have a single chart (below) for 5-inch quilt block patterns that includes all the bed sizes.
Click here for your free downloadable copy. (There's room to 3-hole punch it, too.)
You'll see that it is colored green and labeled for 5-inch blocks so you won't confuse it with the charts sorted by bed size.