Antique Tile Quilt Block

Simple doesn't have to mean boring!

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The Antique Tile quilt block is truly a simple beginner friendly design. But simple doesn't have to mean boring...

..and I'll show you how!

You'll hone your strip piecing skills—skills that'll have you whipping up this little gem in no time.

On this page you'll learn how to make this patchwork design as either a 6", 9" or 12" finished block.

After you've followed the step-by-step instructions, then hop on over to the next page to check out a terrific way to set the blocks.

Keeping it all beginner friendly, there you'll see how a simple sashing strip completely transforms the design—blurring the block's edges and fooling the eyes.

Your friends will be calling you 'The Quilting Houdini'!

Let's get started with our Antique Tile quilt block.

General Instructions

A couple of common abbreviations are used throughout the tutorial:

  • SA - seam allowance
  • RST - right sides together

When you see Patch Numbers written like this—#3/#4—that slash in between means those patches are already sewn together.

All SA are 1/4". Pressing directions are included in each step—not all the SA are pressed to the dark.

I use a presser foot with a flange or guide on the right-hand side for my 1/4" seams.

Quarter inch presser foot with a guideMy favorite 1/4" foot

That, in combination with starched quilt fabric, is my sure-fire way to ensure a perfect seam.

Check out my favorite pressing technique for super-flat patchwork.

If you've never tried it, it'll be one of those V8-head-thunk moments.


2021 Showcase Fabrics ~ Get ready to drool!

Click any of the images below to see the full collection, individual fabrics and find pricing/ordering information.

Check out ALL the current Fabric lines showcased on this site in one place.

Step 1: Choosing/cutting fabrics for an Antique Tile block

Antique Tile quilt block designAntique Tile quilt block design

Sample Size: 6" finished / 6½" unfinished

Grid: 6x6

Design Type: Even 9-patch

Attributed to: Nancy Cabot

Choose light, medium and dark fabrics with good contrast so that the patchwork design shows up.

Trust your eyes.

If you're not sure if there's a difference in the values, then there isn't. Choose another fabric and try again.

The scale of the dark red print chosen for this 6" finished sample block works well in the 1-1/2" wide cut strips. As they should, the strips all look like they are cut from the same fabric.  

Chose your finished size from the chart below and cut your patches.

Antique Tile quilt block cutting chart

These are the labelled patches. It's time to sew!

Patches are cut for the block

Step 2: Create the units for your Antique Tile block

To minimize jumping up and down to your iron, we'll complete all the strip piecing first.

With RST, sew strips #2 and #3 together along the long edge.

Stitch strip #2 to #3That little purple scrap behind the needle is my 'spider'. The first stitch onto the patches is so much better when I use one.

...and then stitch the #4 and #5 together on the long side.

Stitching strips #4 and #5 togetherI've upgraded to a 'gold' 1/4" foot~pretty snazzy, eh?

Press both strip sets.

First in the closed position to meld the fibers of the thread into the SA. Then press toward the #2 light fabric (yes, the lighter fabric this time, you'll see why a bit later) and the #5 dark fabric in the respective pairs.

Straighten one short edge of each stripset. Align a line on your ruler with the seam line between the patches and trim off a slight bit (a scant quarter inch is way more than enough).

Don't worry. The patches are over-sized so there's room to do this.


Make 4

Rail Fence units for the sides

To complete the side patches, all that's left to do is subcut the stripset.

Before cutting use the chart below to check that your stripset is the correct width. Make any necessary adjustments.

Then cut 4 units from it, again using the chart below. (If you forgot to straighten a short edge, please do so now before making a single cut.)

Subcutting #2/#3 Stripset
Block Size
Strip Width after stitching SubCut Width
6" 2½" 2½"
9" 3½" 3½"
12" 4½" 4½"

Here they are ready to sew into the block. Put them aside for now.

Side units are finishedThere'll be about an inch of scrap leftover from cutting.


Make 4

Pieced corner unit

To complete the corners, start by subcutting the #4/#5 stripset into units.

First use the chart below to check that the sewn strips are the correct width.

Then subcut four equal units from it. (If you forgot to straighten a short edge, please do so now before subcutting.)

Subcutting #4/#5 Stripset
Block Size
Strip Width after stitching SubCut Width
6" 2½" 1½"
9" 3½" 2"
12" 4½" 2½"

These are the patches and leftovers.

Subcut the #4/#5 strip setYour scraps will total approximately 1 inch of fabric.
With RST, join the #6 rectangle to the #4/#5 patch. (The #4/#5 patch should be equal in size to #6.)

Sew #6 to #4/#5

To avoid 'flipping' the SA, sew with the #4/#5 on top as shown below. I prefer to sew with the edges of the SA pointing toward the presser foot (red arrow).

Sewing the corner units together

Press SA toward the #6 rectangle to reduce bulk.

Step 3: Assemble your Antique Tile quilt block

Arrange your patches into rows. The lighter fabric in each unit is closest to the center.

Remember when we pressed the SA of the #2/#3 strip towards the light #2? 

Now that seam will nest with the seam in the corner units to make matching those seam lines quick and easy. Pretty smart, right?!!

Patches laid out in rows ready for assembly

Stitch the units into rows. Pin if you like.

Sewing the units into rowsYes. Pins are my friends. Are they yours?

Press SA in the direction of the arrows. Your seams will nest which makes matching them so much easier.

Press the units in each rowPress the SA in the direction of the arrows.

Sew the rows together. Again, pin as needed.

This is your finished block.

Completed Antique Tile quilt blockThat sure was easy, wasn't it!

You've got to agree. Antique Tile is a pretty simple block to make. Pretty fast, too, with strip piecing.

This view is from the backside. You'll press those last two seams either in or out depending on how you set your blocks together in a quilt.

Antique Tile quilt block from the backThe final two seams are pressed out from the center. If they would be set in a quilt edge-to-edge, those seams should be pressed in so that they nest with adjoining blocks.

There couldn't possibly be anything really dazzling to do with it, could there?

I promise you...there IS!

To satisfy your curiosity, click here.

Click image to go to Free Quilt Block Patterns library

Share your work to inspire other Quilters!

If you use our tutorials to make your blocks and quilts, there are some easy ways to share your creations so other quilters (including me!) can enjoy the fruits of your labor:

  • On Instagram please tag your blocks and quilts with the hashtag #GenerationsQuiltPatterns.
  • Visit our Show n'Tell page on the website. Click here to share photos and tell your own story, just start typing at 'The name of your quilt is...'. If you'd prefer to submit more photos than the form allows, simply email them to me at

I love seeing your work!

Our readers do, too!

For even more blocks to make...

Click here to learn about my favorite quilt book resources that inspire my patchwork designs.

For you, are quilt block patterns like potato chips... can't have just one?!!

Check the amazing resources I rely on for the majority of the quilt block designs you see on this website. 

To see if they're worthy of spot in YOUR quilting library, read about them HERE.

NOTE: All the attribution and alternate names shared in the Free Quilt Block Patterns Library came from these four resources.

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