Broken Sugar Bowl Quilt Block

From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

This post contains affiliate links.

Broken Sugar Bowl quilt block tutorial

Skill Level: Beginner

Grid: 6x6

The Broken Sugar Bowl quilt block is another variation in the Jacob's Ladder block family.

Not quite the block you were looking for? Click here to go the other Jacob's Ladder variations and links to those patterns.

Let's make our Broken Sugar Bowl!

Save quilting $$$$$

Building your stash?

If so, check out the Fat Quarter Shop's March Basic of the Month sale.

This month it's Windham's newest line of basics, Bedrock from Whistler Studios. 20% off is a sweet deal. Click here for savings.

General Instructions

Several abbreviations are used on this page:

  • SA - seam allowance
  • HST - half square triangle
  • RST - right sides together

All SA are 1/4" unless otherwise noted.

Step 1: Cutting

Broken Sugar Bowl quilt block design

Choose a medium and dark fabric with enough contrast so that the individual pieces are clearly differentiated.

I prefer to cut over-sized patches for my half square triangles, then sew the unit and trim to the correct dimensions.

In this tutorial for the 6" finished sample block, I cut my #2 and #3 patches 3-1/8" x 3-1/8" instead of the 2-7/8" x 2-7/8" listed in the chart below—adding 1/4" to each dimension—for specifically that reason.

If you'd like to cut your HST patches oversized, they are marked with ** below.

Generations Quilt Patterns logo

Cutting Chart for a
Broken Sugar Bowl Quilt Block

~ Traditional Piecing ~

Patch Fabric Qty Finished Block Size
1 Dark 2 2½" x 2½" 3½" x 3½" 4½" x 4½"
2* Medium 2 2⅞" x 2⅞" 3⅞" x 3⅞" 4⅞" x 4⅞"
3* Background 2 2⅞" x 2⅞" 3⅞" x 3⅞" 4⅞" x 4⅞"
4 Dark 1 1½" x 7” 2” x 9” 2½" x 11”
5 Background 1 1½" x 7” 2” x 9” 2½" x 11”
6 Background 2 1½" x 1½" 2” x 2" 2½" x 2½"
7 Medium 2 1½" x 1½" 2” x 2" 2½" x 2½"
Unfinished Block Size 6½" 9½" 12½"
Grid Size 1” 1½" 2”

Step 2: Create the Broken Sugar Bowl units

Half Square Triangles (HST)

Make 4

Broken Sugar Bowl - HST units

We'll use the Quick Pieced Method for making these HSTs.

Draw a diagonal line on the back of both #3 background squares.

Stitch a 1/4" from both sides of this drawn line.

Stitch on both sides of the line to create the HST units

After stitching, give the pairs a quick press as they were sewn and then cut them in half on the drawn line.

Cut each pair of squares in half on the drawn line

Press the four HST open with the SA to the dark.

Trim the HSTs

Find your Finished Block Size in the chart below and trim your HST as directed. If you cut generously you'll be trimming more than if you cut the patches the exactly as listed in the Cutting Chart.

Block Size
Trim HST to...
6” 2-1/2”
9” 3-1/2”
12” 4-1/2”

Four Patches

Make 1

Make 2

With RST, sew the #4 and #5 strip together along the long edge.

The SA is pressed to the dark.

Find your Finished Block Size in the chart below.

Verify that your strip set measures true to the corresponding width. Subcut the stripset into four equal units the 'Subcut Width'.

Block Size
Stripset Width
after Stitching
6” 2-1/2” 1-1/2”
9” 3-1/2” 2”
12” 4-1/2” 2-1/2”

With RST stitch a #6 to a #7 square. Repeat for a total of two.

Press the SA toward the darker fabric.

Arrange the pairs as shown below.

With RST, sew each pair together. The SA can be pressed to one side or 'twirled'.

These are our finished four patches.

The finished four patches

Step 3: Assemble the Broken Sugar Bowl quilt block

Arrange all the units into rows as shown below. The dark #1(large) and #4(small) squares are in the outside corners.

Arrange the patches into rows

With RST, stitch the units in each row together. Take a quick peek and flip open the patches right before sewing them. It's real easy to mix them up at the sewing machine. When you're sure they're in the proper position, stitch.

Sew the units into rowsPress the SA away from the HST.

With RST, stitch the rows together. I pin to keep the points of the HST matching up where they should be.

And this is the finished Broken Sugar Bowl quilt block!

More Jacob's Ladder variations...

The Broken Sugar Bowl quilt block is one of a number of Jacob's Ladder block variations. There are instructions on this site for many more—both 9-patch and four-patch variations—in several sizes.

Simply click any of the images below to go directly to those block instructions.

Buckeye Beauty quilt block tutorial Hovering Hawks quilt block tutorial Jacob's Ladder quilt block tutorial Rocky Road to California quilt block tutorial Wagon Tracks quilt block tutorial

For design inspiration, click here to go to our Jacob's Ladder quilt pattern ideas page.

Link to Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

For even more blocks to make...

Maggie Malone's 5500 Quilt Block Designs is my all-time favorite!

  1. Home
  2.  ›
  3. Quilt Block Library
  4.  ›
  5. Broken Sugar Bowl Block

Share Your Comments, Tips and Ideas

Top 10 Blocks on this Site

Pattern of the Week

"Evening Lily"

by Jinny Beyer

Evening Lily by Jinny Beyer, pattern or pattern plus kit available from Keepsake Quilting
Available as a pattern or as a pattern plus fabric kit from Keepsake Quilting.

Quilt patterns, books and kits to tempt you...

Click any of the images or links below...

More from Elizabeth

More from Edyta

More from Jen

More from Lori

More Sassafras Lane

Subscribe... STASH Talk,
our free newsletter.
Simply complete
the form below...

E-mail Address
First Name

Don't worry...
Your e-mail address is
totally secure.

I promise to use it
only to send you
Stash Talk.

Help your quilting $$$ go further...