From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library
Skill Level: Beginner
The Buckeye Beauty quilt block is super fast and easy--just two half square triangles and two four patches and you're good to go!
Perfect for scrappy quilts because each block takes so little fabric. As always, scrap quilts are all about value. Keep your lights light and your darks dark to maintain the design.
For such a small block with so few pieces, it's hard to believe there are many other names, but here they are:
The underlined links above lead to other quilt patterns on this website.
When the units are flip-flopped they create the design (right) which goes by the name 'Hour Glass' or 'Jewel Box', as well as the other names listed just above.
What do you think?
Quilting instructions are included on this page for blocks in 5 different sizes.
Variations on the design are included at the end of this page.
Now let's start piecing this beauty!
Sample Block Size: 6"(6-1/2" unfinished)
Grid size: 3"
All seam allowances (SA) are 1/4".
When you are instructed to press, first press the pieced unit flat to set the seam. Then open the patches, pressing from the front. Seam allowances are pressed to the darker fabric unless otherwise noted.
The squares for the half square triangles (marked with **) are based on using the Quick Piecing technique.
I like to use over-sized squares, stitch the unit and then trim to an exact size.
Cutting Chart for a~Traditional Piecing ~
|Patch||Fabric||Qty||Finished Block Size|
|1**||L||2||2⅜" x 2⅜"||2⅞" x 2⅞"||3⅜" x 3⅜"||3⅞" x 3⅞"||4⅜" x 4⅜"|
|2**||D||2||2⅜" x 2⅜"||2⅞" x 2⅞"||3⅜" x 3⅜"||3⅞" x 3⅞"||4⅜" x 4⅜"|
|3||L||1||1¼" x 6"||1½" x 7"||1¾" x 8"||2" x 9"||2¼" x 10"|
|4||D||1||1¼" x 6"||1½" x 7"||1¾" x 8"||2" x 9"||2¼" x 10"|
|Unfinished Block Size||3½"||4½"||5½"||6½"||7½"|
| **I prefer to cut my patches extra large for HST, stitch, and then trim them to size. If you prefer to do the same, add a bit extra to the measurements for Patches #1 and #2 above. |
There is a chart further down in these instructions where you need it for trimming them to size.
And these are the cut patches.
Half Square Triangles
Using the Quick Piece technique for making half square triangle, draw a diagonal line on the back of one of your squares. I used a chalk pencil on this darker fabric.
With RST layer a #1 and #2 square and stitch a 1/4" from each side of the drawn line.
Cut on the line to create two HST units.
If you cut oversized patches, use the chart below to find the 'Trim HST to...' size. If you cut your patches exactly, use this same measurement to check for accuracy. Make any necessary adjustments.
For our 6" sample, I'll trim the HST to 3-1/2" square.
|Trim HST to…|
With RST, layer a #3 and #4 strip and stitch along the long edge to create a strip set.
After stitching, use the chart below to check that your strip set is the correct width.
Four Patch Measurements
|Stripset Width after stitching||SubCut Width||Four Patch Dimensions|
Now find the Subcut Width in the chart that corresponds to your finished block size.
Straighten one of the short edges with your rotary cutter and cut this strip set into four equal units. For our 6" sample that subcut is 2" wide.
Alternate the segments as shown below.
After stitching your four patches together, use the chart to check for accuracy. For our 6" sample they measure 3-1/2" square.
Lay out the units. Even though this is a simple quilt block, it is incredibly easy to flip the triangle squares. Unfortunately, we quilters never seem to notice until we've stitched a whole pile and are at the ironing board to press. ARGGGHHHH!!!!
Stitch the patches into rows. You can press in either direction, just be consistent so that your seams will nest for ease in matching the seams.
Sew the two rows into a block. I twirled the seam allowance to reduce bulk in the center of the block. (See the red circles in the photo below.)
Let's take a closer look at the twirled seam allowance (circled in red below) on our Buckeye Beauty.
You'll need to pick out a couple of the stitches holding the seam together starting at the edge of the seam up to the stitching that crosses it. (the red arrows point to where I left the threads.) Then you are able to maneuver it into position.
Instead of having the bulk of the seam all pressed to one side, it is now spread around the joined seam in a clockwise fashion. The green arrows show this rotation on this block.
Note that twirling the seam creates a little four patch on the back of the block.
This is your finished Buckeye Beauty quilt block. Pretty cute!
'Like the design, but need a bit more design opportunity within the block?
Then click here to go to our nine patch version of the Jacob's Ladder quilt block. It looks like two Buckeye Beauty's melded together.
Need help deciding how to lay out your finished blocks. Look to our Jacob's Ladder (alias Buckeye Beauty) pattern page for inspiration.
—A completely different look from the Buckeye Beauty quilt block in our tutorial.
This one is also known as the Rockingham's Beauty.
It's a real humdinger!
They say 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'!
Behold all the block patterns in our Free Quilt Block Pattern Library to find blocks for your next beautiful quilt!
These are my go-to resources for quilt block ideas.
Can you tell?
It's in color.
It's got a ton of blocks.
What's not to love?
Next on my 'must-have' list is Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
Unlike the Maggie Malone book, the blocks in this volume are hand-drawn and in black and white—no color—personally, I prefer colored drawings to work with.
This book is no longer in print.
If you can come by a copy expect it to be wickedly expensive. Once in awhile you can find it here on Amazon.com.
UPDATE: Electric Quilt, in cooperation with Barbara Brackman has announced they plan to republish the Encyclopedia sometime in 2020.
However, all is not lost if you can't find a hard copy.
BlockBase is the computerized version of the Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
It contains designs for over 4300 blocks—pretty much every block published from the 1830's through the 1970's.
It can be used with Electric Quilt and is a Windows based program.
In fact, there are instructions included so that you can pull up the digital patterns within Electric Quilt (PC version for now) without having to open up BB program.
UPDATE: Electric Quilt has announced that they will be rereleasing the standalone BlockBase software for BOTH PC and MAC in 2020.
This is terrific news.
Finally there's The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer.
Lots of detail and in color, it is a beautiful volume. That said, I check it out of my local library on a regular basis instead of purchasing it—can you see the library sticker on it's spine. Yep, it's from the Plainfield Public Library.
Simply because I own the previous three references and find this the least user-friendly of the group.
And it does make a fabulous coffee table book!