Crossword Puzzle Quilt Block

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The Crossword Puzzle quilt block tutorial

Skill Level: Beginner

Grid: 8x8

The Crossword Puzzle quilt block is a quick and easy to stitch which makes it an ideal block for a spur of the moment baby quilt.

A bit of strip piecing. The twirling of a few seam allowance. This asymmetrical block is as easy to set into a top as it is to put together.

Let's solve the riddle of assembling this Crossword Puzzle!

General Instructions

Seam allowances (SA) are 1/4" and are pressed to the dark unless otherwise instructed.

I like to prewash and starch all of my fabrics before cutting. I think this makes my cutting and piecing more accurate with less effort.

Step 1: Cut patches for a Crossword Puzzle

Crossword Puzzle quilt block designCrossword Puzzle design

The cutting chart below is for a two fabric patchwork design.

Strips are cut an inch longer than needed so that you have room enough to straighten an edge before subcutting a stripset into units.

Generations Quilt Patterns logo

Cutting Chart for a
Crossword Puzzle Quilt Block

~ Traditional Piecing ~

Patch Fabric Qty Finished Block Size
8” 12” 16”
1 Background 1 1-1/2” x 10” 2” x 13” 2-1/2” x 16”
2 A 2 1-1/2” x 10” 2” x 13” 2-1/2” x 16”
3 Background 2 1-1/2” x 4” 2” x 5” 2-1/2” x 6”
4 A 1 1-1/2” x 4” 2” x 5” 2-1/2” x 6”
5 A 4 1-1/2” x 3-1/2” 2” x 5” 2-1/2” x 6-1/2”
6 Background 4 1-1/2” x 3-1/2” 2” x 5” 2-1/2” x 6-1/2”
7 A 1 1-1/2” x 7” 2” x 9” 2-1/2” x 11”
8 Background 1 3-1/2” x 7” 5” x 9” 6-1/2” x 11”
Unfinished Block Size 8-1/2” 12-1/2” 16-1/2”
Grid Size 1” 1-1/2” 2”

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Step 2: Assemble the units

Our Crossword Puzzle block is made from three different units: a nine patch, an 'O', and sashing.

Crossword Puzzle block - 9 patch unit

Nine Patches

Make 2

With right sides together (RST), stitch a #1 to a #2.

Stitch a #1 to a #2 strip.Starched fabric and a quarter inch foot with a guide is the best way I know to get perfect strip sets.


Add the second #2 in the same manner, pressing afterwards.

Repeat for the #3/#4/#3 strips.

The completed #1/#2/#1 and #3/#4/#3 stripsetsThe stitched #2/#1/#2 and #3/#4/#3 stripsets.

Straighten a short side of both by aligning a line on your ruler with one of the seams (see arrow) and trim off just enough to straighten the edge.

Straighten the short edge of each strip set with your rotary cutter and rulerStraightening the edge of the #3/#4/#3,

Repeat for the #2/#1/#2 set.

Next subcut each #2/#1/#2 into 6 units; #3/#4/#3 into 2. Use the chart below to find the cut width.

StripSet Subcutting Chart
Block Size
Width of Sewn

Arrange the cuts as shown below. (Two #2/#1/#2 are set aside for the O's that come next.)

Stitch the 2 nine patches.The SA are pressed out from the center.

'O' units

Crossword Puzzle block - Big 'O' unit

Make 2

Arrange two #5s and one #2/#1/#2 for each O as shown below.

Stitch the two 'O' units.Did you catch it?

Did you catch it?

Yep! When I photographed the block during construction, I accidentally rotated the patches a quarter turn.

The longer #5 patches run across the top and bottom of the "O" units and not on the left and right sides. My bad!!!

Press, SA towards the #5 strips.

Sashing (SU)

Crossword Puzzle block - sashing unit

Make 4

With RST, stitch #7 to #8 on the long edge.

Stitch #7 to #8


Straighten a short edge.

Cut #7/#8 into four SUs using the chart below to determine the width.

Sashing Subcutting Chart
Block Size
Width of Pieced
8” 4-1/2” 1-1/2”
12” 6-1/2” 2”
16” 8-1/2” 2-1/2”

After cutting, this is what you've got.

The four cut sashing units

Step 3: Add sashing

With RST, sew a #6 to the righthand side of all the 9 patches and O's. SA are pressed away from #6.

With RST, sew a SU to the bottom of each.

Add a SU to the bottom of each unit.

Typically these blocks are set edge-to-edge in a patchwork design. To make joining them as easy as possible, we're going to twirl the SA of this last seam.

You may need to loosen a few stitches to do so. This is what it looks like from the backside.

Twill the seam allowance in each join.Our twirled seam allowance creates a miniature four-patch on the back of each unit

It helps to fingerpress the SA before using the iron. As you look at the backs, the SA are pressed in a clockwise fashion.

Step 4: Assemble the Crossword Puzzle quilt block

Arrange the sashed patches into rows and stitch them the pairs in each row together. (An 'O' is in the upper lefthand corner of the block.)

Stitch the units in each row together.SA are pressed in the direction of the arrows.

With RST, sew the rows together. The only place you need to worry about matching is at the corners of the #7's.

The sewn Crossword Puzzle quilt blockOur Crossword Puzzle is stitched, just one more step.

To complete the Crossword Puzzle, we'll again twirl the SA in the very center of our block.

From the back you can see the 5 SA that we twirled.The center twirl is our last one.

The advantage of all this fiddling with SA is when you put blocks together edge-to-edge, those SA nest—making matching easier and reducing bulk all at the same time.

Now give it one last, good press and your Crossword Puzzle quilt block is finished.

A bit about constructing a Crossword Puzzle Quilt

As designed, the Crossword Puzzle quilt block is an asymmetrical block. To complete the design, you need to add additional SUs (sashing units) to the blocks on the left  and top edges of your quilt.

A Crossword Puzzle quilt in two fabrics

And don't forget the one last cornerstone square in the upper left corner (cut from your A fabric.)

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!

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