Doris' Delight Quilt Block Tutorial: 6", 9", 12", 15" and 18" finished

From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

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The Doris' Delight quilt block is mesmerizing, isn't it?

This little beauty packs a big punch with its bold lines and sharp points, challenging you to take your quilting skills to the next level. But don't worry, we've got you covered with a super simple technique that'll make you look like a pro.

Not a specialty ruler in sight!

The best part?

You've got free downloads of the paper piecing pattern in five different sizes, along with a coloring page and cutting chart. So let your imaginative juices flow and create your masterpiece.

Buckle up and join us for a fun and thrilling piecing ride. Your quilting skills are about to soar to new heights!

Welcome to your next quilting adventure!

Our step-by-step beginner-friendly tutorial is the perfect guide to creating your masterpiece. Along the way, we'll provide illustrated guidance to make every step a breeze. But that's not all - we've also got some fantastic free goodies waiting for you to download, so your quilting journey is as smooth as possible:

Cut. Sew. Press. Let's turn fabric into MAGIC!

General Instructions

Several abbreviations are used on this page. They are:

  • SA - seam allowance
  • RST - right sides together
  • HST - half square triangles
  • SiaS - square in a square
  • TiaS - triangle in a square
  • Bac - background fabric

Highlighted in yellow, pressing instructions are easy to spot.

To press, first press the patches in the closed position as they came off your sewing machine. This sets the seam, melding the fibers of the threads into the fibers of the fabric.

Then press the SA to the dark unless otherwise noted.

Download and print paper piecing patterns and templates for TiaS and SiaS units

Print the paper piecing patterns you need

To download the pattern, use the most current version of Adobe.

For accurate results, on Adobe's Print Menu page, under 'Page Size and Handling' set 'Custom Scale' to 100%. Then print.

Click here to see what it looks like on the Print Menu page.

Choose your finished block size from the chart below.

Print the corresponding number of pages for a total of 4 TiaS units—don't forget to print its template, too—and 1 SiaS unit.

Print the Patterns
Square in a Square (SiaS)
Triangle in a Square (TiaS)

Block Size
Square in a Square Triangle in a Square
to print
SiaS Size Copies
to print
TiaS Size Templates
6" 1 2" 1 2" Print 1
9" 1 3" 1 3"
12" 1 4" 2 4"
15" 1 5" 4 5" Print 1
18" 1 6" 4 6" Print 1

After printing, use the 1" square graphic on the printed page(s) to double-check that your patterns printed at the correct size.

Then cut out the required number of patterns from your copies. A rough cut is good enough—an 1/8"-1/4"-ish away from the outside dashed square.

Read my review of 6 paper piecing papers available on the market

Not sure which paper to use?

Take a look at my review of several of the most popular brands available to us quilters on the market.

You want a super-easy paper to tear away—less stress on the stitches. 

The newest quilt fabrics to tickle your fancy...

Click the images below to see the full collection. We share any commercial and/or free patterns that showcase them, too. (For inspiration, of course!)

Step 1: Cutting patches for a Doris' Delight quilt block

Doris' Delight quilt block designDoris' Delight quilt block design

Sample Block Size:  6" finished / 6½" unfinished

Grid:   6x6

Attribution:   Farmer's Journal

AKA:   OK, this blew my skirt up. This block is also known as...wait for it...STORM AT SEA...who knew?!!!

Design Type:  Star | Even 9-patch  

Please label your patches. You use them all through the tutorial.

The sample is made with fabrics from Tula Pink's True Colors line. These prints are FAB-U-LOUS and deserve a place in your stash. I reach for them all the time.

To print a copy of the block design and cutting chart to use at your cutting table, click here.

Generations Quilt Patterns logo

Cutting Chart for a
Doris' Delight Quilt Block

~ Paper PLUS Traditional Piecing ~

(Patches shown Width x Height)
PatchFabricQtyFinished Block Size
6'' 9'' 12'' 15'' 18''
1 A 2 3¼'' x 3¼'' 4¼'' x 4¼'' 5¼'' x 5¼'' 6¼'' x 6¼'' 7¼'' x 7¼''
2 Bac 2 3¼'' x 3¼'' 4¼'' x 4¼'' 5¼'' x 5¼'' 6¼'' x 6¼'' 7¼'' x 7¼''
Center.1 A 1 1⅞'' x 1⅞'' 2⅝'' x 2⅝'' 3⅜'' x 3⅜'' 4⅛'' x 4⅛'' 4¾'' x 4¾''
C.2, C.3
C.4, C.5
Bac 2 2⅜'' x 2⅜'' 2⅞'' x 2⅞'' 3⅜'' x 3⅜'' 3⅞'' x 3⅞'' 4⅜'' x 4⅜''
TiaS.1 Bac 4 3" x 2¾'' 4'' x 3¾'' 5" x 4¾'' 6'' x 5¾'' 7" x 6¾''
Side, Side.R A 4 2⅞'' x 3¼'' 3⅜'' x 4¼'' 3⅞'' x 5¼'' 4⅜'' x 6¼'' 4⅞'' x 7¼''
Unfinished Block Size 6½'' 9½'' 12½'' 15½'' 18½''
Grid Size 1'' 1½'' 2'' 2½'' 3''

Step 2: Assemble the units for a Doris' Delight

Since we're paper piecing the first two units for this block, it's time to get our sewing machine ready for the job. 

General Sewing Machine Setup for Paperpiecing

  • Reduce your stitch length to 16–20 stitches per inch (1.3-1.6 mm). This perforates the paper and stabilizes the seam when you remove the pattern. [Learn more about stitch length here.]
  • Reduce your machine's speed or just plain slow down. Sew only as fast as you can stay on the stitching lines.
  • Install an open toe appliqué foot (sometimes called an 'embroidery' or 'satin stitch' foot) if you have one (it's easier to see where you're stitching with one installed). 
  • If your machine has a needle stop up, use it. The stitching goes faster when you don't have to lift the presser foot with every seam.
  • As you stitch each seam, start and stop a generous 1/4” before and after the solid stitching lines. ALWAYS. Future lines of stitching secure the ends.

After adding each patch, press the unit as it was sewn to set the seam and then open. The SA is automatically pressed towards the last patch added.

Before adding the next patch, take a look to make sure the one you just added covers the space plus seam allowance that it is supposed to.

Steam is optional and usually curls the pattern. 

If that bothers you, don't use steam. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't.

It truly depends on my mood.

Remember, as you follow this paper piecing tutorial, the printed and the fabric sides of this block are mirror-images of each other.

At last!

Let's sew!

SiaS Unit

Make 1    

Square in a Square unitSiaS unit

Use a dot of Elmer's Washable Glue Stick to hold the wrong side of Center.1 in place on the unprinted side of the pattern. Use the dashed guidelines to quickly, accurately position the patch.

Position Center.1 between the dashed lines on the unprinted side of the patternNotice that this patch doesn't extend all the way to the edges?
Not a problem.
As long as there's enough fabric for the SA, simply line up the next patch with the dashed lines and then sew.

With RST, line up the long bias edge of C.2 with one side of the Center.1.

If you've got eagle eyes, you might notice that I'm stitching C.3 in this sample. Since the Corners are all the same fabric, it really doesn't make a difference. We simply sew patches on opposite sides first. 

Position C.2 with Center.1 right sides together

Stitch on the solid line, starting and ending outside the outside dashed square.

Since these seams run from edge to edge they are candidates for chain piecing which speeds up the piecing process.

Stitch from one side of the pattern to the other on the line between Center.1 and C.2


With RST, add the C on the opposite side. For our 6" sample Doris' Delight block, this 2" finished SiaS is just too small to stitch both first and then go to the ironing board. You can't get a good press when the unit it this small. Add one patch, then press. Add the next, etc.

Add C.2 in the same manner

Add the remaining two C in the same manner, with one last press. Make it a good one!

This is the finished SiaS. Not quite ready for prime time, is it?

The untrimmed SiaS

At your cutting mat, pattern side up, line up the 1/4" line on your ruler with one side of the solid square that surrounds the block.

Trim away the excess.

Trim away the excess fabric from the SiaS

Repeat for the 3 remaining sides.

Remove the paper (it has no further purpose) and set the unit aside for now.

TiaS Unit

Make 4       

Triangle in a Square unitTiaS unit

Now for the magic of those pointy-points. Two seams and a bit of ripping paper and you've got the perfect star points.

First up is a bit of subcutting. This in combination with the dashed guidelines on the pattern saves you a bit of time in your piecing.

These patches are oversized, so our cutting doesn't have to be so precise. Close is good.

Trim the TiaS template so that the top and bottom edges are exactly on the line. It doesn't matter whether the sides are exact or not. They'll get trimmed when you trim away the excess.

The Width of the TiaS.1 patch is on the top and bottom, the Height is on the sides. Refer to your cutting chart if you need to.

Layer all four TiaS.1 patches right sides up, edges even. Position the paper template on the stack so all the top and bottom edges are even, too.

Cut away the excess with your rotary cutter.

Subcut the TiaS.1 triangles

Position the Side/Side.R patches in pairs that are each right sides together. We do this so that we automatically cut pairs of mirror-imaged patches. 

Make a mark 5/8" in from the top left, and 5/8" in from the bottom right.

Line up your ruler with the marks at the edges of the patches and cut the rectangles in half.

Subcut the Side and Side.R patchesMake sure that the Width is on the top and bottom and Height is on the sides. Refer to your cutting chart if needed.

After all this subcutting, you'll have 4 sets of patches that look something like this.

The TiaS.1, Side and Side.R patchesA Side, a TiaS.1, and Side.R patches

Use that Elmer's Glue Stick again to position the TiaS.1 on the wrong side of the pattern.

Those dashed lines sure some in handy, don't they?

Position the TiaS.1 on the unprinted side of the pattern

HELPFUL TIP: These Side and Side.R patches are cut so when you position each over the Center, the small point on the short end of the Side matches the point at the bottom of the Center. (red arrow)

Position a Side with the edge of the Center

Stitch, starting and ending past the outside edges. 


Repeat for the second Side patch.

Here it is in need of a trim-job.

A TiaS that just needs a trim

After a good job at your ironing board, trim each side of each TiaS, just like you did for the SiaS.

Here, I've just finished trimming the second side.

Trimming the second side of a TiaSThe 1/4" line on the ruler is positioned directly over the solid line around the block. Then the excess is trimmed away.

After trimming, remove the paper pattern. All our outside edges are on straight of grain for stability. The paper no longer serves a purpose.

A trimmed TiaS with the paper pattern removedOnly 3 left to trim!

Return your sewing machine to your everyday settings.

We stitch the remainder of the block with traditional techniques.

Install your favorite quarter inch presser foot. Adjust the needle position if needed. Increase to your normal piecing stitch length.

Half Square Triangles

Make 4       

From this point forward, you'll use a 1/4" seam allowance to make the HST and assemble the patches into the Doris' Delight block.

Half Square Triangle unitHST

Draw a diagonal line on the backside of the lighter of the #1 or #2.

Pin to hold the edges together if it helps. Stitch 1/4" from both sides of the line.

Stitch 1/4" from both sides of the line


Cut the pairs in half between the stitching.

Cut each sewn pair of #1 and #2 in half on the drawn lineYou can use either a rotary cutter or scissors for this

Find your Finished Block Size in the chart below and its corresponding 'Edge-to-Edge size.

Block Size
HST Edge-to-edge
6" 2½" x 2½"
9" 3½" x 3½"
12" 4½" x 4½"
15" 5½" x 5½"
18" 6½" x 6½"

At your cutting mat with a square ruler (because a square quilting ruler always has a diagonal line on it), match the 45° line with the seam line (red arrow). Position the ruler so that you can cut a HST the size listed in the chart.

Trim the two exposed edges.

Trim the first two sides of the HSTFor our 6" sample block, we're cutting our HST to 2-1/2" square

Flip the half-trimmed HST so that your trimmed edges are underneath the ruler. Line up the 'Edge-to-Edge' measurement lines with those trimmed edges (blue arrows), diagonal line directly over the seam (red arrow).

Cut away the remaining excess fabric.

Trim the final two sides of the HST

Our first pair of #1 and #2 is trimmed. 

The first pair of HST are trimmedJust what we want...a diagonal seam that splits the opposite corners exactly in two. Sweet!

Off to finish the second pair.

Welcome to my Brain-Fart Island!

Did you catch it?

I completely missed taking the photos when I made the Doris' Delight sample block...maybe it was the late afternoon Moscato at the Quilt Barn?

Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it! ;)

These are brand-new samples. But since I fussy cut the original patches, I'd run completely out of the red/orange/yellow hexagon area of the fabric. 

Step 3: Assemble your Doris' Delight quilt block 

Arrange your patches into the Doris' Delight quilt block design.

HSTs, in the Corners with the background—yellow in our sample—toward the inside, TiaSs on the sides with the background at the outside edge and the SiaS in the very center of the block.


Sew the units in each row together. Pin if needed to help get a good match where the seam of the HST and TiaS meet.

Since we took the time to sew on a line and trim to perfection, keeping those edges even is the last step in getting the most out of your paper piecing. Pinning helps keep them even.

SA are pressed away from the TiaSs in all three rows.

Stitch the rows together. If you come up to a lumpy-lump, stop with your needle down through the fabrics. Raise the presser foot and then set it back down on top of the lump. Continue stitching.

This simple action can help you avoid pushing the top layer out of position and getting a bad match at a point or SA.


These final 2 SAs are pressed away from the middle row.

This really turned out to be a stunning block. The slight variation in the dots from Tula Pink's True Colors line really move your eyes around the design, don't they?

Our finished Doris' Delight quilt blockVoila! Pointy-perfection with ease!

Here is the backside, so you can see how all the pressing works together.

A view of the Doris' Delight quilt block from the backside

Looking for something truly stellar?

To browse all the star quilt block patterns in one place, click here

You've finished your star quilt block, and you're ready for more!

Browse our collection of 50+ stellar star quilt block patterns. All have instructions and cutting charts in multiple sizes. If templates or paper piecing is used in the tutorial, there's a free download for you of those materials.

Eeny. Meenie. Miney. Moe.

Which star quilt block will you sew?

There's more quilt blocks to make

For EVEN MORE blocks to make, visit our Free Quilt Block Pattern Library, with over 220+ blocks to choose from in multiple sizes.

Free downloads are included in all sizes for any blocks require paper piecing patterns or templates.

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