Learn to make the Duck and Ducklings Quilt Block 

From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

by Julie Baird

This post contains affiliate links for which I receive compensation.


Duck and Ducklings quilt block instructions

Skill Level: Beginner

Grid: 5x5

The two fabric Duck and Ducklings quilt block, while drawn on a 5x5 grid is truly an uneven 9-patch in construction.

On this page you'll find both traditional and paperpiecing cutting dimesions and instructions for 3 block sizes, as well as the necessary paperpieced patterns to download.

Alternate names include:

Time to get to work!




General Instructions


All seam allowances (SA) are 1/4" unless otherwise indicated.

To press, first press the pieced unit flat to set the seam. Then open the patch, pressing from the front. You may want to reduce or eliminate the use of steam for  paper pieced blocks. Steam tends to curl the paper.

For flatter quilt blocks, check out our favorite pressing technique. It works even with the foundation attached. Now THAT'S sweet!


Step 1: Choose technique, size and then cut the patches

Duck and Ducklings quilt block designDuck and Ducklings design

Cutting charts are provided for both paper (blue) and traditional (mauve) piecing methods.

Paper piecing patches are cut oversized to make it easy to position them properly the first time.

All patches are cut as squares unless otherwise noted.

For example, from the Traditional (mauve) piecing chart for a 10" finished block, for Patch #1 you'll cut two 2-7/8" x 2-7/8" squares and then subcut once on the diagonal.


Paperpiecing

Generations Quilt Patterns logo

Cutting Chart for a
Duck and Ducklings Quilt Block

~ Paper Piecing ~

Patch Fabric QtyFinished Block Size Sub
Cut
5” 7-1/2” 10”
1 D 2 1-7/8” 2-3/8” 2-7/8” Symbol for a half square triangle
2, 3, 4 L 6 2-3/8” 2-7/8” 3-3/8” Symbol for a half square triangle
5 D 2 3-3/8” 4-3/8” 5-3/8” Symbol for a half square triangle
6 L 4 1½" x 2½" 2” x 3½” 2½” x 4½” na
7 D 1 1-1/2” 2” 2-1/2” na
Print this size Birds in
the Air unit...
2"3"4"--
Trim Birds in the Air unit to... 2-1/2” 3-1/2” 4-1/2” --
Unfinished block size... 5-1/2” 8” 10-1/2” --
Grid Size 1” 1-1/2” 2” --

Traditional Piecing

Generations Quilt Patterns logo

Cutting Chart for a
Duck and Ducklings Quilt Block

~ Traditional Piecing ~

Patch Fabric QtyFinished Block Size Sub
Cut
5” 7-1/2” 10”
1 D 2 1-7/8” 2-3/8” 2-7/8” Symbol for a half square triangle
2, 3, 4 L 6 1-7/8” 2-3/8” 2-7/8” Symbol for a half square triangle
5 D 2 2-7/8” 3-7/8” 4-7/8” Symbol for a half square triangle
6 L 4 1½” x 2½” 2” x 3½” 2½” x 4½” na
7 D 1 1-1/2” 2” 2-1/2” na
Trim small HST to... 1-1/2” 2” 2-1/2” --
Unfinished Birds in the
Air unit measures...
2-1/2” 3-1/2” 4-1/2” --
Unfinished block size... 5-1/2” 8” 10-1/2” --
Grid Size... 1” 1-1/2” 2” --

Store pens, pencils, scissors and anything else in style!


Step 2: Download and print the foundation patterns

If you are using patches sized for traditional piecing from the pink cutting chart, skip this step.

Otherwise, download the Birds in the Air paper foundation pattern. The one you need is listed on the blue chart (above) on the line fourth from the bottom.

Print the paper piecing patterns you need

You'll need the most current version of Adobe installed on your computer to download the pattern.

On the Adobe Print Menu page, under 'Page Size and Handling' set 'Custom Scale' to 100% before printing for accurate results. Click here to see what it looks like on the Print Menu page.

After printing, use the 1" square graphic on the printed pages to confirm they are printed accurately.

Click here for my review of 6 different paper piecing papers

Not sure which paper to use? 

Check out my review of several of the most popular brands available to us quilters on the market.

Which one will you choose?




Step 3: Assemble the Birds in the Air units

The Birds in the Air unit

Make 4

For foundation pieced instructions, go to Birds in the Air unit.

For traditional instructions click here.

When you are finished, click the 'back button' on your browser to return here.

Regardless of the method you chose, after stitching you'll have four units that look like this one...


A Birds in the Air unit, stitched and trimmed


Step 4: Assemble the Duck and Ducklings quilt block

Lay out your pieced and cut patches into rows.


Lay out the patches into three rows


Stitch the units into rows. Press with the seam allowances pointing in the direction of the arrows.


Press the seam allowances in the direction of the arrows


Sew the rows together. Your SAs nest which makes matching the seams so much easier and less bulky, too!

Press.

Your finished Duck and Ducklings quilt block looks like this...


The finished Duck and Ducklings quilt block


Common Variations


These two blocks, while completely different from each other, are also called Duck and Ducklings.

A Duck and Ducklings quilt block variation



This simple variation also goes by the name Aunt Kate's Choice. The side rectangles have been replaced with two squares.


A Duck and Ducklings quilt block variation



Same name, but a completely different block drawn on an 8x8 grid.



There's no time for Duck! Duck! Goose now—
There's more blocks to make!


Link to Free Quilt Block Patterns Library


Share your work!


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:

Please share your creations on social media with the hashtag #GenerationsQuiltPatterns. Thank you!
  • 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 julie@generations-quilt-patterns.com.

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...

...you can't have just one?!!

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

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



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