From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library
Skill Level: Beginner
The Mrs. Brown's Choice quilt block, while complex looking, is made from basic quilting units: the half square triangle, a square in a square and a solid center patch.
It is constructed from two fabrics and classified as a 3x3 grid or nine patch design.
You may know it by an alternate name, either 'Saw Tooth Patchwork' or 'Another Sawtooth' are common.
On this page you'll find:
Let's get started.
These instructions are for a 9" finished Mrs. Brown's choice quilt block.
These abbreviations are used in this tutorial:
Hand dyed fabrics are used in the sample block: a blue stripe and a mottled orange.
The stripe is cut so that all the stripes run in the same direction throughout the block.
The SiaS units are paper pieced in the example block for accuracy.
A connector corner method is also included should you prefer not to paper piece.
**NOTE: I prefer to cut over-sized squares and then cut the triangles down to size after stitching. I cut these squares each 3/8" bigger or 4-1/4" square.
Cutting instructions for both paper piecing and connector corner methods is listed below. Choose one or the other.
Half Square Triangles (HST)
Draw a line diagonally from corner to corner on one set of squares (I chose the blue ones).
With directional fabrics, like this stripe, if you want the design running all in the same direction, draw one line with the stripes vertical and one with them horizontal.
Now layer a marked blue square with an orange one, right sides together and stitch 1/4" inch away from the drawn line on both sides.
Once you've layered your squares, give them a quick press. This helps keep them from slipping while you sew.
Cut along the drawn line to create two units. Press flat to set the seams. Then press the unit open with the seam allowance towards the dark side (blue stripe).
Lay the 45 degree line of your ruler along the seam line and trim to size. This trim removes the dog ears, too.
Repeat with the other pair of squares to create a total of four 3-1/2" HST units.
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.
Use the links below, for instructions how to make a SiaS
Using the picture below as a guide, arrange the units into the Mrs. Brown's Choice design.
Note that the first and third row are exactly the same—just flipped.
Press the seam allowances away from the SiaS units in all the rows as indicated by the arrows.
Join the rows together. Press these two seams toward the center of the block.
And this is the finished Mrs. Brown's Choice quilt block...
Several others share the same basic construction as the Mrs. Brown's Choice quilt block—with slight changes to the units:
This three fabric quilt block design adds a square to each corner.
Four patches are added to the center of the diamond in a square unit. The squares radiate out from the center.
A scrappy version of this quilt block is found in the Oh My Gosh quilt. In that quilt the HST units finished at 1-1/2". (No, that's not a typo! :D )
In this final variation, we swap the medium for a dark in the four patch units and then rotate them a quarter turn so the four patches create a ring.
This variation is also known as: Aunt Vina's Favorite, Pin Wheel, Butterfly or Lucy's Four and Nine.
And finally, it's just plain fun to play with color placements to come up with your own version of the Mrs. Brown's Choice quilt block.
In the short video below, I've paired this Mrs. Brown's Choice quilt block with a 54-40 or Fight block with spectacular results. Take a look!
Visit our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library to find more patchwork pretties to tempt you!
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!