Odds and Ends Quilt Block

From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

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This Odds and Ends quilt block tutorial contain illustrated instructions for making this block in three different sizes.

A bit of strip piecing. A couple of half square triangles. A couple of cut squares. Voila!

You've got a block that's cute as can be.

The Odds and Ends quilt block tutorial begins here

Check out these design variations or this block with the same name but completely different design.

Time to cut up and SEW! 

General Instructions

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Sample Block: 8" (8-1/2" unfinished)

Grid: 8x8

This tutorial uses these abbreviations:

  • SA - seam allowance
  • RST - right sides together
  • BAC - background fabric
  • HST - half square triangle

SA are 1/4" and pressed towards the darker fabric unless noted otherwise.

Starch your quilt fabric for more accurate cutting and sewing (in my humble opinion). 

Not sure how to do it?

Click here to learn.

Step 1: Cut patches for an Odds and Ends block

Odds and ends patchwork designOdds and Ends design

Our version of Odds and Ends uses two fabrics with strong contrast. 

I love a blue and white combination—even though I don't think of myself as a 'blue and white' kind of gal!

It always looks so fresh and clean.

The blue print fabric in the block is from Alison Glass' Sun Print line. I've been having a lot of fun playing with the bright colors!

A variation on this block uses three fabrics. Click here to see it.

Generations Quilt Patterns logo

Cutting Chart for an
Odds and Ends Quilt Block

~Traditional Piecing ~

PatchFabricQtyFinished Block Size
6" 8" 12"
1** BAC 1 2⅜" x 2⅜" 2⅞" x 2⅞" 3⅞" 3⅞"
2** A 1 2⅜" x 2⅜" 2⅞" x 2⅞" 3⅞" 3⅞"
3 A 1 2" x 2" 2½" x 2½" 3½" 3½"
4 BAC 1 1¼" x 25" 1½" x 31" 2" 43"
5 A 1 1¼" x 25" 1½" x 31" 2" 43"
Unfinished Block Size 6½" 8½" 12½"
Grid Size ¾" 1" 1½"
**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.

My go-to thread for all my piecing is...

Step 2: Assemble the units


Make 2


We'll use the Quick Pieced method for making our HST—the perfect method when you just need a couple of units.

Making oodles of blocks?

For more efficient piecing, consider another HST method like 8-at-a-time or triangle paper. 

Let's get started.

On the backside of the #1 or #2 square draw a diagonal line from corner to corner—mark whichever one it's easier to see the line on.

Here I've used my Bohin Mechanical Chalk Pencil for this marking. Because it's a white chalk, I've marked the darker #2 square.

Mark the HST squareI've layered the #1 and #2 squares...you can just see the light background #1 peeking out.

After stitching a quarter inch away from both sides of the line, press the unit flat to set the seams.

Cut the unit in half with a rotary cutter or scissors along the line you drew.

Press the two resulting HST with the SA toward the darker fabric.

Untrimmed HSTTrimming to size gets rid of those pesky 'dog ears'

Use the chart below to check the accuracy of your stitching. Trim your HST as needed. 

HST Dimensions

Block Size
Trim HST to…
6" 2"
8" 2-1/2"
12" 3-1/2"

These are the two, perfectly trimmed HST.

Trimmed HSTA-bra-ca-da-bra! Dog ears are gone, too!


Make 1

Arrange your HST and #3s as shown below.

Patches needed for the center

Stitch the units into rows and press toward the #3 squares to avoid bulk.

Sew a HST to a #3. Repeat.

Press SA toward the #3 to avoid bulk.

The finished center from the front.

Center unit

To reduce bulk in the center, pick out the stitching to the seam line and twirl the seam allowance.

Press the SAs counterclockwise.

It looks like this from the backside.

A twirled seam allowance in the centerLove that little adorkable four patch that forms in the center!

Side Units

Make 4

With RST, stitch the #4 and #5 strips together along their long edge.

Stitch #3 and #4 togetherStarched quilt fabric and a 1/4" foot with a guide make sewing strip sets a easy as can be.

Press the pair flat to set the seam and then open with the SA toward the dark fabric.

Use the chart below to check the width of your sewn strip set. Make any adjustments needed before subcutting.

StripSet Widths and SubCutting

Finished Block Size StripSet Width after stitching SubCut Width #1
Cut 4
SubCut Width #2
Cut 8
6" 2" 3-1/2" 1-1/4"
8" 2-1/2" 4-1/2" 1-1/2"
12" 3-1/2" 6-1/2" 2"

Straighten one short end of your stripset.

Straighten the edgeAlign a line on your ruler with the seam line and trim away just enough of the unit to create a straight edge.

Referring back to the chart above, make the required subcuts.

For this 8" sample block, that means four 4-1/2" and eight 1-1/2" subcuts.

Subcut the stripset

Set aside the four longers units. The remaining eight little ones are used next.

Four Patches


Make 4

Arrange four pairs of #4/#5 patches so that the background and Fabric A alternate as shown below.

Pin as needed.

Create four 4-patchesMake 4

With RST, stitch the pairs together.

Press flat to set the seams.

In order for the seams to nest when assembling the block, press this last sewn SA toward the #5 dark square. It's in the lower right corner of the four patch.

This is how the four patches look from the backside after pressing.

Pressing directions for the four-patchesPress the SA in the direction of the arrows for all four units

So why aren't the four patch SAs twirled?

A good question!

If we twirled the SAs they won't nest with the SA of the strip pieced side units.

It's always good to know why!

Step 3: Assemble your Odds and Ends

Arrange the units into the Odds and Ends pattern. The darker patches are on the outside edges and corners.

Layout the units into the design

Stitch the units in each row together. If you've followed the pressing directions all the seams will nest together.

Stitch the rows togetherPress the SA in the direction of the arrows

And finally, sew the rows together. Use pins if you need to to keep everything lined up.

Give you block a final press.

The finished Odds and Ends quit block looks like this from the front...

Finished Odds and Ends sample blockOur Odds and Ends is complete.

...and like this from the back.

Link to Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

Variations on an Odds and Ends Block

This first variation uses three fabrics instead of two—a light, a medium and a dark.

Odds and Ends Frame quilt block design

This one completely loses the center HST. It'd be perfect for showcasing a machine embroidery collection.

Same name, different block

Another design called Odds and Ends

This Odds and Ends block reminds me of an Ocean Waves design.

The only thing in common with our sample are the HSTs.

Beautiful design, though. It'd be a terrific scrap-buster!

For even more blocks to make...

Maggie Malone's 5500 Quilt Block Designs is my all-time favorite!

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