rectangle squared – a quilt block tutorial

Thanks for all the comments about my latest Innocent Crush quilt. I had several requests for measurements, so I’ve put together a quick tutorial showing how to make up the block that makes up this quilt.

First, a quick drawing showing the unfinished measurements (for those of you who want to skip the rest of the tutorial!) –

This block is a great one for using fat quarters, and I think it works best with non-directional prints, since the blocks end up turned in many different directions when you put together the quilt top. For my Innocent Crush quilt, I used fat quarters of 11 different prints (all the prints from the Charmed palette).

To start, square up the long edge of one of your fat quarters and cut a strip 3.25″ wide. You’ll want to cut this strip along the long side of the fat quarter, which means you’ll have a length of approximately 22″. Cut a strip of solid white (or your solid of choice) that’s 1.5″ wide and the same length as your printed strip (in this case, about 22″).

Sew the white strip to the long side of the printed fabric and iron.

Cut this strip into 7″ pieces. You’ll get 3 pieces from each strip.

Repeat with your other printed fabrics. Additionally, cut a second strip from each printed fabric that’s also 3.25″ wide (3.25″ x 22″). Subcut into 3.25″ squares. While you’re at it, cut additional strips of white fabric 1.5″ wide by 3.25″ in length.

Select two printed squares and sew together with a white strip separating them. Iron seams.

Sew this section to your rectangular section and iron your seam. Your block will measure 7″ square.

Make as many additional blocks as you’d like for your desired quilt size and lay them out to your liking, alternating the block orientation to create your desired design. Add sashing between the blocks and admire your lovely new quilt top! (sashing between my blocks measures 1.5″ in width)

As always, let me know if you have any questions, and if you make a quilt or quilt blocks from this tutorial, please consider adding your photos to the FITF Flickr group!

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129 Responses to rectangle squared – a quilt block tutorial

  1. 1
    Kim says:

    Love this quilt. Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial!

  2. 4
    sara says:

    Thanks for the tutorial!! I’ll definitely be making a quilt using this block.

  3. 6
    Sherri says:

    This is such a great quilt. Are you then doing all the rest of the sashing in strips? I have such a hard time with strips…even with pointers I’ve read on Sew Mama Sew I always end up with a “pull” to one side. Need practice I guess! 🙂

  4. 7
    Lori says:

    Oh thank you! I *literally* dreamt about trying to make this quilt after I saw it the other day (although in my dream there were all kinds of other crazy things going on too). I love the look of your quilt and can’t wait to give it a try.

  5. 8
    Kirsty says:

    Thanks so much Ashley, this is fab. This layout is such a nice way to ‘feature’ a fabric line, each fabric getting it’s own spotlit frame, if you know what I mean.

  6. 9
    Jen says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! For giving a tutorial!! This is a stunning quilt! I love it and now I’m sure to make one someday!!!

  7. 10
    Jan says:

    Thanks Ashely, you’re a peach

  8. 11
    Amber Murray says:

    Thank you for the tutorial.

  9. 12
    Marilyn says:

    Love it! Thanks so much. I’ve been looking for a new project using fat quarters.

  10. 14
    elsa says:

    ooh, thanks so much for the tutorial! love this quilt pattern! I’ve been wanting something different and this is it!

  11. 15
    Dianne says:

    Thank you! This is one of those quilts that inspired love at first sight for me … I’ve returned to your original post over and over again and am thrilled with your tutorial. I can’t wait to give this one a try!

  12. 16

    Oooh, I love this. I’ve been looking for simple layouts to use in my Christmas crafting, and I think I just found a winner 🙂

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  14. 17
    Lisa says:

    What is the size of your block when you are done? I’m trying to draw this out and I’m just not getting it.

    It’s such a beautiful quilt!!!! I love your work!

    Congrats on the prgnancy!!!

  15. 19
    Emily S says:

    I love how just changing up the orientation of a block can make such an interesting quilt. Thanks for the pattern!

  16. 20
    CJ says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I hope that I can make one of these in the near future.

  17. 21
    Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the tutorial!! I think I’m going make this with Parisville when it comes out. I read a lot of quilting blogs, but yours is my favorite!

  18. 22
    Celia says:

    Thanks so much for posting the details! I’ve been hoarding a stack of Good Folks FQs, and now I finally know what to do with them.

  19. 23
    Jacqueline says:

    Love the quilt top— what are your plans for quilting it?

  20. 24
    essie says:

    i really love this pattern thank you so much for sharing the tutorial!

  21. 25
    Tanya Seabrooke says:

    Brilliant thanks soo much for tutorial, I would have made such hard work of it!

  22. 26
    Sue says:

    Hi thanks for the great tut. I have some pre-cut Japanese fabrics that are 4″ and wondered what to do with them – I bought cream for the sashing and have some navy, brown and burgundy meterage that fits in with the pre-cuts. I have started cutting and will show you when it is finished. Thanks for giving the kick up the backside to get sewing again. I have too much going on and was stressing about it – I needed to sew so the stress went or lessens a little.

  23. 27
    Lexi Lucas says:

    thank you thank you thank you SO much.

  24. 28

    Thanks for taking the time to write up these great and easy to understand tutorials. And you choice of fabric and color is, as usual, divine!

  25. 29
    Tiffany says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I really love this quilt! Adding it to my never-ending list.

  26. 30
    Christine says:

    No Way! It’s really just that easy?

    This one will be made eventually.

    Thanks for the tutorial.

  27. 31
    karen says:

    Thanks for the fab pattern Ashley. I just might have found the pattern for my Dream On fat quarter pack.

  28. 32
    Aniza says:

    thanks so much for sharing your lovely quilt pattern.

  29. 33
    simone says:

    Such an amazing result for such a ‘simple’ block!
    Thank you for the tutorial!!!

  30. 34
    Diane says:

    Thanks – I am cutting my fabric right now. I don’t know who will get this quilt.

  31. 35
    Kate says:

    Thanks so much for the measurements! I’m starting my rectangles squared quilt today!!! You are a quilting and blogging inspiration! Thanks.

  32. 37
  33. 38
    AnnMarie says:

    Love the quilt. My hubby was happy to know he is not the only man that has to hold up quilts.

  34. 39
    Maria says:

    love it…
    thanks for the tutor… it seems an optimal exercise for a quilters to the beginnings
    ciao Maria

  35. 40
    Joan J says:

    I am absolutely in love with this quilt, and have decided it will be my next project. I love the symmetry, I love the white sashing – it’s all just gorgeous. Thanks so much for providing the dimensions. I really can’t wait to start this one!

  36. 41
    Brenda says:

    This is awesome! I am selecting fabrics to make one now! I will post pics in the Flickr group. Thanks!

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  39. 42
    Lee R says:

    The sounds like a good quilt to use up a lot of my scraps

  40. 43
    Audra Curtis says:

    This is SO STINKIN’ CUTE!!! I can’t wait to make it!! Thank you for sharing!

  41. 44
    shirley says:

    I love this quilt pattern. Several ladies from our church are making lap quilts for people taking kemo treatments. This is a good pattern for the quilts.

  42. 45
    Kristy says:

    Uber Fantabulous!!!

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  46. 46
    Marion says:

    Thank you for the tutorial Ashley! You have such a good eye on color and design. It looks simple yet stunning with the layout and color combination
    I will put this on my to do list for baby #2 due this Summer 🙂

  47. 47
    Brenda Y says:

    I love the quilt…and wanted a cute pattern for my granddaughter’s first quilt…but, am I crazy? Are the measurements correct in the drawing? I can’t make it work, in my head…some of the sizes HAVE to be for before they are sewn, and some for after???? Please straighten me out, so I won’t look too old and out of it, to my gd! thanks for nice ideas, btw.

  48. 51
    Penny Oosterman says:

    Real nice, and a great scrap eradicator!

  49. 52
    Vanessa Morris }:{ Aussie Ness }:{ says:

    This is so me! Quick & easy, I have a gigantic stash of childrens prints (I have 6 grandchildren between the ages of 10 –> 6) and this design is uncomplicated. Your choice of colours are great as well. I trust you will have years of enjoyment with this beautiful quilt!! Thankyou so much for sharing your lovely quilt & tutorial with us all.

  50. 53
    Shirley says:

    Love this quilt! Can’t wait to get started using my stash! I think this would be stunning using 30’s fabric! Thanks so much for sharing!

  51. 54
    Mary Ellen says:

    Love it; thank you so much for sharing. It looks complicated and you simplified for us.

  52. 55
    Beth says:

    Ahhhhhhh, Help! First, thanks for the tutorial!! Now, for my exasperation…I found a blog site from a lady from Michigan who was doing one of these quilts. I loved the colors she had chosen. She had photos taking in her sewing room and in this sewing room she had large patio doors or large windows behind her sewing area. After seeing this blog and wanting to save it –MY COMPUTER CRASHED. Ugh! Are one of you posters this woman from Michigan? If you are, can you please email me with your blogsite? Making the sign of the cross…Thank you!


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  54. 56
    Elena says:

    Beautiful quilt!! I’m so excited to get started on this! The 1.5″ sashing is the cut size, resulting in a 1″ finished sashing, right? Also, how wide are your white borders? I’m guessing 5″?? Thanks!

  55. 57
    Brenda C. says:

    Love, Love, Love this quilt!!!!
    Your are so generous to share it with the quilting world!
    Thank you!!!!!

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  57. 58
    Wendi says:

    Neat idea… I think I might have to give this a whirl.. Wendi

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  60. 59
    Tracie Miller says:

    I really love this quilt. Thanks so much for the tutorial. I have some fabric that I have been holding on to, waiting for inspiration to strike. This is it! Thanks.

  61. Pingback: Happy Memories .. a quilt for ME! / Quilting Gallery

  62. 60
    Anqgele says:

    This is a beautiful quilt idea. I think I will make it for a baby quilt I need in October. Thank you

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  68. 61
    Suzee Newton(DewDrop Inn Quilts&Crafts) says:

    I love it…..simple…an easy weekend or less quilt…unique…congrads…

  69. 62
    Lori says:

    So I made this quilt top… not thinking about matching up some of the other “white” trim… UGH!.. I didn’t realize I needed to until the quilt top was finished.. So I will not be posting a picture of it.. LOL I just hope the girl receiving it doesn’t see all the mistakes… I used Dr Seuss material…

  70. 63
    Laureen says:

    How many yards of sashing fabric did you use? I’m going to make this in A Stitch in Color with gray sashing. So excited!

  71. Pingback: a new WIP and a giveaway | Granny's Quilting Fun

  72. 64
    Baukje says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this, I have just made my very first quilt ever using it and I am very pleased with how it has turned out.

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  74. 65
    Laureen says:

    Ashley, I’m mapping out a plan for my upcoming Rectangle Squared quilt, and I’m a little confused about the measurements in your diagram. You say the block will be 7×7. But I’m getting that 3.25 + 3.25 + 1.5 = 8. Am I not accounting for the seam allowance? Or is there something I’m missing?

    • 66
      michelle says:

      I see this math issue as well. the long strip says 7″ so that means with a 1/4 seam , it would end 6.5 inches long and the two square blocks add up to 8 inches. Can you clarify what the dimentions are for each block and clarify it this is the cut size or the finished size?

      thanks far a pretty design.

      • 67
        ashley says:

        Laureen & Michelle,

        You’ll lose a 1/2″ for each of those seams, making that side 7″ (3.25 + 1.5 + 3.25 – 1)

        • 68
          Goldie says:

          So, the measurements shown for each section are the CUTTING measurements, not the finished measurements for each section of the block; is that correct?

          It’s a really cool quilt that I would love to tackle.

        • 69
          Judy says:

          Still not sure about your measurements. For a finished block (sewn into a quilt) you need to cut 7½” x 3½” rectangles, 7½” x 1½” white strips, 3½”x 3½” squares. When making your statement above to Laureen and Michelle you have not taken into account the seam allowance around the edges of the block. I am keen to make this as well and thank you for the pattern and I have just noticed these responses and the blog post are now three years old.

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  77. 71
    Chris S says:

    Can you tell me about how much solid you used for your quilt top?

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  79. 72
    Laurel says:

    I LOVE this quilt. Thanks so much for the information. I MUST make one.

  80. 73
    Peg says:

    You’re so generous to supply the tutorial. I was going to ask if there was a pattern available. Thanks again. I have 18 fatts of Bonnie & Camille’s last fabric line, Modern something calling my name – any idea how much white is needed?

  81. 74
    mary Burnette says:

    can anyone email me with the fabric requirements for a large kingsize quilt I’m talking 108 X 115. Love this and it looks so easy!

  82. 75
    Amanda says:

    Thank you for the pattern to this quilt. It is going to make a great present.

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  85. 76
    Patti says:

    LOVE it. If hadn’t of been for the competition I never would have seen your quilt. I am so happy that I looked and voted because your quilt is my favorite of EVERYTHING. I even had the pattern saved on my Pinterest board and now I am so going to order a load of white fabric to make this. I sure have enough stash to do this.

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  87. 77
    Tia says:

    I am going to try this out! How much white fabric did you need for this? I am thinking of buying 2 yards just in case.

  88. 78
    Cristina S says:

    I just finished quilting a wedding gift and used your awesome tutorial for it. It was a WIP for over a year now. Just binding to go!

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  90. 79
    Karla says:

    I Just started to make it, I love it!
    Thank you.

  91. 80
    Karla says:

    I love it, I just started to make it!

  92. 81
    Patsy Roberta says:

    I too love this. Looks complicated but…as long as you “pay attention” to 1/4″ seams there is not a place where you have to match-up corners. Thanks for the lovely detailed tutorial, with pictures, which made it easy. I’m a beginning quilter but have looked at quilts, quilt books, and magazines for at least 30 years. I hand quilt but am a newby at piecing. I LOVE IT ALL, even the hard parts.

  93. 82
    Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I changed the dimension on my version, and the quilting is one continuous line going in and out of the boxes. I don’t have a flicker account, so you can see the quilt at the links below…
    quilting details:

    • 83
      Betty Housh says:

      I’m in the process of making your square/rectangular quilt using my deceased mothers clothes. I want to thank you for having this on Pinterest, otherwise I would not have seen it. I must also add this is my first attempt at making a quilt. So again, thanks very much. When I’m finished it will mean the world to me. Betty Housh, south Louisiana

    • 84
      Katrina says:

      Thank you for sharing Stephanie. I am working on the same pattern- hopefully big enough for a queen-sized bed- with various animal prints.

  94. 85
    Lynda Dodd says:

    Thank you for sharing! I was planning to do a quilt for my grandson’s graduation. I saw one similar to this but no pattern. My friend found this and sent it to me. I’m going to make it with several different University of Texas prints, use black solid between the pieces and put an orange border on it!

  95. 86
    ann says:

    could you please heeeeeelp me. i love this quilt and decided to give it a go. i have cut all my pieces to the sizes stated. and i’m sewing with a quarter inch foot.but but when i’m piecing the two square pieces and the 1 1/2 inch white piece to the rectangle my piece is to short.i have double checked i have cut proper sizes. i think it must be something to do with seem allowance sewing the squares but i’m using a quarter inch foot. please help i was really looking forward to making this quilt

    • 87
      AuntieBetty says:

      It would be very useful for the less experienced quilters to include the seam allowance in the cutting measurements. (I copied the instructions and ADDED 1/4 inch to all the measurements.)

      • 88
        Stephanie says:

        The measurements are for the unfinished block, which means they already include the seam allowances. The measurements are correct.

        Ann, how much is it off by?

        • 89
          ann kelly says:

          i seem to be out an eighth of an inch on all my pieces when iv’e sewed all the pieces together.i would be very grateful if you could help.i am using a quarter inch foot so don’t understand what im doing wrong. thanks

          • 90
            Stephanie says:

            Is it the three pièces that you sewed together that are shorter than the two longer strips?

            If so, even if you use a quarter inch foot, it doesn’t mean you are actually sewing one quarter depending on your needle position. Measure your seam and look at where it is on the ruler. If it may simply be just slightly on the outside. You have to aim to do a scant quarter seam, so you want your stitches to be just a tad Inside of the quarter inch mark on your ruler. You can do this by adjusting your needle position. Google scant quarter seam and you can find a bunch of tutorials on the subject.

            If you’ve only done one block, you can test this out. If you’ve already done a bunch of them and don’t want to unpick them, or that this is not the issue, you can sew your blocks together and then trim them all square. It will just make your quilt top a little smaller. If you really wanted it bigger, you can just add a border on the outside to make it bigger.

            Good luck!

            • 91
              ann kelly says:

              thank you so much stephanie. it is my 3 smaller pieces that is smaller than the 2 larger pieces. i measured the seem allowance with a ruler and it is slightly larger.i will have to work on that.thanks for the help myself and all the other new quilters appreciate the help. i wont give up on the blocks because your quilt looks lovely

              • 92
                Stephanie says:

                Thanks for the compliment! If you’ve done several of them, you’ll be fine as long as you are consistent with those three pieces. Then you can just trim all of them up when you are done. I’m not a fan of trimming up, but it pretty much always makes blocks so much nicer to sew together!

  96. 93
    Kindra hill says:

    What is the finished size of the quilt and how much backing is required?

    • 94
      Stephanie says:

      Thanks for the compliment! If you’ve done several of them, you’ll be fine as long as you are consistent with those three pieces. Then you can just trim all of them up when you are done. I’m not a fan of trimming up, but it pretty much always makes blocks so much nicer to sew together!

      • 95
        Stephanie says:

        Oops, the one above is the wrong one for here.

        Kindra, you can make it any size you want. Just take the finished block measurements and calculate how much you need. If yougoogle standard quilt measurements, you can easily figure out what size you would like to make. There are also some calculators on line that can help you measure how much fabric you need.

  97. 96
    Janet Morris says:

    Just love it . Going to get started today many thanks for sharing

  98. 97
    Jesmond Goodliff says:

    Hi there, I just wanted to say thanks so much for the tutorial! Just finished the quilt and it looks fab 🙂 x

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  100. 98
    Lauren J Hart says:

    I have never quilted before. Is this a good starter quilt? I’m a beginner sewing also.

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  102. 99
    Margaret says:

    I’ve never made a quilt before and have looked at a lot of videos to get an idea of what’s involved. I must say that your tutorial was the easiest to understand. And the resulting quilt is great looking. Thank you.

  103. 100
    Eve says:

    Thank you. I have been looking for a quilt for my grandson , I think this will be great.

  104. 101

    Merci pour le partage, cela me donne vraiment envie d’en faire une ! Joli travail.

  105. 102
    Judy Pennington says:

    Just discovered this fabulous quilt! Love it! Think it might make a QAYG!

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