Selecting an Easy Quilt Block Pattern

I want a good beginner pattern, something easy enough for me to make, that doesn't look too boring.

-- Basic patterns use straight lines and have a small number of pieces. Look at the patterns you like. Count how many individual pieces are in the block.

-- Simple patterns don't have to be boring. While Rail Fence and Nine-Patch are often recommended for the beginner, there is very little design involved. Try instead a Monkey Wrench (also called Churn Dash) or Pinwheel pattern, which add interest with triangles.

-- Simple patterns are a good place to show off really special or flashy fabrics. The pattern won't compete with the print or the colors.

-- If you are not confident of your skills, or new to sewing, avoid patterns with curves (no matter how simple they look) and patterns with lots of pieces. (If you have to match up 48 pieces per block it's really going to frustrate you)

Patterns to Look For:

Really basic (can you sew a straight line?):

  • 4-patch
  • Puss-in-the-Corner
  • Rail Fence (Basketweave)
  • 9-patch *Strip-pieced instructions
  • 9-patch Variation
  • Log Cabin
  • Pinwheel
  • *Instructions for Pinwheel Block
  • Easy (half-square triangles and strip piecing):

  • Flying Geese
  • Churn Dash
  • World's Fair
  • Roman Stripe
  • King's Cross
  • *Instructions for King's Cross block construction
  • For confident sewers (requires some attention to piecing):

  • Cake Stand (Basket)
  • Rising Star (8 Pointed Star)
  • Bear Paw
  • Farmer's Daughter
  • Jacob's Ladder
  • Grandmother's Choice
  • Goose Tracks
  • Crown of Thorns
  • More quilting stuff

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