Quilt Patterns

Quilt Block Patterns

stack of quilts

Learn the Basics of Quilting

Beginner Quilting Lessons

  • Make a Christmas Quilt - In part one of this beginning quilting lesson learn how to cut the fabric and piece the top together. Coming soon, the Santa Claus applique.

Quilt block patterns come in a variety of shapes and sizes. It's just one more way that quilting is a unique experience. The art of sewing pieces of fabric together allows for an artist to make something unlike anything else, even when he or she is following a pattern. Each set of quilt block patterns offers their own twist in how to tell the story on a quilt.

People pick up quilting as a form of expression, fortunately creativity and relaxing doing something you enjoy just happen to accompany the art of quilting. It seems that every one can make a unique block pattern. Traditional quilt block patterns are just a single block arranged in a specific way. Some are historical, while others were just figured out last week.

You want to select a pattern that fits your overall design. For example, you can compliment a modern fabric design with a more contemporary design like a traditional pattern. The colors are another important factor. The amount of contrast between dark and light colors can create various looks for your overall design and quilt block patterns individually.

Block by Block

Choosing from the quilt block patterns is a very important part of making a quilt. It will help you tell the story you want to tell, just as colors will. Block patterns are a good way to jump start your imagination as you plan out your next project. Beginning quilters are encouraged to master the basics before expanding their craft expertise.

There are several types of quilt block patterns. No matter how many quilt block patterns you have they can fall into five categories.

You can choose from the following quilt block patterns when you are designing your quilt:

  • Nine Patch Blocks (6", 12" and 18" blocks)
  • Four Patch (6", 12" and 18" blocks)
  • Five Patch (10" blocks)
  • Seven Patch (14" blocks)
  • Other

A nine-patch block is one of the simplest and most versatile option out of the quilt block patterns. The name nine patch comes from the fact that it has three rows of nine patches each. Most of the looks for nine patch is the addition of a solid color at the same size. To make this pattern quilters should use a 1/4" seam allowances and cut out five patches of one color and four patches of a different color. A shortcut to this patch is to tear strips of fabric and sew them together.

The four patch is another type of quilt block patterns. It is four squares using the same dimensions and sewed together by two straight seams. Quilters can make a four patch using two different methods. The first one is to sew the individual squares of fabric together alternating in color darkness. The second method is to use a pair of rotary scissors and cut strips of fabrics that are different shades. Remember that your strips should all be the same width in order for the four patch to work. The four patch pattern is so useful that it can be combined with pretty much any other type of pattern for your quilt or comforter.

The five patch is usually in a pattern called Monkey Wrench and Double V. They each use various shades of fabric in this type of quilt block patterns. The Double V uses six strips of a focus fabric and two strips of background fabric. The Monkey Wrench will use two different focus fabrics and one background fabric. In total it will use three strips of focus and two strips of background fabric.

The seven patch is a neat quilt block patterns than can be made by assembling a grid of 14 squares. Seven horizontally and seven vertically to create a grid divided into units. You can even turn nine patch patterns into seven patch patterns just by the way you arrange the squares.

Other block patterns are just that - they don't exactly follow a set pattern. These are truly unique block patterns and can be made by combining any of the above pattern traditions. You can make new quilt block patterns just by using different color arrangements and stitching techniques.

Think Material and Fabric

Once you have chosen a strong design and one of the quilt block patterns there are still decisions to make. The material, fabric and color choice for your blanket or comforter are pivotal to the block patterns. If you choose the wrong one the balance of your quilt patterns will be thrown off.

It is no surprise that cotton is the most often used type of quilt fabric. After all it is the fabric of your life. Jokes aside, cotton is a strong and natural material that is very easy to work with and try new things. It can also make quilt block patterns easier to make.

It is important to remember allergies when you think about material options for your blanket. Some fabrics like polyester can be flammable and contain allergen fibers. Synthetics and cotton mixes are good to use because they are readily available in various colors. However, they can be difficult to work with, especially if you are just starting.

The fabric is a very important piece of the quilt. You can choose the best color or pattern and end up having it wasted on a piece of fabric that cannot withstand the demands. This is especially hard to get past if you are a beginner. It is discouraging when all your hard work unravels, literally, in your hands. The right fabric will help your quilt hold its shape after washes and use.

Fabric ranges from velvet to denim and woolen to silk. There are a lot of in betweens and what really matters is what will work for your particular project. You don't have to go buy yards and yards of fabric either. You could use a t-shirt, jeans, old blanket, leather pieces and even embroidered fabrics in your comforter. Mixing soft, ragged, embossed and textured fabric types to the mix is a good way to give your quilt more depth.

Color Patterns

Color on a wall, painting or even on a piece of fabric represents a mood. There is a reason why we wear black to funerals and white to a wedding. Black has been identified with a period of mourning and white a color of new beginnings. Colors don't have one single meaning however, you can find various patterns of colors to express different feelings.

Blue, red and yellow are primary colors. Secondary colors can only be created by using various combinations of primary colors. Green, orange and violet are secondary colors.

Following the below color tips for your quilt block patterns can help you make your quilt even better.

  • Warm colors like yellow and orange can make a person feel closer than cooler colors such as blue and purple.
  • Black and white colors are good for a base. Black will darken other colors surrounding it and white will bright the same colors.
  • Cool colors calm a room and warm colors give the room greater energy.

When you think about color try to imagine who will be using it and what it will be used for whether it is to be sold, used by a family member or for a close friend.