6 Types of Quilt Blocks and How to Spot Them
Learn a block's construction to demystify the design process and make assembly easier.
Most traditional blocks are a three step process:
- Join pieces into units
- Join units into rows (or larger units)
- Join rows to make the block
Blocks are usually categorized by how the final seams are sewn to create a block. For example a four patch block has four final seams
In these blocks one or more of the seams is curved.
Four Patch Construction
In most blocks pieces are sewn together to make a larger unit or patch. Each unit may have many pieces which are ultimately assembled into four final larger units to complete the block.
Nine Patch Construction
Nine patch construction has three rows of three units. Each unit might be simple or complex but the final seams are 3 x 3. Again each unit may have multiple pieces.
Five Patch Construction
A five patch does not have five final seams and is not constructed from five final units. A five patch is broken down into five rows and five columns. Many five patch blocks look like a four patch variation with an added smaller or larger row in the middle.
A star is often the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of circular construction. But there are many non star blocks which use circular construction. Especially four patches where the circular pressing pattern is ideal.
Blocks assembled in diagonal rows. Easy to spot due to the presence of quarter and half square triangles along the edges. Think of them as a mini on point quilt.
These are blocks which do not fit into the other categories. They are often sewn with a partial seam because the final seam doesn’t run across the full block.