Free Modern Ombre Herringbone Quilt Pattern

Follow our free ombre herringbone quilt pattern and make a beautiful herringbone quilt. This tutorial uses 8-at-a-time half square triangles for a quick and easy make!

Have I got a treat for you! Every once in a while I get the sewing itch and don’t really have a project to pick up. It doesn’t happen often, but it does.

Well, the last time it happened, I thought I’d come up with a new quilt pattern, as one does, right? I decided to create a quick and easy ombre herringbone quilt pattern. And of course, I am here to share with you, my favorite quilty people!

I like to think I’m a clever quilter, so I put my clever skills to work to create something that would really come together quickly. And without too much brain power for picking fabrics and all that.

And I think I did a good job (taps herself on the shoulder).

So here’s our free ombre herringbone quilt pattern for you to enjoy and – hopefully – make!

What is a Herringbone Quilt Pattern?

Before I show you how to do it, let me explain what a herringbone quilt pattern is.

A herringbone quilt pattern is a distinctive design that resembles the V-shaped skeleton of a herringfish’s spine, hence the name.

The herringbone pattern is used all over, not just in quilting. For example, we have a herringbone hardwood floor in our house that I loooove!

And of course, even in quilting, you’ll see lots of different variations.

How to Make a Herringbone Quilt?

There are different ways of how to construct a herringbone quilt pattern.

One option is to make it using strips. If you decide to go down that road, I urge you to NOT cut every single piece out individually. Instead, use the strip piecing technique. This will save you a lot of cutting and sewing. And also helps you get accurate results.

The other option – which is what I’ll be showing you here – is to make it with half-square triangles or HSTs.

New! PDF pattern

The Modern Herringbone quilt is now available in the shop as a PDF downloadable pattern with 4 additional sizes!
mini baby – baby – lap – small throw – large throw

Color Variations for the Herringbone Quilt

This is where things get exciting. When making the herringbone quilt pattern with half-square triangles, you get so many possibilities of how to arrange the colors.

This can create completely different quilts. Seriously, just look at some color combinations we tried. It was honestly hard to choose which one to make.

It’s hard to believe all these are in fact the exact same pattern.

Ombre Herringbone Quilt Tutorial

OK, so let’s get started, shall we? In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a baby-sized (40×40’’ finished size) herringbone quilt with a modern twist. The layout we’re going to create is this one:

I really like the effect the color layout creates here, I think it really adds a modern vibe to it, don’t you?

Step 1: Plan your quilt

If you look at the layout here, you’ll see that our herringbone quilt pattern is created using 8 rows. Each row contains 8 half square triangles.

If you decide to follow my color layout with five colors (let’s call them colors A-E), you’ll need:

HST comboNumber of rowsNumber of HSTs
Color A + background18
Color B + background216
Color C + background216
Color D + background216
Color E + background18

Of course, you can choose a completely different color combo. Plan your required HST accordingly.

We’re making a baby-sized quilt, (finished size 40×40’’), so we want each HST to be 5’’x5’’ finished. That’s because each row contains 8 HSTs and 40’’ divided by 8 is 5’’.

Here’s the chance to make this quilt bigger (or smaller). Decide what size you want your finished quilt to be, divide it by 8 and you’ll get the required HST size. Use our half-square triangle calculator to get the starting squares required to make the HSTs. 

Step 2: Make half-square triangles

Thanks to our genius planning you can create all the required HSTs with the 8-at-a-time HST method. 

For our quilt, we’ll need 12×12’’ starting squares. Cut the following number of starting squares:

COLORCut this many 12×12” squares
Color A 1
Color B2
Color C2
Color D2
Color E1

Make the required HST combos with the 8-at-a-time HST method. I explain how to make half-square triangles with the 8-at-a-time method here.

You’ll make 64 half-square triangles in total. Pheew, that’s a lot of HSTs!

Step 3: Square the HSTs

This is a step you definitely don’t want to skip. Square the HSTs to 5.5×5.5’’ unfinished. 

This means that after you’ll sew the HSTs together, they will be 5×5’’ finished. (That’s because you’ll use ¼’’ seam allowance on every side.)

Step 4: Arrange the HSTs in rows

Arrange your HSTs in rows following the pattern diagram.

Herringbone quilt pattern on the design wall

Step 5: Sew the quilt top

There are two ways to sew the HSTs into a finished quilt top.

The first option is to first sew the HSTs into rows, adding one HST to the row each time. Remember to press the seams. Ideally, alternate the direction in which you press the seams (so press to the left in Row 1, to the right in Row 2, then to the left again, etc.) This will enable you to nest the seams as you sew the rows together. 

The second option is to chain-piece the HSTs into the finished quilt top. Chain piecing is a great way to keep your blocks organized AND speed up the process big time. I explain how to chain piece here. The tutorial uses a simple patchwork quilt, but the process is exactly the same, whether you’re chain piecing fabric squares or HSTs! 

Whichever option you choose, make sure you press the seams and do a happy dance, because your herringbone quilt top is finished!

New! PDF pattern

The Modern Herringbone quilt is now available in the shop as a PDF downloadable pattern with 4 additional sizes!
mini baby – baby – lap – small throw – large throw

OK, not finished, there are still some steps to do to actually finish your quilt, but don’t worry, we’ve got great tutorials for you:

Further Reading

Finish a Quilt in 3 steps

If you’re new to quilting and you’re overwhelmed with how to finish a quilt, here are the 3 basic steps with links to useful tutorials:

How to Baste a Quilt >

Machine Quilting for Beginners >
Inspiring Straight Line Quilting Designs >

The Ultimate Quilt Binding Tutorial >

If you prefer, you can follow our beginner-friendly tutorial on How to make a quilt from start to finish.

Yaaaay! Now let’s take a moment to observe this beauty. Ahhhh, gorgeous. Makes my heart sing.

I hope my herringbone quilt pattern has inspired you to make your own! If you make one, let us know in the comments or tag us on Instagram. We’d love to see what you make!


Share it with your quilty friends!

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