8 Crazy Simple Quilting Blocks for Beginners

As a newbie quilter, you might be wondering what are some simple quilting blocks for beginners. Try these amazing simple blocks and get quilting!

OK, I’ll be completely honest. When I first started quilting, I had no idea which quilt blocks were considered easy and which were considered crazy hard.

I had sewing experience, as I’d sewn quite a few garments before. Some of which I find amazing even today, when I sew all the time – but really, mostly quilts. Just a couple of weeks ago I came across a shirt I’d sewn years ago. A shirt with buttonholes and a collar and everything. I mean, these days you’ll barely see me wearing a shirt, let alone make one.

What I’m trying to say is that I knew how to sew, and I just went for it. (And I mean went for it, because one of my first real quilting projects was a rainbow wall hanging with – eeek – curves!)

So if you’re a beginner quilter, but not a beginner sewist, I say make whichever block or quilt pattern calls out your name, because you’re going to do great!

On the other hand, if learning to quilt is also your first try at sewing, it might be a better idea to stick to some simple quilting blocks that are perfect for beginners.

In this article, I’m going to share some crazy simple, but beautiful quilt blocks that you can try as a beginner. 

You’ll be surprised at how many great designs you can get by simply sewing together squares and rectangles!

Tips for Sewing Quilting Blocks for Beginners

Before I dive into the quilting blocks you can make, let me just share my top two tips to make sure your block sewing goes to plan.

Tip 1: Make sure you cut accurately

I cannot stress this enough – cutting your fabric accurately will save you so much trouble. So although I’m sure you want to start sewing ASAP, take that extra time to really measure accurately and then make a clean cut with a rotary cutter.

If you’re just starting out, I recommend you double-check to make sure your pieces are all cut to the exact required measurement.

Tip 2: Piece with a consistent (scant ¼’’) seam allowance

This is also one of those things that will soon become second nature. But for beginners, it can take some extra time to really master. A consistent seam allowance is that magic ingredient for perfect even quilt blocks. 

I recommend learning to sew with a scant ¼’’ seam allowance from the very beginning. It’s kind of like the wholly grail in quilting, so you might as well get it right from the very beginning, right? I explain everything about how to sew with an accurate ¼’’ seam allowance in this article.

Simple Quilting Blocks for Beginners

In this overview of simple quilting blocks for beginners, I’ll stick to quilt blocks that only use rectangles and squares as building blocks.

That’s because, for a beginner, those really are the easiest shapes to sew.

I know you might be tempted to start making half-square triangles or flying geese. But if you’re a true beginner, I really recommend to stick to these basic shapes for a while.

That’s because these shapes are more forgiving when it comes to piecing accuracy and point matching. Which can be hard for a beginner. I’m not saying there’s no point matching here, but it’s definitely less noticeable with plain square shapes.

I promise this doesn’t mean you’ll have to sew boring things. Not at all. In fact, if you browse through our shop or have seen some of our finished projects, you probably know – they are actually our favorites!

So let me inspire you with some crazy simple quilting blocks for beginners!

4-Patch Quilt Block

The basic 4-patch quilt block is probably the easiest and most basic quilt block you can make.  It is a simple unit that consists of four equal-sized squares arranged in a 2×2 grid.

As you’ll see, this block can be then transformed into many different (more complex) layouts. But even in its purest form, it can create some really stunning results.

By alternating 4-path quilt blocks with a large square, you can create a really interesting pattern. I just played with the rotation of the 4 patch here:

Of course, you can also create a whole bunch of four patches and sew them all together. This will create a simple, but stunning (and very beginner-friendly) basic patchwork quilt. Something like we created in our quilt with squares tutorial.

We used a different construction method in our tutorial, but you can create the exact design with a 4 patch quilt block.

9 Patch Quilt Block

A 9-patch quilt block is another super basic simple quilting block. The logic behind it is the same as with a 4 patch, the only difference is that you’re working with a 3×3 grid.

The basic 9 patch is created by alternating same-sized squares in two different colors to create a checkerboard. 

I know what you’re thinking. But Ula, this is so boring! And I’m not saying it’s not. It is. But just take a look at what happens when you alternate the 9 patch blocks with a plain background square!

You get a whole new design. Well, actually you get a very traditional, very old design – it’s called an Irish chain and it’s kind of magic, don’t you think?

(By the way, we also have a cool free Double Irish Chain pattern on the blog – which is similar to an irish chain, but double the fun!).

Plus Quilt Block

Now that you understand the construction logic behind these simple quilting blocks, I’m sure you know how to create this plus quilt block.

It’s as simple as a 9-patch block! You can create it from 9 smaller squares. Or, save yourself some cutting and sewing and use a single strip for the central part.

If you do that just make sure you account for the seam allowances when calculating the size of the rectangle you need to cut.

Play with the colors and create this super modern and vibrant quilt. Seriously, I want to sew one NOW.

The Jigsaw Puzzle Block

This is really just a variation of the plus quilt block. Instead of using 6 squares and one strip, you’ll use 3 squares and two strips to create the block.

With some careful planning, you can create this stunning jigsaw puzzle pattern. I’ll admit, you’ll need to plan things out a bit to make the right color combos. But other than that, this layout is super simple to recreate!

Extended 9-Patch Quilt Block

If you want to have some more fun with the classic 9-patch quilt block, consider this layout. The quilt I made was actually inspired by a tile I saw somewhere.

Strip pieced quilt

And it’s super simple to make. Take your basic 9 patch block and add these additional units. (They are each twice as wide as the basic square in the 9 patch).

This process can be sped up considerably by strip piecing – read all about this magic quilting method in our strip piecing tutorial here.

Antique Tile Quilt Block

This is another beginner-friendly quilt block constructed from rectangles and squares.

It is attributed to Nancy Cabot, who was this awesome lady who wrote for the Chicago Tribune in the 1930’s.She presented one quilt block every day, so you can only imagine her incredible body of work. (If you’re a bit of a quilting history geek, I encourage you to browse through some of Nancy Cabot’s blocks here.)

To create this block, you’ll need to make three simple units:

Unit A is a two-color version of the basic 4 patch (you’ll need four).

Unit B is a square made from two rectangles (you’ll need four).

And Unit C is just your basic square (you’ll need one).

Sew all of them together like you would a 9 patch and you’re done!

The exciting thing about this block is how the choice of color can completely transform the final look. Just take a look at these two examples:

And when you play with repetition you could get something like the diagram below. Pretty cool, right?

Log Cabin Quilt Block

Another quilting classic, the log cabin quilt block is actually a great block for a beginner to try. Again, you’re only dealing with rectangles and squares, so you don’t need to worry too much about point matching.

We have this gorgeous log cabin that Barbara made here in the studio.

Barbara wrote a dedicated article all about the log cabin, so if you want to try to make your own, I suggest you head over there: Log Cabin Quilt Block tutorial. She’s got some incredibly creative variations that I just can’t get over. So inspiring!

Bento Box Quilt Block

The Bento Box block is in fact a variation of the log cabin pattern. It might not seem like it at first sight, but if you read Barbara’s log cabin article, you’ll see it instantly.

There are pretty much endless options here when it comes to color combos (aren’t there always?): But the version I really like is this symmetrical bento box design.

You’ll need two opposing (color-wise) blocks – two of each for one block:

When you sew them together you’ll get a bento box block:

I had some fun with the colors in Illustrator and here are two options that would look incredible in fabric:

So there you go, some amazingly simple quilting blocks for beginners. What do you think? Is this something you would try?

If you’re looking for more inspiration check out 9 Easy Quilt Blocks That Look Difficult. These require a little bit more skills, but if you have some sewing experience already that shouldn’t be a problem.

Happy sewing!

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