Sunday, March 1, 2015

Granny Square Block

Last week, Pam at Mad About Patchwork, showed the ladies of the church quilting circle how to make a Granny Square block.

I made a block from my scraps, before I forgot, and took pictures. In case you would like to make one, or a bunch, here is a guide.

Pam used 2 1/2 strips from a roll of precuts. I have been trying to remember to cut my scraps, after the completion of a project, into 2 1/2" strips, so I used some stripes from my bin.

First I cut 2 1/2" squares.

You need 1 in the first colour, 4 in the second colour, 8 in the third colour, and twelve in the fourth colour. You also need 16 - 2 1/2" by 3 1/2" rectangles, in your background colour. Mine is a pale yellow batik.

You start laying the block out, with the single square in the middle and build out from there. I forgot to take a picture of that step. (oops)

Next you sew them together in rows.
You leave the background rectangles off the middle strip.

Now you sew the rows together, matching the seam as you go along. I sewed the top 3 rows together, then the bottom three rows.
It is much easier to get everything to match if you don't press the seams until after everything is sewn. See how nicely they match.

Sew the last 2 seams and press. Now you need to trim the edges of the 3 middle rows so they all line up.

Now sew the last 4 blocks, centred on the outer edges.
A final press, and you are ready to trim. Did I mention that the block is en pointe?

The block squares to 12 1/2".

As a group block, it is great, because everyone can finish their blocks to just before it is squared up, and one person can square them, ensuring they are all the same size. Since the coloured squares are more than 1/4" from the edge, it isn't necessary to match points when you sew the blocks together.

I discovered an interesting thing, when I was sewing the block. I am sure that I don't normally sew with green, it isn't one of my favourite colours. However, all these squares came from my scrap bin, and only the centre block is purple.

I think this block is destined to be an orphan, since I don't have any more of that yellow. However, it is so pretty, I'll have to find a use for it. Tote bag, maybe.


  1. Kate, seeing the block sewn this way, now I know how the corners are done, I hope I have some 2.5 inch strips saved somewhere. And not too many colours, I can see a quilt using scraps galore.

  2. That's a very pretty block! It would make a good tote bag, or even a cushion.

  3. one of my favourite blocks, tho I do the corners and sides using half square or quarter square triangles so that the straight of grain is along the sides. I am actually working on a similar project now, well actually it is a WIP that has been sitting for a year! Seeing yours maybe will motivate me to get back to mine!

  4. Thanks for this awesome tutorial, I was wondering and now you've helped me scratch and itch, love it.

  5. Your granny square block would make a lovely cushion cover. Thanks for the tutorial!