Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Crazy Square Baby Quilt Block Tutorial

I made this baby quilt a few weeks ago for a friend (see more pictures here) and thought I'd share how I put the blocks together. I love quilts that don't require a lot of measuring and precision, and I like quilts that are just a little "off" - this quilt design falls into all of those categories.

To start you need 5 inch squares in your background color - mine was white. The number you need will depend on the size quilt you're making - I used 80 for the baby sized quilt. I'm using 16 in this tutorial in order to make the finished blocks into a throw pillow.

You will also need scraps in your color scheme (mine is random scrappy) - they don't have to be cut into any particular shape, although square to rectangle -ish works best, just make sure they have 1 straight edge.

Now you will lay 1 of your scraps across 1 corner of a background square - right sides together, straight edge of your scrap angled along the corner of your background piece. The angle or placement doesn't really matter but you will be folding back along your seam allowance so make sure your scrap is big enough - kind of confusing but keep reading and I think it will make sense.

Sew a 1/4 inch seam allowance along the straight edge of your scrap like this:

Continue with your other blocks, varying your angles and placement - I sew mine all together at once in a big chain in order to save time. It will look like this:

Then you just clip that little bit of thread between the blocks to separate them.

Now iron your scrap of fabric back along the seam allowance. You should now have a piece that looks something like this:

You're going to repeat this process on the opposite corner now. Lay a fabric scrap across the opposite corner, again right sides facing and straight edge angled across the corner. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam. Repeat with all of your squares.

Iron the scrap of fabric back and you should now have a piece that looks like this:

Flip your piece over to the back side and using your background square as a guide, trim all excess over-hanging fabric off, along all 4 sides.

Your square will now look like this:

at this point you can also trim the excess background fabric from behind the scrap pieces if you want (leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance) - I usually don't do this but if you're planning on hand quilting you probably would want to.

Lay your squares out in rows to create your "crazy squares" - when 4 scrappy corners come together it will create the square:

You can now sew your blocks into rows, and then your rows together into your quilt top (or pillow top in my case).


  1. Thank you for this excellent Tutorial. I loved your original photo on Flickr and I'm delighted you have explained how you did it. I'm sure I shall make one before too long as I love ideas for using up scraps!

  2. Thanks Linda - I'd love to see a picture if you end up making one.

  3. I love this, it reminds me of butterflies flitting across the quilt. Thanks for the tutorial.

  4. Wow, that's an awesome quilt, I love it! Not alot of precise measuring which I love, it uses up scraps which I love even more, and yet turns out beautiful which is the greatest part of it! :0) I'm definitely going to make one of these! I have to admit, it looked real hard when I first saw the picture, but it looks super easy! Thanks for the tutorial!

  5. I love this!! The random nature, the chance to use scraps, and the look of the quilt itself... and the assembly-line construction is a favorite of mine. Thanks for the inspiration! Can't wait to use it on the baby quilt I'll be making in the spring!!

  6. This looks so easy with your explanation and I can use up some of my scraps. Thanks again for the tutorial.

  7. Wow, this is really lovely! Thank you for the tutorial, I shall away and make one for my friend's new baby boy.
    Thank you, again.

  8. Thank you for this great idea. Do I need to quilt the finished product? What do you suggest??

  9. Kraig - Yes, definitely if it's going to be a baby quilt but I would also sandwich it and quilt it if it's going to be a pillow. When making a quilted pillow, I sandwich with a backing and batting, quilt, and then use another piece of fabric for the back side of the pillow. You can sort of see my finished pillow in this post (although not the best picture of it)-

  10. i love this. i've GOT to make one now!