I use standard quilt block sizes for almost all of my quilts – a simple 10-inch square grid.
That makes it super easy to mix and match blocks between my patterns.
When I say 10-inch square – that means that’s the FINISHED quilt block size. After you sew it all together, then the block is ten inches square.
To get those finished 10-inch squares, I like to cut my blocks 11 inches square. That way I have a little wiggle room – and I LIKE wiggle room. I quilt my block, then applique it, and then trim it down to 10 1/2 inches square so that when I sew the blocks together using a quarter inch seam allowance, my finished blocks are ten inches.
Easy peasy. Cut all blocks 11 inches square.
But what about half blocks? And double blocks?
Varying quilt block sizes is a great way to break up that straightforward grid.
Here’s the Noisy Farm quilt pattern with lots of fun half blocks.
And here’s the Sea Creatures quilt pattern with some fun double blocks.
See how that breaks up the grid?
You can do that with any of my quilt patterns! Half blacks are an especially easy way to add words to the layout using this free alphabet applique pattern.
Here’s the basic Bunches of Bears quilt pattern in the standard grid layout the pattern calls for.
And here it is with added “noisy” half blocks.
Add lots of woofs, barks, snuffles, and howls to the Playful Puppies!
Add a bunch of zzzzzzs to the Silly Sloths.
Add a name and birth date to a baby quilt.
There’s also a tiny little trick to cutting these different quilt block sizes.
If you cut the square blocks 11 inches square, you might think you just cut that in half for a half block – but you have to remember to allow for a seam allowance!
To do that we need to start with the finished block size.
So. . .
Your half block will finish at 10 inches x 5 inches.
Cut your starting block 11 inches x 6 inches.
After you do your applique and quilting, trim to 10 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches.
Do the same thing for double blocks.
Your finished size will be 10 inches x 20 inches.
Cut your starting block 11 inches x 21 inches.
After you do your applique and quilting, trim to 10 1/2 x 20 1/2 inches.
Now that you’ve got some different quilt block sizes you can use to play with – try breaking up the grid on any of your standard quilt patterns!