Quilt Blocks For Beginners: What’s Worth Knowing

Tackling Quilting the Right Way: What’s Worth Knowing About Quilt Blocks for Beginners? 

You won’t be surprised to hear that quilt blocks for beginners don’t have excessively complex and fancy shapes. In quilting, as in life, everything has its time! 

Novices will benefit from creating simple shapes like squares and rectangles when making their first quilts—suggests Leslie from the Seasoned Homemaker.

We’ve got “Easy Quilt Blocks That Look Difficult” on Adventures of a DIY Mom for our ambitious readers. 

Explore the topic of quilt blocks for beginners below, or take your quilting adventure even further with our takes on:

    1. how to make a rag quilt
    2. how to make a tshirt quilt, and
    3. how to baste a quilt;

How to make a block quilt for beginners

In this paragraph, we’ll focus on how to design a quilt block and make your beautiful creation see the light of day! 

What are your options?

Quilt designing method How to do it
Manual Use a pencil and grid paper if you have it at hand.

Choose one of many handy apps designed to help you with your quilting projects. 

Don’t forget to find out how to applique on a quilt


Search for options available online to 

    1. make your quilting easier or 
    2. find out how will your project look when it’s ready;
Software It’s a more costly option than online or app alternatives. Invest in one of the popular software options to take your quilting to another level.

Let’s tackle these four different options below:

    1. Design your quilt project manually

“The cheapest, easiest method of designing quilts is with a good ol’ pencil and paper lying around,”

—claims Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts

However, shapes created this way may not be the most accurate. 

If you still want to keep working manually while ensuring your designs are precise, use graph or grid paper. Graph paper is perfect for 

      • squares, 
      • half-square triangles, and 
      • strip quilts;

It’s also good to work out the quilt math, drawing your project to scale—where one square represents a certain amount of inches. 

So, get yourself the simplest school notebook or find one of plenty of printable options circling the web.

Remember that working out the fabric sewing quilting requirements for larger projects may be quite challenging with this technique. 

Quilt blocks for beginners
Image source: All People Quilt

      2. Use the app

As observed by Blossom Heart Quilts, Apple’s Quiltography app for less than $20 is a popular option, including 

      • over 180 block templates, 
      • yardage calculator, 
      • design pixel quilts, and more; 

Other handy smartphone apps for quilters are:

      • Quilt Shop Locator—iPhone app designed to find shops near you,
      • Fabric Stash—take pictures of your fabric to sort it in various ways, track costs, create wish lists, match fabrics (read about types of fabric and types of cotton fabric), and others,
      • AccuQuilt—with this app, among others, you can easily shop for materials needed for your projects,
      • Quilt Shops—created with the help of Quilters Club of America; enter a city, state, or zip code, and search the continuously updated list of shops nearest your current location,
      • Art Quilting Daily—another iPhone app it is. Read the Quilting Daily blog posts to learn tips on surface design, beading, wearable arts, crazy quilting, silk ribbon techniques, fabric painting, and more, and watch over a hundred how-to videos.
      • Quilting Calc—this free iPhone app helps you work with fabric selections; it includes eight quilt-related calculators such as a fabric measurement converter, backing and batting calculator (read about quilt backing fabric), piece count calculator, border and binding calculators, etc.

Easy quilt blocks for beginners
Image source: Timber Hill Threads

      • Judith Baker Montano’s Embroidery and Crazy Quilt Stitch Guide—released by iPhone, produced by C&T Publishing. Here, you get free instructions for ten stitches, both right-hand and left-hand sewing. 
      • beginner option includes 60 basic embroidery stitches and over 20 minutes of video,
      • advanced offers more sophisticated stitches and another 20 minutes of video,
      • a “silk ribbon” choice includes over 50 stitches to help you create projects with silk ribbon, along with more videos;
      • Quilts 1700- 2010—created for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the app has 22 quilts shown at the museum in 2010 that cover three centuries of UK-originated quilting.
      • Quick and Easy Quilt Block Tool—check out over 100 quilt blocks and many cutting diagrams and patch sizes for multiple sizes of each block. Take this app along when you shop to pull up quilt blocks you want to make and review their structure.

Read more on The Spruce Crafts and find out what quilt kits are. 

Easy quilt projects for beginners
Image source: Pinterest

      3. Online 

An online program worth exploring is Prequilt. It’s made for designing your quilts with custom quilt blocks or with the included free block designs. 

You can also color pre-loaded quilt designs and import images of your own quilting fabric bundles stash to see how it looks in the final quilt. 

Try Prequilt for free or upgrade it to enjoy a few extra features for $5/month or $50/year.

      4. Software 

Take your quilt designing to the next level using popular software, such as Electric Quilt 8 (also known as EQ8). It’s available for both PC and Mac, and it goes for $239.95. 

This software rules the digital quilt design tools market, including all the options you may need as a quilt designer. So don’t worry about the steep learning curve, and keep in mind that it’s worth pushing through! 

How to patch a quilt
Image source: ThumbTack

Electric Quilt 8 has an extensive block library and a wide variety of fabrics. Import your own fabrics by 

    • purchasing EQ’s downloadable stashes, 
    • scanning the fabric yourself, or 
    • importing JPGs that some manufacturers provide;

Use this software to assess fabric yardage requirements and for regular quilt designs, foundation paper piecing designs and templates, curves and applique, etc.

Read “Electric Quilt 8 Review – Best Quilt Design Software” by Shannon Reed on Quilters Review

These programs are for you if you:

    • fancy asking “what if?” and risking nothing while creating your quilts’ projects, 
    • want to be able to quickly make changes (compared to the method with graph paper and pencil),
    • don’t want to guess what works for your quilting projects and what doesn’t! 

Quilt fabric and pattern designers can also use the Adobe Design Suite for both quilt and fabric design. 

Electric quilt
Image source: Quilters Review

How to make easy quilt projects for beginners?

Use these “7 Easy Quilt Patterns for Beginners” listed on Thinking of You.

Also, see “How to Design a Simple Quilt” by Quilty to learn where to take inspiration from and how to get things going in the quilt designing department:

Where to find simple quilt designs for beginners?

Explore easy quilt blocks for beginners on Seasoned Home Maker to find out how to make a 4-patch quilt block, and tackle machine quilting designs for half-square triangles. Find the best sewing machine for quilting here. 

For free printable hand quilting stencils, go to Fave Quilts

Quilt blocks tutorial
Image source: A Quilting Life

Is it possible to make a quilt if you don’t have a pattern? Angela Walters from Craftsy is happy to share alternative options:

So, now that you have your quilt design, you can go to the “making” part. 

If you take your quilting endeavors seriously, you’ll also appreciate how quick and effortless it is to make your projects look more professional with the help of the Super Label Store

Take your quilts to the next level with:

    1. custom woven labels
    2. care labels, and/or
    3. hang tags;

Check out this how to make a quilt YouTube video by Melanie to make your first quilt without fail:

There are many variants of quilting projects, depending on the vibe they are about to exude, their size, the reason for making them, etc. So, if you wonder

    • how to quilt a baby quilt (dig into this Pinterest listing for baby quilt ideas for boys and discover how to make a baby quilt with fat quarters),
    • what are some quilt ideas for men,
    • how to patch a quilt,

simply follow the online instructions for quilt-making, such as these published on the Super Label Store blog: what’s there to know about quilting thread and pre-quilted fabric, how to make a quilt label, how to quilt as you go, etc. 

How many fat quarters to make a baby quilt? Let us know when you get there or check out this step-by-step guide on how to “Sew and Easy Beginner’s Baby Quilt” by Christina from The DIY Mommy.

Simple quilt designs for beginners
Image source: Thinking of You

To make things simpler, follow these seven steps to making a quilt by Sarah Maker:

Step Description
Pick a quilt pattern Check “19 Easy Quilt Patterns for Beginners” on The Spruce Crafts.
Choose the fabric Shop for high-quality quilting cotton that’s supposed to wear well over time.
Cut the fabric Keep it simple and follow the pattern instructions. Use a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler.
Piece the quilt top

There is so much to say about this phase, but fundamentally, you have to sew the fabric pieces together, following the directions in the pattern. Sew an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance!

Discover how to tie a quilt

Assemble the “quilt sandwich” When the top is finished, add a layer of batting and the quilt back.
Quilt the layers together Quilt through all layers of your “sandwich” using a walking or free-motion foot. 
Trim and bind the quilt Discover how to bind a quilt on our Super Label Store blog. After quilting, trim the layers, ensuring they are even and square (read how to square up a quilt block;). Then, sew on the binding to encase the edges.

To master your quilting skills and skyrocket from beginner to advanced, tackle “Tips and Techniques for Designing Quilts” on The Spruce Crafts

Put some elbow grease in the quilting, and you’ll notice that discovering how to make a simple baby quilt won’t be a problem anymore!

How to design a quilt block
Image source: Sew Can She