Most of the quick-piecing tutorials were designed to supplement the ‘Simple Blocks’ series that ran on the blog in past years. Download a PDF of each one by clicking on the title below. Each tutorial has step-by-step photos. Go to the blog post(s) for the Simple Blocks associated with each tutorial by clicking on the name of the block. Tables of cutting sizes for units from 1 to 12 inches are also available to download. A compilation of all these tables (and some extras) can be downloaded from our Shop.

We have now added a couple of PDFs on drafting octagons and hexagons for those who want to make their own templates. Scroll down beyond Rotary Cutting and Quick Piecing.

A Dresden Plates tutorial is now available to supplement the Dresden Plate blog posts.

Rotary Cutting tutorials

These first appeared on our sister blog chrisandbarbaraquilts –  Rotary cutting equipmentRotary cutting straight fabric, Rotary cutting strips, Rotary cutting squares, Rotary cutting right angled triangles (Half-square and quarter-square triangles), Rotary cutting 60 degree angles, Rotary cutting 45 degree angles and finally Rotary cutting peaky and spike triangles. But did you know you can also cut octagons with the rotary cutter? Start with a square and . . .   download the step by octagon cutting instructions here. And if you want to draft your own octagon just scroll down to the Drafting Patterns section

Block unit (quick piecing) tutorials


4-patch tutorial.   The simple blocks that go with this tutorial are Double 4-patch and Frayed 4-patch.

For help with sizes to cut you can download a free table for cutting squares and rectangles here


9-patch tutorialThe Simple Blocks that go with this tutorial are Double 9-patch, Basketweave and Roadblock.

half-square triangle

half-square triangle tutorial.   The Simple Blocks that go with this tutorial are Calico Puzzle, Contrary Wife, Double X, Churn Dash, Clays Choice, Road to California, Schoolgirls Puzzle, and True Blue.

quarter-square triangle

quarter-square triangle tutorialThe simple blocks that go with this tutorial are Practical OrchardTriplet , Ohio Star , Clown’s Choice , Star X, Big Dipper, and Chains and Hourglass.

For help with what sizes of Half-Square Triangles and Quarter-Square Triangles to cut you can download a table here.

Flying Geese

Flying Geese tutorial. This tutorial now includes step-by-step to Folded Flying Geese. A general post about the Flying Geese block and unit is here. The simple blocks that go with this tutorial are Sawtooth Star,  Dutchman’s Puzzle, Next Door Neighbour, Big T, Capital T, Cups and Saucers,

For help with what sizes to cut to make Flying Geese units you can download a table here.

three triangles

Three triangles tutorial    Blocks that go with this tutorial are Turnstile, Mystery Flower Garden, Card Trick, Crow’s Nest Key Lime Pie, Card trickCrow’s Nest, Mystery Flower Garden, Martha Washington’s Star, and Star and Pinwheels.

For help with what sizes to cut for these units download the cutting tables for HST and QST units given above.

square in a square

Square in a Square tutorial   A general post about the Square in a Square (sometimes known as Diamond in a Square) unit and block is here. Further blocks associated with this unit/block are Improved Four Patch and Coffin Star, Right and Left, New Album, Susannah, Coxey’s Camp and Monkey Wrench (or Snail Trail)

You can download tables for help with what sizes to cut for these units here.

Mary's Triangles

Square and triangles tutorial. Sometimes known as Mary’s Triangles or Jewel Box, this unit appears in a number of blocks. It also makes an interesting quilt just on its own. Among the blocks using this unit are Album, Grandmother’s Choice, Spinning Tops, Aunt Dinah and Five Spot.

For help with what sizes of triangles and squares to cut for these units you can download a table here.

peaky and spike unitPeaky and Spike units cannot be quick pieced, but to supplement the rotary cutting guide we have produced a ‘how-to’ for this unit and its relation Ice Cream Cone. Download a piecing guide here.

unitsHalf-Rectangle Triangle units are the side triangles for Peaky and Spike but they can be joined together to make units for blocks such as Crazy Ann. This tutorial shows you how to do just that.

Setting Triangles

These are the triangles you add to the edges of a quilt when you are setting the blocks ‘on point’; they give the quilt its straight edges. But what size of square should you start with to make these triangles? All is explained in this set of tables for blocks from 6 to 20 inches square. Download it here.

Foundation Piecing

2020-03-28 11.54.29This is not a comprehensive tutorial – it is just for ‘Peaky and Spike’ units such as those used in 54-40 or Fight and similar blocks. Download the pdf here.

Dresden Plates

IMG_9718To supplement the posts about different Dresden Plates (which started back in October, 2019 and ran every week thereafter until the end of the year) we have put together a few pages of hints, tips and reminders as a tutorial for these blocks. There are plenty of video tutorials available elsewhere for those of you who are visual learners or require a little more information than we have room for (we could have written a whole book!).

We have included a section on ‘fussy cutting’ though.

Cathedral Window

secret garden and c w completeA quick overview of Cathedral Window and Secret Garden. Download the tutorial here.

Drafting Patterns

Sometimes you cannot just find a simple formula or rotary cut a shape without a special ruler; you have to resort to old-fashioned pencil and paper to draw the shape you require. Here you will find details of how to do just that for a variety of shapes you may find you want to use – especially for hand-piecing.

Octagonhow to draft an octagon of any size without complicated (or indeed any) maths, just paper, pencil and scissors as well as a method using your ruler and compass set – but still no sums to do. And octagons lead to Kaleidoscope blocks and variations as well as Eight-Pointed Stars and variations.

Hexagonhow to draft hexagons of any size without complicated (or indeed any) maths, just paper, pencil and scissors as well as a method using your ruler and compass set – but still no sums to do. Once you have a hexagon you also have Tumbling Blocks, Inner City, Six-Pointed Stars and diamonds.


If you want to know more about wadding – what sort to use and when – then have a look at this blog from The Cotton Patch. You can click on the link in the blog to download a handy e-book or another link will take you to a wadding glossary.


Having recently tried to explain to someone over the phone how to make binding, we thought it might be a good idea to have some tutorials on binding as well. So if you’ve  finished the quilting and don’t know what happens next – click on the links below to download advice on various aspects of binding a quilt.

making binding strips

butted binding

mitred binding


13 thoughts on “Tutorials

  1. Pingback: Rotary cutting Part 4 | chris & barbara quilts

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  5. Pingback: Simple Blocks – Square in a Square | meadowside-designs

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