Getting Random Quilt Blocks to Fit Together

Grand Canyon for blogI’ve returned from the sunshine of Arizona to the freezing rain of Wisconsin. It was a wonderful trip and the beauty of God’s creation is truly awe inspiring.


I’m glad to be home and excited to be back in quilting mode. So, here’s the quilty post I promised¬† ūüėÄ !

If you’ve ever won a stack of blocks at a guild meeting and wanted to put them together into one quilt, but found they were not all the same size – read on! I often see stacks of blocks like this brought into my open lab classes. I must admit, I’ve had two¬†projects of my own – “block of the month”stacks, ¬†that were supposed to become a sampler quilt, but they didn’t all match up. I’ve tried a number of solutions, and this one is my favorite. It uses a technique I shared in a blog post a few years ago (, and I’d like to revisit it now. In essence, each block is turned on point, and these added triangles make alternate hourglass blocks.

Making quilt blocks measure up

Another advantage to this technique is that your quilt doubles in size from the area covered by the initial blocks.

Turning all the blocks on point

1. Square up all your blocks (they will be different sizes, but that’s ok – they just need to be square).

2. Choose two fabrics to be the “hourglass” corners.

3. Find¬†the largest block and place the ruler as in the picture (diagonal line on vertical center of block, and even along both edges – mine are at 6 1/4″).

turning a block on point

Add 2″ to this measurement and cut out two squares of one¬†“hourglass” fabric this size. Cut both¬†squares on one diagonal, and sew to all four sides of your block. This will turn the block “on point” (for the more detailed instructions from my previous post, please click here and scroll down to the blue/black star block).

turning a quilt block on point

You’ll need to cut 2 squares (yielding 4 triangles) for each block from one¬†“hourglass” fabric. Half of the blocks will be from one fabric, and the other from the second fabric. In this way you’ll be able to “checkerboard” your blocks, by alternating the hourglass fabrics, when you put the top together.

4. Square all the blocks up to the size of the smallest.

5. These blocks may now be sewn together into a lovely quilt, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that they need to be put together on the diagonal. If you don’t know how to do that, I found wonderful instructions on this site: ¬† The measurements given are for an exact fit. Since I like to give myself a little margin for error (and I like a bit of float around my points), I would add 1″ to the cut sizes for the squares.

Modern Quilts

A few weeks ago¬†I invited readers to send pictures of their modern style quilts. Mary Ann and Juleen did just that, and I know you’ll enjoy them. Mary Ann’s is a crib quilt she’s been working on in my Open Lab class. She finished it since our last class and sent this lovely photo:

Mary Anns modern crib quilt

Juleen sent photos of two of her recent projects. Both are delightful!

modern quilt - Jaeger1Juleens modern quilts

Thanks ladies!


1 Opinion

  • Cheryl Barkdoll said:

    Thank you for the great information on how to use different sized blocks and the additional information of putting the blocks on point, I have blocks from several exchanges that will benefit from this information! Thank you
    Cheryl B / IL


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