21 Of The Most Gorgeous And Free 12-Inch Quilt Block Patterns

When selecting a quilt pattern, it’s good to know the size of the quilt blocks.

One of the most common block sizes quilt pattern designers choose to use is a 12” quilt block. 

In this post, we will discuss why designers like to use 12” blocks, how many you will need for a full-size quilt, and finally, we will check out 21 simple 12-inch quilt blocks you can make. 

Why Are 12-Inch Quilt Blocks a Good Size? 

There are a few reasons why quilters prefer a 12-inch block over other quilt block sizes. 

  • The first reason is the versatility of a larger block. You can use a 12-inch block for various projects, such as quilts, tote bags, table runners, etc. They’re a great size for many quilting projects.
  • The second reason is that they mostly don’t use tiny pieces to make up the 12” block. Many quilters don’t like using pieces smaller than 2”. 
  • The last reason is that you don’t have to make as many blocks to create a quilt top. Not everyone has limitless time to make a quilt, and I think it’s safe to say we all want to make as many quilts as possible. If you use a larger block, like a 12” one, the construction time of the quilt top can be cut way down compared to making a quilt top using 6” blocks.

How Many 12-Inch Blocks Are in a Full-Size Quilt? 

I recommend trying it at least once if you’ve never made a full-size quilt. There’s just something different about making a larger quilt, and it’s a fun challenge! 

But let’s say you found a quilt block that you absolutely love. How many do you need to make for a full-size quilt? Well, let’s do a little math. The average full-size quilt measures approximately 80” x 90”. 

If we use 12-inch blocks and place them in a 7 x 8 layout, we will need to make 56 12” blocks. Our finished quilt top will measure 84” x 96”. 

21 of the Most Gorgeous Free 12-Inch Quilt Block Patterns That Are Free

Now that we know a little about why 12-inch quilt blocks are so special to quilters let’s check out some charming 12-inch quilt block patterns. All of these block patterns are free and excellent beginner-friendly quilt blocks. 

1. Yankee Puzzle

You only need to know how to make half-square triangles (HSTs) to make this beautiful quilt block. You will need to make 16 HSTs per block. The pattern gives easy-to-follow instructions and diagrams to help you construct this block.

2. Strip Quilt Block

This block is made entirely from 2 ½” strips of fabric, so if you have extra jelly roll strips lying around, this is an excellent block for you. This is a traditional eight-point star quilt block, and it would look fantastic in many different quilt projects.

The pattern is originally from Missouri Star Quilt Co., but the maker used other measures to make the block larger.

3. Shoo Fly Quilt Block

The shoo fly quilt block is classic, beginner-friendly, and highly versatile. You can use it with other blocks to create a fun sampler-style quilt or make a bunch for a more uniform quilt design. This tutorial shows you how to make a 6” and 12” shoo fly block.

  1. Vinca Block

Here is an excellent, detailed tutorial on how to make this unique block. The designer of this block shows you how to cut fabric from yardage or 5” squares (charm pack precuts) with simple-to-follow diagrams. This is a versatile block that looks amazing in so many different colorways.

5. Variable Star Quilt Block

Here is another classic quilt block that is made entirely of HSTs. The free tutorial for this block shows you how to make HSTs four at a time. You can switch up the look of this block quite a bit by using varying colors.

6. Star Flower Block

Here is an excellent example of using a bunch of fabrics to make a traditional star quilt block. This block has the same layout as #5, yet it looks completely different. This tutorial shows you how to make two of these blocks simultaneously. It looks fantastic in this scrappy-style color palette. 

7. Card Trick Block

The card trick quilt block is a fun optical illusion design with four main fabrics and a background fabric. This detailed tutorial will show you how to make a 12” card trick block. The designer also gives measurements for a 9” block.

8. Lost Ships Block

Here is another HST quilt block. This block features a large central HST with mini HSTs as the border. The free block tutorial has written instructions and photos to show you how to make this modern quilt block.

9. Ohio Star Quilt Block

The Ohio Star quilt block is made up of five squares and four quarter-square triangle blocks. This tutorial includes straightforward instructions and a helpful layout diagram. You can use two fabrics for a more uniform look or several fabrics for a scrappy look.

10. Star Puzzle Quilt Block

This easy quilt block tutorial shows you how to make two blocks simultaneously. The tutorial includes instructions on making two HSTs at a time and a block layout diagram for easy piecing. This is a traditionally pieced quilt block.

11. Honeymoon Quilt Block

This beautiful quilt block combines quarter-square triangle blocks, HSTs, and squares. This is a great beginner block since you’ll learn how to make a few basic quilt blocks for this design. The tutorial includes cutting instructions for a 6”, 9”, and 12” finished quilt block.

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12. Duck Tracks Block

This quilt block pattern is a fun variation of the traditional friendship star quilt block. The tutorial includes cutting instructions for several sizes, including a 12” block. The instructions include how to press each seam so the block will lay as flat as possible for the quilting process.

13. Salem Quilt Block

The chevron design of this quilt block is made using two flying geese blocks. You will also learn how to make a square in a square block and add squares to the corners of blocks. This is a fun modern twist on a star quilt block.

14. Double Sawtooth Block

Here is an excellent example of a quilt block that might look complex but has a simple construction. This free downloadable quilt block pattern will walk you through each step to make this double sawtooth quilt block. The pattern includes written instructions and easy-to-follow diagrams.

15. Spring Breeze

Isn’t this an adorable quilt block? A lot is happening in this quilt block, but it is a fun, playful design. If you know how to make HSTs, you can make this block.

16. Mother’s Favorite Quilt Block

Here is another quilt block that utilizes HSTs. You will also use triangles and flying geese to create this modern quilt block. The two-tone color palette is striking. I love it!

17. Patchwork Quilt Block

This quilt block uses a simple quarter-square triangle block, squares, and a four-patch block. It is the perfect beginner-friendly patchwork quilt block! It looks incredible in solid colors or using scrappy fabrics. 

18. Best of All Block

You only need four fabrics to make this beautiful quilt block. The block is called “Best of All” because it includes several basic quilt blocks. If you want to learn how to make several different quilt blocks, this is an excellent choice for you. 

19. Churn Dash Quilt Block

The churn dash quilt block is another traditional block that has been a staple in many quilter’s catalogs for decades. It’s a super simple quilt block and looks fantastic in any color palette. This tutorial includes fabric-cutting instructions for 6” and 12” blocks.

20. Ada Quilt Block

Here’s another friendship star quilt block variation in this scrappy-style fabric selection that looks SO cute. This tutorial shows you how to make this block in 4”, 8”, and 12” size blocks. The block uses strips to construct each quadrant.

21. Thread Spool Quilt Block

How gorgeous is this spool of thread quilt block? The instructions include cutting requirements for a 6” and 12” block. It’s a great way to use scrap strips for the thread part of the block. Every quilter should make one of these blocks into a mini quilt for their wall!

I hope you enjoyed all these beautiful free quilt blocks. There are many free block pattern options, especially for 12-inch quilt blocks. Use our selection as inspiration for your next project!

As a quilter, quilt blocks are one of the easiest patterns you can make. In this post, we've collected 12-inch quilt block patterns for you to try.