If you are a beginner quilter who loves modern quilt patterns, this post is definitely for you.
Today, let’s turn our focus to the beautiful world of large block quilts.
We’ll look at what defines a big block quilt, how to make one, and check out 17 fabulous big block quilt ideas.
I hope you’re ready to be amazed by what quilters have figured out they can do with some gorgeous fabric and a modern flare.
What Is A Big Block Quilt?
Before we go any further, we must go over what defines a big block quilt pattern. It seems overly simple to say, “a big block quilt is a quilt that has large blocks,” but that is precisely what it is.
It either means the pieces you use to create the blocks are big, or the blocks themselves are big. Many modern quilt pattern writers utilize big blocks in their designs because they’re usually beginner-friendly and look beautiful.
I would define a “big block” as any block over 12”x12”.
How Do You Make A Large Block Quilt?
This section will show you how to make a simple large block quilt.
The instructions will focus on the block construction; then, in the following section, I will tell you how many blocks you will need for different quilt sizes.
Here’s an example of a large block quilt pattern. It contains four big quilt blocks.
The finished blocks measure 24”x24”, and the finished quilt measures 48”x48”.
If you want to make this 48” square quilt, you need to make our big blocks that are made up of four smaller blocks.
To create one big block, follow these steps.
- Sew together four four-patch blocks. Each four-patch block needs four- 6 ½” squares.
- Position the four four-patch blocks to create one big block.
- Repeat Steps 1 and 2 to create three more big blocks.
- Sew the four big blocks together to create a 48” square quilt top. This one is a great baby-size quilt.
How Many 12-Inch Blocks Do You Need for Different Quilt Sizes?
As we discovered above, it will take 16- 12” blocks to create a 48” square baby quilt. Here is how many 12” blocks you will need to make the different quilt sizes:
- Throw: 25- 12” blocks to make a 60” square quilt
- Twin: 42- 12” blocks to make a 72”x84” quilt
- Full/Queen: 72- 12” blocks to make a 96”x108” quilt
- King: 90- 12” blocks to make a 108”x120” quilt
17 Simple and Stunning Big Block Quilt Patterns for Beginners
Now that we’ve gone over some of the basics of big block quilt patterns let’s look at some beautiful designs that feature large blocks.
I found several free big block quilt patterns and a few you can purchase from various quilt designers.
This pattern is a fun, modern take on the classic Lone Star quilt pattern. It would be a great choice for a confident beginner ready to learn how to cut and sew on the bias.
The pattern includes six sizes in the instructions and five color variations to give you an idea of the possibilities in this design.
2. Sew Day
Here is a fantastic beginner quilt pattern. Sew Day written by Amy Gibson uses only one block type to make this beautiful design. The pattern has step-by-step instructions to make a 72 ½” square quilt top.
Giant Bear Paw is a free pattern that uses 10” square pieces to create these huge bear paw quilt blocks. The finished size of this quilt is 58”x58”. This would make a great first quilt or a quick weekend project.
Here is another free big block quilt pattern that makes a fun beginner project. The flags of the “bookmarks” may look a little complex to a beginner, but if you look at the tutorial, it’s a very simple construction. The completed quilt will measure 60”x72”, the perfect size for a throw quilt.
Here is a beautiful modern quilt pattern that you can make in three sizes: crib, throw, and twin. The designer does state you should have some basic quilting knowledge before attempting this pattern.
There are diagrams through the pattern to help in construction and coloring pages so you can try out colors before cutting into your fabric.
How cool is this design, am I right? The use of color and geometric shapes is quite refreshing and definitely gives this quilt a cool modern vibe. This pattern has five size options, from a small wall hanging up to twin.
This quilt pattern was inspired by the classic quilt block called “the arrow crown.” The designer modernized it and enlarged it to make this beautiful pattern. The design lives up to its name of “radiance” since it looks like the sun and radiates outward. The finished quilt will be 72”x72”.
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Here is a simple tutorial to create this easy beginner-friendly quilt block called “Rooted.” When complete, the quilt measures 21 ½” square and comprises squares and HST (half square triangles.)
You could use this block as an allover quilt design or mix and match it with other blocks to make a unique design.
9. Day Trip
Here is a quilt pattern that is a modern version of the “trip around the world” quilt pattern. It includes three sizes: baby, throw, and queen. The instructions include a traditional version that uses four fabrics or a scrappy version that is fat quarter friendly.
This is a 24” block that you can use like the block I showed you earlier in this post as an allover quilt design, or you can use it with other blocks to make a one-of-a-kind quilt top.
It is a free quilt block pattern offered by Kitchen Table Quilting and can be easily adjusted to make larger or small blocks, depending on your needs.
11. Fat Eighth Quilt
This fun and free pattern is an excellent choice for any quilting beginner. It is written specifically to use with fat eighths (precut fabric that measures 9”x22”.) The finished quilt measure 48 ½” x 56 ½” but could easily be made larger or small by adding or subtracting columns or rows.
Here we have a beautiful modern quilt pattern that uses large 13” squares and smaller blocks to create an interesting design. The pattern has easy-to-follow diagrams and instructions. Written in the instructions are three different variations for different sizes: small, medium, and large.
This quilt is made from oversized HST (half square triangle) blocks. All you need to know how to do is create HST blocks and sew with a consistent ¼” seam allowance. This is one of the most simple yet beautiful quilt patterns you can make.
14. Morning Sunrise
Here is a lovely mosaic-like quilt pattern that features squares, HSTs, and a unique hourglass quilt block. The pattern offers three different sizes to choose from: mini (18” square), baby (42” square), and throw (56” square.)
The designer states, “it’s like a big giant block that becomes a quilt.”
15. Scandi Point
If you are searching for a quick and easy modern quilt pattern, look no further. This is a half-yard-friendly pattern that you can use to showcase those gorgeous cuts of fabric you haven’t used yet. The blocks are constructed like the traditional log cabin quilt block.
This quilt is a wonderful example of how you can create a baby quilt from an oversize traditional quilt block. You could easily make this quilt using only HSTs. You could also make a larger quilt using multiple giant star quilt blocks.
This quilt is extremely similar to #16 and is made entirely from HST blocks. This is a free tutorial on how to make this 68”x68” quilt from start to finish. Each block measures 17 ½”x17 ½”, and you could easily make this quilt over a weekend.
What Is the Easiest Quilt for a Beginner?
It is an excellent question and one I see quite often. The quilt that is the bare-bones, most straightforward pattern for beginners would have to be one that you simply sew pre-cut squares together.
This type of quilt helps you learn basic quilting and sewing skills, but in the end, you still have a gorgeous quilt to show off to your family and friends. I would recommend using either charm packs (5” squares) or layer cakes (10” squares) for your very first quilt project.
What Is the Most Common Quilt Block Size?
Every quilt pattern is different, and everyone designs their patterns differently.
I don’t think there is necessarily a “most common” quilt block, but many quilt designers work with the same size quilt block for all their quilts.
If I had to choose one quilt block size as the most common, it would probably be a 9” block.
I hope I could clarify any questions you may have about big block quilt patterns and how to make them. It’s impressive to see the different designs quilters come up with when they have “big quilt blocks” in their mind.