Have you ever seen a quilt block and wondered, “How did they do that?”
I love staring at a quilt block and figuring out how it was pieced together.
Today, we will look at the beautiful and surprisingly simple card trick block.
We’ll discuss a little history behind the block, how to make a card trick block, and then look at 15 gorgeous card quilt block pattern options to inspire your creativity.
- What Is a Card Trick Quilt Pattern?
- How Do You Make a Card Trick Quilt Block?
- 15 Card Trick Quilt Patterns You’ll Love
- 1. Paper Piecing Card Trick Block
- 2. Card Trick with Sashing Pattern
- 3. Modern Card Trick Block
- 4. Card Tricks Twin Pattern
- 5. No Tricky Card
- 6. Card Trick Mug Rug
- 7. Not So Tricky
- 8. Card Tricks Baby Quilt
- 9. Card Tricks Table Runner
- 10. Tucson Magic Trick
- 11. Garden Path
- 12. Super Card Trick Block
- 13. Free Card Trick Quilt Pattern
- 14. Easy Card Trick Block
- 15. Card Trick Star Block
What Is a Card Trick Quilt Pattern?
Before jumping into the tutorial, let’s discuss what makes this quilt pattern unique and fun. The card trick pattern was created by a design teacher, Jeff Gutcheon, in the late 1960s. This was the perfect time to develop new designs because quilting was returning to popularity as a way to create art.
The block was considered a modern marvel and quickly gained popularity. It has an optical illusion element and looks fabulous in various colorways. The block comprises half square triangles, a quarter square triangle, and Y blocks. They are simple blocks to construct and look amazing when combined into card trick blocks.
How Do You Make a Card Trick Quilt Block?
Let’s break down the construction of this block into four sections. One section per block type, and the last section will be how to sew the blocks together to make the card trick quilt block. This tutorial will show you how to make a 10 ½” square card trick quilt block.
- Fabric 1: 3- 5” squares
- Fabric 2: 3- 5” squares
- Fabric 3: 3- 5” squares
- Fabric 4: 3- 5” squares
- Fabric 5: 4- 5” squares
Section 1: Half-Square Triangles
To make the HSTs (half square triangles), we will take one square from each Fabric 1-4 and place them right sides together with a square from Fabric 5.
Mark a line diagonally on each square stack and stitch ¼” away on either side of the marked line.
Cut the marked line to create two HSTs from each stack. Press the seam towards the dark side on each HSTs. Set aside one HST from each group for the next section. Take the remaining four HSTs and trim them to 4” squares.
Section 2: Y Blocks
Take a square from Fabrics 1-4. Place the fabric squares over the HSTs from the last section in the order below.
- Fabric 1 Square with Fabric 2 HST
- Fabric 2 Square with Fabric 3 HST
- Fabric 3 Square with Fabric 4 HST
- Fabric 4 Square with Fabric 1 HST
Draw a diagonal line from the top right corner to the bottom left corner and follow the steps from Section 1 to make two HSTs at a time. You will make eight Y blocks, but we only need four for this block. Trim the four blocks to 4” squares. Set the extra four Y blocks to the side.
Section 3: Quarter Square Triangle
Take the remaining four squares from each Fabric 1-4 and create two HSTs from the following fabric combinations.
- Fabric 1 and 4
- Fabric 2 and 3
Place the HSTs right sides together so the seams line up. Draw a diagonal line and stitch ¼” on either side of the line.
Cut your drawn line and set aside the extra quarter square triangle (QST) block. Press the seams of the QST open and trim the block to 4” square.
Section 4: Card Trick Block Construction
Now we put all the pieces together! Place the pieces in the layout below.
Sew the blocks together to complete the block.
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15 Card Trick Quilt Patterns You’ll Love
Now that you know how to make a card trick block, let’s look at some quilt patterns that feature this fun, unique block. Many of the designs in this collection are beginner-friendly sewing projects.
1. Paper Piecing Card Trick Block
Here is a fantastic block pattern that uses foundation paper piecing to create the card trick quilt block. The pattern includes paper pieces to make a 6”, 9”, and 12” block. This is a great beginner-friendly FPP project.
2. Card Trick with Sashing Pattern
This pattern features the beautiful card trick block, and each block is divided by thin sashing and cornerstones. The sashing and cornerstones give this quilt a modern look. There are five size options included in this pattern.
3. Modern Card Trick Block
This beautiful block pattern is a fun version of the original card trick block. This is an FPP (foundation paper piecing) pattern that is excellent for using up fabric scraps. The pattern includes pieces and instructions for five block sizes.
4. Card Tricks Twin Pattern
Here is a fabulous quilt pattern that features the card trick block on a simple background. The instructions are for a twin-size quilt. The finished quilt measures 58” x 88”.
5. No Tricky Card
The designer of this quilt pattern states that she simplified the construction of the traditional card trick block. This pattern will show you how to make a 54” x 54” quilt, but you could easily make a larger or smaller quilt by adding or subtracting blocks. This is an excellent scrap-buster quilt pattern.
6. Card Trick Mug Rug
Who doesn’t love a cute mug rug to hold your coffee or tea cup? You can make this fun quilting project in just a few hours. The finished mug rug measures 6” x 9”.
7. Not So Tricky
This gorgeous quilt pattern includes simple blocks that create an intricate design. It looks complex but is a great choice for a confident beginner. The finished quilt will measure 81” x 81”.
8. Card Tricks Baby Quilt
This adorable quilt features four card trick quilt blocks in the center of the quilt. If you look closely, the blocks are pieced using a simplified construction, making this a fantastic beginner quilt project.
The finished quilt measures 33” square. You could use it as a baby quilt or wall hanging.
9. Card Tricks Table Runner
This beautiful, timeless table runner is a fun weekend sewing project. The pattern also includes instructions for a baby, lap, and twin-size quilt. The table runner measures 38” 15”.
10. Tucson Magic Trick
Here is another rendition of the card trick block with more sides and colors. This pattern includes printable paper pieces for FPP and instructions for traditional block piecing. The finished quilt measures 45” x 68”.
11. Garden Path
This adorable pattern places the blocks “on point” and includes sashing and corners, giving the design a lattice look. This is an excellent choice for a confident beginner quilter. The finished quilt measures 40” x 58”.
12. Super Card Trick Block
Here is an excellent free block tutorial to make the super card trick quilt block. It includes a free downloadable paper piecing template to make a 12 ½” unfinished quilt block. You can use this free tutorial to make any size quilt.
13. Free Card Trick Quilt Pattern
This is a free tutorial to make a traditionally pieced card trick quilt from Spruce Crafts. The pattern includes all the information you need to create a quilt, like the diagram above. The finished quilt will measure 63 ½” x 84 ½”.
14. Easy Card Trick Block
Here is another free tutorial that shows you how to make this timeless block. This tutorial helps you make a 6 ½” finished block and suggest using it for a table runner like the one pictured above. You can use this block with other quilt blocks or make several of the same block for a fun uniform design.
15. Card Trick Star Block
How cool is this quilt block design? First, you need to make a card trick block. You then create flying geese to fit the sides of the card trick block to create this unique star block. I would love to see an entire quilt top made using this block.
We hope you enjoyed this unique block collection as much as we did. This block may not be as “old” as other traditional blocks, but it has quickly become a treasured block used in many quilt designs.
About the author: Miriam Ronne is a lover of all things quilting and sewing. She is a self-taught quilter and is constantly learning and broadening her skill set to create one-of-a-kind quilts! When she’s not behind her sewing machine you can find her playing with her fur babies or trying her hand at other crafty things.