Do you ever stumble across a quilt block and think, “Wow, that looks extremely complex! I can’t possibly create something like that.”
Well, what if I told you that you could create a lot of complicated-looking quilt patterns from easy quilt blocks.
Today, let’s dive into the world of easy quilt patterns that look hard and discover how you can create these beautiful, complex quilt patterns without having a massive headache over following the steps.
What is the Easiest Quilt Pattern for a Beginner?
There could be some debate over the easiest quilt pattern, but I would venture to say that most would say a simple patchwork pattern is the easiest.
Cutting and piecing many squares that are the same size into rows is about as easy as it gets. It’s also a fantastic way for a beginner to learn the fundamental skills of quilt making.
If you were to search online for free, easy quilt patterns, this style of quilt pattern is most likely at the top of the results page. If you’ve never made a quilt before, this is the pattern I’d recommend you select to dip your toes into the wonderful world of quilting.
What is the Most Difficult Quilt Pattern?
If there are simple quilt patterns, there must be a most challenging pattern as well, right? Honestly, this question is subjective. The most difficult for one quilter may not be as hard for another.
Since I can’t pinpoint just one quilt pattern that is absolutely the most difficult, I did some digging around on several different quilt forums.
I found several quilt patterns or styles that other quilters say are the most difficult.
Here are the top three different types of complicated quilt patterns:
1. Double Wedding Ring
This pattern is complex not only because of the sheer amount of pieces needed to make these rings, but getting everything lined up perfectly and creating those beautiful curves can be pretty tricky, even for a more experienced quilter.
2. Cathedral Window
The cathedral window quilt pattern is an entirely different skillset and takes practice and concentration to get those beautiful windows formed perfectly.
This beautiful design was probably the most mentioned complex pattern that I found on various forums, and I can see why.
3. Paper Piecing
Paper piecing is more of a style of quilting than an actual pattern. Some quilters LOVE it, and some avoid it like the plague. It depends on your preference and if you have the patience to learn.
I attempted paper pieced once, and it did not turn out well — but I am bound and determined to figure it out one of these days!
15 Easy Quilt Blocks That Look Difficult
I’ve rounded up 15 easy quilt block patterns that I hope will inspire you to take a closer look at the quilt blocks involved. They may look complicated, but they’re pretty simple and doable if you break them down.
This fireworks block has many pieces and creates beautiful shapes, but if you look closely, this entire block is made from squares, rectangles, and HST (half square triangle) blocks.
How gorgeous is the movement of this block? Another perfect example of a complex-looking block that is quite simple when looked at in sections.
The entire block is made with rectangles and squares, even though the movement makes it look a lot more challenging to achieve.
3. Wave Block
I know I said earlier that paper piecing is a more difficult skill to learn, but this is a simple design and a great block to try out paper piecing.
Like the previous block, the movement of this block is what makes it look more complicated than it is.
This adorable block is a fun option if you want to show off your skills with tiny pieces. I know little tiny pieces can be a bit intimidating, but if you just treat them like regular-sized pieces and press them well, you can make beautiful blocks just like this one.
Surprisingly, this block is pieced as a traditional machine pieced block, not paper pieced. This rainbow would be a lovely addition to many quilt tops and looks like it was pretty complicated to piece (but it’s not).
All these beautiful angles in this sunset block look complicated, right? But if you look closely, this block is made up of pieced strips which is quite simple to create. Using different variations of color for this block could also give the impression of it being much more complex than it is.
The orange peel is a classic block and can be a bit intimidating if you’ve never done it before. The perfect curves and mid-century modern feel of this block make it pleasing to the eye.
The secret to orange peels?
They’re appliqued onto a blank piece of fabric! All you have to do is cut them out and attach them with your stitch of choice.
The Easter Basket block is another classic block that can have a big impact. The tilted angle of the basket construction can look tedious, but placement Theyou can see that the block is only squares and HST with the image above.
This block is a fun take on a classic star block and could have so many different variations depending on the fabrics you choose. It may look like a lot of effort, but like several other blocks on this list, it’s made from squares, rectangles, and HST.
This look is a gorgeous example of a foundational quilt block and looks much more complicated than it actually is. If you break the construction down into steps, this will be a simple block to recreate for your next quilt project.
Isn’t this block adorable? This little doctor/nurse looks like it would be challenging to construct, but it is a simple traditional piecing block.
This quilt would be such an excellent gift for someone you know who works in the medical field.
The ribbon block would make a lovely addition to a quilt top. The placement of the different squares and HST add movement to the ribbon ties and may look complicated at first.
With the image above, you can see the outline of the various pieces for this simple block.
I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Hartman patterns, and this pattern is just an example of her beautiful (complex-looking) designs.
Her patterns are exceptionally well written and easy to follow, so they’re quite simple to construct though they may look complicated.
14. Alphabet Blocks
Have you ever wanted to add some lettering to a quilt, but thought it just looks way too daunting to attempt. This pattern shows you how to make all the letters in the alphabet in lower and upper case.
Looking at the outline of the pieces, you’ll find these blocks look a lot more beginner-friendly than you might think.
At first glance, a lot is going on with this block and may seem a bit more complex than other more simple blocks. But if you take the block section by section, it’s a much more straightforward design than you may have thought.
Made up entirely by squares, rectangles, and HST, this block is a beautiful example of using simple pieces to create a gorgeous design.
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You can look like a pro with these easy quilt blocks.
I hope this list of quilt blocks shows that you can look like a pro and make gorgeous quilts even when you’re a beginner.
This list is just a tiny glimpse into what is possible with some simple quilting skills, some beautiful fabric, and a little imagination.
Next time you see a quilt block and the first thought that pops into your head is, “Whoa! That’s way too complicated for me,” try to remind yourself of this post.
See if you can figure out the steps to create that “difficult” quilt block for yourself.
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.