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Make 9 Patch and 16 Patch Quilt Blocks Any Size with No Math - Finished-Size Quilting

How to Make 9-Patch Blocks Any Size

This Double Friendship Star is made of nine patches.

  • 5 of them: Just Squares
  • The other 4 are a combination of HSTs & QSTs sewn together:

The color-coded breakdown also shows how many
of each piece you will need to make all nine patches:

5 Squares

4 HSTs

8 QSTs

Click the headings below to open. - Click again to close.

What size block do you want to make?

6" Block

9" Block

12" Block

The finished patch size is all you need to make the entire block:

Finished patch size: 2"

Finished patch size: 3"

Finished patch size: 4"

These are common finished sizes for 9-patch blocks
like this Double Friendship Star,
but you can pick any size you want.

In Finished-Size Quilting, you can make any 9-patch block finish at 9" using just the 3" line on your ruler.

Finished sizes are that simple:

3" + 3" + 3" = 9"

Simply set the Fabric Guide to the finished patch size: 3”, and let the Seam Allowance Additions automatically add the precise amount of seam allowance for you.

The seam allowance is automatically included when you cut along the edge of the Addition instead of the edge of the ruler.

Seam Allowance Additions not only eliminate the complicated seam allowance math, they also let you make your triangles more accurate than you can using just a ruler alone.*

Click here to learn more about seam allowances for triangles.

The S Addition adds a 1/2", which is the exact amount you need for Squares.

Cut five squares.

The H and Q Additons add the precise amount for Half and Quarter Square Triangles. *On a ruler alone, you have to round up to the nearest 1/8" making your triangles less accurate.

Cut two squares &
cut them once diagonally.

Cut two squares &
cut them twice diagonally.

Your Squares, Half and Quarter Square Triangles
will automatically include 1/4" seam allowances all around.

After sewing the pieces together, your block will measure 9 1/2".

(9" finished with a 1/4" seam allowance all around.)

You’ll always have the extra 1/4” you need to sew the pieces, rows and blocks together.

How to Make 16-Patch Blocks Any Size

This Royal Star is made of 16 patches.
Four patches are just Squares, four are a combination of Half Square Triangles sewn together and eight are a combination of Quarter Square Triangles sewn together:

The color-coded breakdown also shows how many of
each piece you will need to make all sixteen patches:

4 Squares

8 HSTs

32 QSTs

Click the headings below to open. - Click again to close.

What size block do you want to make?

8" Block

12" Block

16" Block

The finished patch size is all you need to make the entire block:

Finished patch size: 2"

Finished patch size: 3"

Finished patch size: 4"

These are common finished sizes for 16-patch blocks like this Royal Star,
but you can pick any size you want. Click on the heading below to see how:

You can make common sizes by lining up to the 2", 3" or 4" line.
But what if you wanted to make it finish at 9 inches?

Using a ruler alone, making a 16-patch block finish at 9" would be a math nightmare.

In Finished-Size Quilting,
you only need to know the Finished Patch Size:

Click on the heading below to see how simple it is
to make a 16-patch block that finishes at 9":

The S Addition adds a 1/2", which is the exact amount you need for Squares.

Cut five squares.

The H and Q Additons add the precise amount for Half and Quarter Square Triangles. *On a ruler alone, you have to round up to the nearest 1/8" making your triangles less accurate. Click here to learn more.

Cut four squares.

Cut eight squares.

Cut the squares into triangles first or sew the seams first?  

When you're making patches that are combinations of just Half Square Triangles or just Quarter Square Triangles as in this Royal Star block, you have the choice of cutting the squares into triangles first or sewing the seams first and then cutting them into triangles. See details in the next section.

You can either sew first or cut first to make patches made of
HSTs & QSTs in blocks like the Royal Star below:

2 Half Square Triangle-Patch

4 Quarter Square Triangle-Patch

Sew First Method:

How to Make the 2 HST Patches

Line the squares up and sew the diagonal seams first:

How to Make the 4 QST Patches

Start the same way as we showed to make 2 HST patches:

Then, repeat the steps above,

starting with the two new squares you just made:

Cut First Method:

Cut the squares that you made, using the H Addition, in half diagonally once to make eight half square triangles.

Cut Quarter Square Triangles:

First, attach the Q Addition to the edge of the Ruler.

Leave the Fabric Guide set on 2¼" line & cut 8 squares. (4 dark fabric - 2 light fabric)

Then cut the squares diagonally twice to make 32 quarter square triangles.

After cutting the squares into HSTs & QSTs, pre-trim their points,
so it will be much easier to line them up and sew them together.

Using a point trimmer like the Prep-Tool ensures accurate pre-trimming:

HSTs: Use Short Side Trim

Line the Prep-Tool along the short sides of the half square triangles.

QSTs: Use Long Side Trim

Line the Prep-Tool along the long sides of the quarter square triangles

The video below shows how to trim points, using the Prep-Tool:

How to sew the triangles together for the 9 & 16 patch blocks

There are 3 combinations of triangle squares:

Made of 2
half square triangles

Made of 1 half square triangle and 2 quarter square triangles

Made of 4
quarter square triangles


Includes 3-Part Triangle Squares

Includes 2-Part and 4-Part Triangle Squares


2-Part Triangle Squares:

Line 2 HSTs up
right sides together.


Sew together with a
scant 1/4" seam allowance.


Press them open with
the seam to the dark,
purple side.

3-Part Triangle Squares:

Line 2 QSTs up right
sides together & sew.


Line the 2 sewn QSTs up with an HST & sew.


Press them open with
the seam to the dark side.

4-Part Triangle Squares:

Line 2 sets of 2 QSTs up
right sides together & sew.


Line 2 sets of 2 sewn
QSTs up together & sew.


Press them open.

To make sure the points on your triangles stay pointy in your finished block,
you want to sew them together with a scant - slightly less than - ¼” seam allowance.
Learn More

How to use the Super Easy Seam Guide Setter
to align the Seam Guide at a Scant ¼” on your sewing machine.

The Super Easy Seam Guide Setter comes with
every Finished-Size Quilting Set.

Color-Coded Quilt Block Breakdowns

show what traditional blocks are made of and how the pieces go together. They show all the squares in purple, half square triangles in green and quarter square triangles in red.

9-Patch Blocks

16-Patch Blocks

Seam Allowance Additions
automatically add the exact seam allowances:

Seam Allowance Additions are made of virtually unbreakable Polycarbonate
 

Pick any finished size and attach the:

  • Purple S Addition for the squares
  • Green H Addition for the HSTs
  • Red Q Addition for the QSTs

8-page Seam Allowance Additions booklet
includes the Quilt Block Breakdowns above:

Click here for set options with 1, 2 or 3 Guidelines Rulers.

Click here for set options that you can use with regular 12" & 24" rulers you already have.

Seam Allowance Additions are made of unbreakable Polycarbonate
and come with finger guards to protect your fingers while rotary cutting.

Scroll down for

Step-by-Step Instructions
on how to make 9 & 16-patch blocks

Step-by-Step Instructions

Let's Make a 9-Patch Block First:

This Double Friendship Star is made of nine patches.

5 patches are just Squares and the other 4 are a combination of 1 HST and 2 QSTs sewn together:

The color-coded breakdown also shows how many of each piece you will need to make all nine patches:

5 Squares

4 HSTs

8 QSTs

The finished patch size is all you need to make the entire block.

If the block is 6", the Finished patch size is 2".

If the block is 9", the Finished patch size is 3".

If the block is 12", the Finished patch size is 4".

In Finished-Size Quilting, you can make any 9-patch block finish at 9" using just the 3" line on your ruler.

Here's the example, making a 9" block:

Simply set the Fabric Guide to the finished patch size: 3”, and let the Seam Allowance Additions automatically add the precise amount of seam allowance for you.

The seam allowance is automatically included when you cut along the edge of the Addition instead of the edge of the ruler.

The S Addition adds a 1/2", which is the exact amount you need for Squares.

Cut five squares.

The H Addition adds 0.854", which is the exact amount you need for HSTs.

Cut two squares &
cut them once diagonally.

The Q Addition adds 1.207", which is the exact amount you need for QSTs.

Cut two squares &
cut them twice diagonally.

Your Squares, HSTs and QSTs will automatically include 1/4" seam allowances all around.

On a ruler alone, you have to round up to the nearest 1/8", so you will add:

  • ⅞" for HSTs: 1/32" more than you need
  • 1¼" for QSTs: 1/16" more than you need

This is why you can't make triangle accurately. Click here to learn more about seam allowances for triangles.

After sewing the pieces together, your block will measure 9 ½". (9" finished with a 1/4" seam allowance all around.)

You will have the extra 1/4” you need to sew the pieces, rows and blocks together.

Now Let's Make a 16-Patch Block:

This Royal Star is made of 16 patches:

  • 4 Patches: just Squares
  • 4 Patches: Combination of Half Square Triangles sewn together
  • 8 Patches: Combination of Quarter Square Triangles sewn together

The color-coded breakdown also shows how many of each piece you will need to make all sixteen patches:

4 Squares

8 HSTs

32 QSTs

The finished patch size is all you need to make the entire block:

Finished patch size is 2" for an 8" block.

Finished patch size is 3" for a 12" block.

Finished patch size is 4" for a 16" block.

These are common finished sizes for 16-patch blocks like this Royal Star,
but you can pick any size you want.

You can make common sizes by lining up to the 2", 3" or 4" line.

But what if you wanted to make it finish at 9 inches?

Using a ruler alone, making a 16-patch block finish at 9" would be a math nightmare.

In Finished-Size Quilting, you only need to know the Finished Patch Size:

Click on the heading below to see how simple it is to make a 16-patch block that finishes at 9":

Use Just the Finished Patch Size Measurement to Make the Entire Block.

The S Addition adds a 1/2", which is the exact amount you need for Squares.

Cut five squares.

Cut four squares.

Cut eight squares.

Every patch in this Royal Star block has just Squares, just HSTs or just QSTs.

In other words, no patch has a combination of 1 HST and 2 QSTs like this:

So, for patches with triangles, you can cut the squares into triangles first, or you can sew the seams first and then cut them into triangles.

See the "Sew First" and "Cut First" methods below.

2 Half Square Triangle-Patch

4 Quarter Square Triangle-Patch

Sew First Method:

How to Make the 2 HST Patches

Line the squares up and sew the diagonal seams first:

How to Make the 4 QST Patches

Start the same way as we showed to make 2 HST patches:

Then, repeat the steps above,

starting with the two new squares you just made:

Cut First Method:

Cut the squares that you made, using the H Addition, in half diagonally once to make eight half square triangles.

Cut Quarter Square Triangles:

First, attach the Q Addition to the edge of the Ruler.

Leave the Fabric Guide set on 2¼" line & cut 8 squares. (4 dark fabric - 2 light fabric)

Then cut the squares diagonally twice to make 32 quarter square triangles.

After cutting the squares into HSTs & QSTs, pre-trim their points, so it will be much easier to line them up and sew them together.

Using a point trimmer like the Prep-Tool ensures accurate pre-trimming:

HSTs: Use Short Side Trim

Line the Prep-Tool along the short sides of the half square triangles.

QSTs: Use Long Side Trim

Line the Prep-Tool along the long sides of the quarter square triangles

The video below shows how to trim points, using the Prep-Tool:

How to sew the triangles together for the 9 & 16 patch blocks

There are 3 combinations of triangle squares:

Made of 2 half square triangles

Made of 1 half square triangle and 2 quarter square triangles

Made of 4 quarter square triangles


Includes 3-Part Triangle Squares

Includes 2-Part and 4-Part Triangle Squares


2-Part Triangle Squares:

Line 2 HSTs up right sides together.


Sew together with a scant 1/4" seam allowance.


Press them open with the seam to the dark,
purple side.

3-Part Triangle Squares:

Line 2 QSTs up right sides together & sew.


Line the 2 sewn QSTs up with an HST & sew.


Press them open with the seam to the dark side.

4-Part Triangle Squares:

Line 2 sets of 2 QSTs up right sides together & sew.


Line 2 sets of 2 sewn QSTs up together & sew.


Press them open.

To make sure the points on your triangles stay pointy in your finished block, you want to sew them together with a scant - slightly less than - ¼” seam allowance. Click on the next heading below to see how.

How to use the Super Easy Seam Guide Setter to align the Seam Guide at a Scant ¼” on your sewing machine.

The Super Easy Seam Guide Setter comes with every Finished-Size Quilting Set.

Finished-Size Quilting
Tool Options:

Set Options with 1, 2 or 3 Guidelines Rulers

Set Options for your 12" & 24" acrylic rulers

Seam Allowance Additions are made of unbreakable Polycarbonate and come with finger guards to protect your fingers while rotary cutting.