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Here you'll find tales of my domestic adventures and my mostly free knitting and quilting patterns. My most popular patterns include monster baby booties, ski hat with ear flaps, Lotus baby blanket, and men's cable hat.

Square Quilt Pattern

Published by Shana | Filed under Free, Patterns, Quilting

I started this baby quilt pattern months ago, but am just finishing the quilt now. I wanted to make something that was easy enough for a beginner, but still modern and creative. Only two fabrics are used for the top of the quilt, and a third print for the back. You’ll want to pick high contrast fabrics for your two colors for the quilt top.

The fun thing about making this quilt is that you can place the blocks as I did or get creative with how you layout each square.  The free quilt pattern is below. I have not tested the pattern, so please let me know if you find anything goofy.

Archipelago Quilt

finished quilt top

To give you an idea how long I waited to finish this note the size of the cat.

Finished size


This is larger than a crib size, but smaller than a throw. I like my baby quilt patterns to be this size, so that the blanket is large enough to throw on the floor when they’re babies, but small enough for them to drag when they start toddling around.


  • Color A (squares): 1 yard
  • Color B (background): 1.5 yard
  • 46″ x 48″ Batting
  • Backing fabric: 1 1/4th yards
  • Thread and other common quilting notions


  • Color A
    • Cut two 4.5″ strip
      • Cut one down to nine 4.5″ squares
      • Cut one 4.5″ square from the other
        • Cut the remainder into a 2.5″ strip and a 1.5″ strip
        • Cut fifteen 2.5″ blocks and twenty 1.5″ blocks
    • Cut six 3.5″ strip
      • Cut one down to twelve 3.5″ squares
      • Cut one down to eight 3.5″ squares and five 2.5″ squares
      • Set aside the other four for borders
    • Cut one 2.5″ strip and cut it down to sixteen 2.5″ squares
  • Color B 
    • Cut seven 4.5″ strips and then cut them down to the following
      • 40 – 4.5″ x 1″
      • 40 – 4.5″ x 1.5″
      • 40 – 4.5″ x 2″
      • 20 – 4.5″ x 4.5′
    • Cut five 1.5″ strips and then cut them down to the following
      • 40 – 1.5″ x 2″
      • 40 – 1.5″ x 2.5″
    • Cut one 3.5″ strip and cut it down to the following
      • 40 – 3.5″ x 1″
    • Cut one 6.5″ strip and cut it approximately 14″ from the selvage



All the blocks are assembled the same. Using the pieces listed for each block type, do the following until all blocks are complete. Use a .25″ seam allowance.

  • Sew the shorter blocks to the center square
  • Press the seams toward the outside
  • Sew the long side on each side
  • Press toward the outside

Block A – 10 total

These are the 4.5″ Color A squares. Done!

Block B – 20 total

  • Center square – 3.5″ square
  • Short sides – 3.5″ x 1″
  • Long sides – 4.5″ x 1″

Block C – 20 total

  • Center square – 2.5″ square
  • Short sides – 2.5″ x 1.5″
  • Long sides – 4.5″ x 1.5″

Block D – 20 total

  • Center square – 1.5″ square
  • Short sides – 2″ x 1.5″
  • Long sides – 4.5″ x 2″

Block E – 20 total

These are the 4.5″ Color B squares.

Center Piecing

Sew the blocks together in the following order, press the seams, then sew the rows together from top to bottom.

  1. D | C | B | A | B | C | D | E | E
  2. E | D | C | B | A | B | C | D | E
  3. E | E | D | C | B | A | B | C | D
  4. E | D | C | B | A | B | C | D | E
  5. D | C | B | A | B | C | D | E | E
  6. E | D | C | B | A | B | C | D | E
  7. E | E | D | C | B | A | B | C | D
  8. E | D | C | B | A | B | C | D | E
  9. D | C | B | A | B | C | D | E | E
  10. E | D | C | B | A | B | C | D | E

I played with some alternative layouts, if you’re interested in trying something else.

Two color quilt

Variation 1

modern baby quilt

Variation 2

layout variation

Variation 3


Sew shorter borders on the sides. Press the seams.

Sew the other borders on. Press the seams.

Backing Fabric

I like to piece the backing fabric, both because it looks awesome and it saves you fabric for quilts that are just a little too wide for 42″ backing fabric.

Strip insert

  • Sew the remaining seven (four color A, three color B) 2.5″ squares into a strip, alternating Color A and B. Press the seams.
  • Sew the 2.5″ x 14.5″ Color B strips on each side. Press the seams.
  • Sew the two 6.5″ wide strips to each end of this piece.

Finish backing

  • About 14″ in, cut the backing fabric the long way
  • Sew each piece on either side of the insert
  • Press seams
quilt backing

Backing fabric

Back, quilt and bind your new quilt

I stippled in the white and did a design in each block. Be creative


I think this officially makes me the craft lady that post pictures of cats on her blog. It was inevitable, I suppose.

edit: 2/13/12 – corrected cutting amounts

Square Quilt Pattern, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
August 2nd, 2010
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13 Responses to “Square Quilt Pattern”

  1. sandy rees Says:

    i love the way you show different ways to lay out . it gives me more ideas and a totally awesome never thought of view .you are sparking my imagination. thanks! sandy

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  2. Barbara Says:

    What a fun way to start the day finding all the neat quilt patterns. Thanks

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  3. DD Says:

    I thought I would let you know that I’m in the middle of making your quilt and you have your number of blocks off. block a-10 blocks the rest are supposed to be 20, which I think the number of blocks to cut out is not right either, which also may mean that amount of fabric needed needs to be an extra 1/4 yd? And you should also write to sew using a 1/4 inch, since some sewing projects require 1/2 inch.

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  4. Shana Says:

    You’re right on the block counts. I’ll have to double check fabric amounts tonight.

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  5. Linda T Says:

    I can’t keep my cat off my work. I just consider it “Kitty Tested.”

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  6. Pat A Says:

    I love the look of this pattern. Will definitely give it a try. Thanks!!

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  7. seabear Says:

    I feel that we are kindred spirits. Not only in the way that we lay out many different settings for the top of the quilt, and make a special back for the quilt, but our cat, or cats in my case have to be there to help in the process. I love your design styles.

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  8. Anne Says:

    I made this pattern into a queen size quilt for my niece. She loves it! I used a 8′ finished size block to create the queen size quilt. It was fast and fun to make. Thanks!/Users/amartinez/Desktop/IMG_8484.jpg

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  9. Anne Says:

    Shoot! I tried to send pics of the quilt but it did not work right.

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  10. Kara Says:

    Love this pattern! Here is the baby quilt I made with it:

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  11. Shana Says:

    Ah! I love it! Thanks so much for sharing.

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  12. MaryAnne Says:

    I love your design. I’ve been looking for a modern quilt design to do a beige and white quilt. After I saw your quilt I was lucky and found a beige material that I really like. It has white swirls/curls in the beige so I think it will be awesome. I also need to get at it soon in case I haven’t bought enough material. If I do get it done I’ll “try” to post pictures.
    Have a great day!

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  13. Amy Says:

    This made me laugh out loud twice — the cat size and inevitability of it being in your photos. Ha!

    Thank you for the pattern. The design is brilliant!

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