Secrets to Block Building Success – Part 3

Sep 21, 2018 9:00:05 AM / by David Mills

Hello, I'm David Mills, project engineer at AccuQuilt. In my previous blogs part one and two, I talked about our Mix and Match Qube™ Set, then the Mix and Match Qube™ Companion Set – Angles and the Mix and Match Qube™ Companion Set – Corners.  Now that you know about the tools needed to create quilts, I want to take it a step further and talk about building a block.

Quiz time! Do you know the history of why quilt blocks were created? Well, after talking to AccuQuilt’s expert educators, I learned historically quilts were used primarily for warmth. As a result, quilts were fairly big making it difficult to complete since they were sewn by hand. At that point, the block was born. Breaking up the quilt pattern into manageable pieces, allowed quilters to easily lay it down and then pick it up again, gradually building the blocks until the quilt was completed.

Creativity is an Art!

Now, it’s time to exercise your creative muscles and design your own quilt block. For reference, I’ve included the shapes from the Mix & Match Qube sets and both companion sets below.


Before you jump into designing your own quilt blocks, let’s first understand how to make some patches that will match the finished size of other shapes in the Qube system using smaller shapes. This is useful because you will be able to make substitutions for these shapes that fit perfectly in your blocks. Think of these substitutions as building blocks. Remember, I’ve mentioned that I love building with Legos.

TIP: I find it helpful to start with the smallest shapes in the Qube and work up to the largest.

Substitutions for shape 5. You can see some half square triangle (HST) patches (building blocks) here.


Substitutions for shape 2. You might find these useful for splitting squares or making windmill units.


Substitutions for shape 4.


Substitutions for shape 7. This is a useful substitution when you’re looking to avoid y-seams.


Substitutions for shape 9.


Substitutions for shape 8. Have some fun by breaking up your rectangles. Can you spot the flying geese?


Substitutions for shape 16.


Substitutions for shape 6.


Substitutions for shape 3.


Substitutions for shape 1. This is the largest shape in the qube and is the biggest building block in the collection. You won’t see every substitution here, as you could put other patches in place of shapes in these patches to make even more patches.

If you’re lost for where to start when creating your own quilt blocks, these substitutions are a good place to start!


Now let’s build unique 4-patch quilt blocks. We’ll start with some windmill blocks and then star blocks. What’s great is you can create your own design or pick from a variety of patterns. Keep in mind you can rotate, flip or color patches however we want. In each step, build on previous quilt blocks.


For a second example, start with a different 4-patch template and design some star blocks.


If you’re enjoying this series, tune in next week when we’ll discuss how you can use the Qube System to make 9-patch quilt blocks!

What you can expect for upcoming blogs in our six-part series!

  • How to use the Qubes to make 9-Patch Blocks
  • How to put Blocks on Point
  • Using the 6" and 12" Qubes together


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Mixing & Matching with the GO! Mix & Match Qubes – Part 1

Our Best Companions – the GO! Qube Companion Sets – Part 2

Topics: Tutorials

David Mills

Written by David Mills

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