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Granny Square Quilt Blocks

Posted on: March 7th, 2014 by Lorna McMahon

What a week!  What started out simple enough has turned into sew much more!

Since Monday, I have been working on my very first Granny Square blocks, made from a 20 piece jelly roll of True Colors by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit.  This yielded 20 blocks.  The finished quilt is approximately 33″ x 41″.

Looks easy enough.  How do you make Granny Squares?  A quick search of the internet resulted with two basic methods.  A strip pieced method and a no waste method.  I went with the no waste method, but did one set of blocks according to the strip pieced method for comparison.

Granny Squares Baby Quilt
I would like to pass along some advice, if I may.  To learn from someone else’s mistakes is usually a good way to go.  So I will be sharing an in depth tutorial in the coming week.  To share some tips that I wish I would have considered before taking on these Grannies.
Basting the Granny Squares quilt
It wasn’t until I had completed making my Granny Squares that I considered just how I would be making them into a quilt.
Backing and Binding
I wanted to keep it baby quilt sized and preferred the look of the Grannies without sashing and in a squared setting.
This was when I realized there was indeed a better way to go about making the blocks.
One in which I could have avoided having to now piece all the sides and attempting to match up all those points.
As you can see, each of the white squares between the blocks is made from two triangles.  And where the blocks meet at the corners, the white squares are made from four triangles.

In real estate they say, “Location, location, location!”
In quilting we should always first consider, “Layout, layout, layout!”

Other than fabric selection, the first thing you should take a look at is how you want your blocks to be displayed.  Square or On Point?  With sashing or without?

If you are considering ever making a Granny Squares quilt, I encourage you to tune in during the coming week.  This tutorial will be covering suggestions for fabric selection, show examples of possible layouts, and methods for making Granny Squares according to the layout options.

Do you have any tips you would like to include?
Have you made a Granny Square quilt?
Would you like to share your Granny in this tutorial?
Let me know by leaving a comment!

Keep On Quilting On!

43 Responses

  1. Georgi says:

    Beautiful quilt, Lorna! I'm really anxious to read your tutorial ~ I really learn a lot from your insight on what works for you, so THANKS for being there! (p.s. ~ I noticed you used a serpentine stitch in your quilting ~ looks great!)

  2. Love it! The first quilt I made was a granny square quilt. I didn't do the strip method. I cut out each of the squares and sewed them together.

  3. Cindy says:

    Love the quilt, and always appreciate learning from someone else who's been there, done that. LOL

  4. Can't wait to see the tut !!! My Halloween grannies are waiting for me to get busy!

  5. Paula says:

    I love the look of these quilts. Looking forward to your upcoming post. Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences.

  6. It's beautiful! Looking forward to your tutorial. I haven't made any grannies yet, but I would like to someday.

  7. I will look forward to reading your tutorial

  8. Jasmine says:

    Such a cute quilt. I would love to see your perspective. I am thinking about making one from scraps, so precut squares sometime.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is so beautiful! i love the granny block and I'm looking for your tips! Have a lovely weekend! x Teje

  10. Julie Cefalu says:

    Your granny squares are beautiful! I made my first ones last year as part of an apron. So, that was a grand total of 3 blocks and they were 6\” square. I remember that I should have made the outside triangles a little larger so I could square up the blocks. And you're right, that's a lot of points to match up! I can't wait to see your tips!Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

  11. Wendy says:

    it's beautiful. The colours are so rich. I do like the layout you've chosen. I made a small 9 granny version as a bathroom curtain! It did indeed have sashing.

  12. Love your Granny Quilt and can't wait to see your tutorial! I definitely like learning from mistakes made by someone else LOL 🙂

  13. Vera says:

    I haven't made one and don't have plans to do so. Squares are not really my thing. I like the binding 🙂

  14. Missy Shay says:

    I made my great granny square using Lori Holt's method, here is mine.

  15. Your quilt is beautiful..look forward to your tutorial 🙂

  16. Jessica says:

    They look so gorgeous all hanging out together! <3 I can't believe you're done already! Good work, woman!!

  17. Nope, I've never made one, but I LOVE it. 🙂 Looking forward to your secrets. 🙂

  18. Lisa Marie says:

    I'm looking forward to your tips. I would like to make a baby quilt like this but like to do things efficiently. If you can reduce the amount of matching required, I'm all for it!

  19. Michele T says:

    I love your quilt and want to make one someday too, so I will definitely be tuning in next week!!! Thank you!!!

  20. Dominique says:

    I love, love, love this quilt. the colours, oh, the colours… it's perfect!

  21. Unknown says:

    LOVE this quilt! The colors, the fabric, LOVE. Looking forward to your tutorial on Granny Squares as I haven't made a GS quilt yet.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful! I've been working on granny squares with the strip method. I have all my strips cut out; just need to actually sew them together!

  23. Jehnny says:

    Those colours are great together! I really love the backing material too!

  24. I think it look beautiful Lorna, ! will be looking out for your tute as I am in the very early stages of a Granny quilt myself, have a great day!

  25. Cheryl says:

    Hi Lorna, What a beautiful finish! I have made two granny square quilts so far with both of them having sashing between the blocks so lining up the points between the blocks was not so much of an issue. My method for making the blocks was to use the no waste method but to oversize the side and corner triangles so that I had plenty of fabric to trim square.

  26. Carla says:

    Hi there. I made a granny square quilt about a year ago. I used smashing and corner stones to help with lining things up. It worked. You did a great job!

  27. Vicki says:

    I have never made a granny sq quilt. I am seeing it more and more, and would like to try it. I am really looking forward to your tot!

  28. I love the granny squares, this is my next-to-do quilt after I finish my etchings bed runner for my mom for her birthday…YIKES….better get going…LOL Anyway, this is beautiful, the colors play so nice together and so happy!

  29. Anonymous says:

    I have been considering a Granny Square. Looking forward to collecting ideas and advice.

  30. SIMPLESEW says:

    This is beautiful and on my bucket list this year….. love your color choices

  31. Lorette says:

    Love this!!!

  32. Lin's Quilts says:

    It's beautiful! I am looking forward to your tut. I always like using s jelly roll.linsquilts.blogspot.comLin

  33. Kris says:

    This is lovely and I look forward to your tips and advice.

  34. Jo Ferguson says:

    It's a beautiful quilt. I especially like that you didn't use sashing. The pink binding is also a winner. I've not made granny squares so I'll be patiently (well not too patiently) waiting to see your tutorial.

  35. I too love that there is no sashing….much more striking! A wonderful finish!

  36. LOVE these grannies! the colors ROCK, Lorna!Thanks so much for sharing at Needle and Thread Thursday!:) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  37. Rachel says:

    I like them butted right up next to each other. Very pretty saturated colors too! This is the first granny square quilt I've seen that has made me stop and consider making one for a minute. Of course it probably helps that I just received some strip discards over the weekend from a hiking buddy. 🙂 Nice work!

  38. Christiane says:

    To make a Granny Quilt is surely one of my Quilting – goals, so I am looking forward to next week and will enjoy your advices. Thank you for sharing, Lorna!

  39. Heather A says:

    Your granny square quilt it so bright and cheery! Love it! I finished making one from vintage sewing scraps (hence, no strip sewing) for my daughter in December 2013. I love it so much I plan to make another one. I had looked at the different methods and settled on the original version and went ahead and wasted fabric. I really enjoyed making the blocks. I would like to make a strip-pieced version using a jelly roll I already have. I'm eager to read your upcoming ideas, tips, tricks, etc. Here is the link to my recently finished granny square quilt …

  40. Heather A says:

    Without the sashing, it seems to me that it could be made much like a \”trip around the world\” quilt.

  41. Anonymous says:

    This came out wonderfully and I'm looking forward to your tips. Many years back I made a granny square quilt, from a paper pattern, before the online tutorial rage, and it was a PAIN. It does still have a place of honor on my couch, however…

  42. These fabrics are just stunning in this quilt! Love the way it came together. I see what you mean about the piecing. The pics are so vivid…great job.

  43. Michele says:

    I too love your quilt. The bright colors are fabulous. I'll be looking forward to your tips post. I have a pile of my grandma's old fabrics that she used for making Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls that I want to use for Granny block to turn into wall hangings for my mom, aunt and uncle.