square in a square

How to Make Square in a Square Blocks

Square in a Square blocks, sometimes called Economy Blocks, are a perfect introduction to fussy cutting and look great in the center of star blocks. Whether you prefer traditional piecing, paper piecing, or using your AccuQuilt, I’ve got tips for you!

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Square in a square blocks are cute and classic patchwork blocks perfect for fussy cutting or scrap busting on your next quilt! Click to learn my favorite ways to make these economy blocks!
 

Sometimes a square in a square block is as simple as surrounding a square with a round of triangles to transform it into a cute diamond and sometimes you add a couple of rounds to make a full Economy block. Either way, this classic unit is perfect for using up scraps, fussy cutting, and making a cutie scrappy quilt. Keep reading to learn my three favorite ways to make this block!

Traditional Piecing

The biggest pro of traditionally piecing your square in a square blocks is that you can make them any size you want. The downside, however, is that if you’re designing or working on the fly, rather than working from a pattern, then you’ll have to do some math…. Just kidding! The math is a pain, so here’s a chart:

 
Square in a Square cutting chart from HollyAnne Knight of String & Story
 

To assemble the block, follow these directions:

 
How to Make Square in a Square Blocks with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story
 

Begin with the center square. Fold it in half each way to make a plus sign + crease marking the center.

 
How to Make Square in a Square Blocks with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story
 

Take two of the “diamond in a square” squares, cut in half (four triangles total). Lineup the long side of the first one on one side of the center square, using the creases to center the point. Sew in place with a 1⁄4 inch seam, then finger press open.

Repeat for the other 3 sides. Press, and trim square in a square unit to unfinished size (finished size + 1/2 inch)

To “go another round” and turn this into an Economy block, use the finished size of your first block as the center square size, and cut more corner squares of the appropriate size.

 
How to Make Square in a Square Blocks using Foundation Paper Piecing  with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story
 

Foundation Paper Piecing

Like with flying geese, I love the crisp angles and lack of precise cutting that go along with foundation paper piecing. In fact, I have a whole tutorial (and free, printable foundation!) available for you HERE.

 
Square in a square blocks are cute and classic patchwork blocks perfect for fussy cutting or scrap busting on your next quilt! Click to learn how to make these economy blocks with your AccuQuilt Go!
 

Using Your AccuQuilt Go!

Anything that involves triangles is 100% easier to cut out using an AccuQuilt. it’s just so fast and accurate! Now, the downside is that you’ll need different sets of dies for each size of square in a square block. However, if you have a favorite, “go to” size, the dies are well worth the investment and will result in gorgeous, quick blocks.

 

PS Don't forget to pin this post so you can find it later!

PPS put those gorgeous new square in a square skills to good use with my Sirius Quilt Pattern!