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Quatrefoil Block Tutorial

*click on any photo in this post to enjoy a larger view

I am sewing as part of a Quilting Bee group on Threadbias, and April is my month to be “Queen.” After lots of thought, I’ve decided to ask my hive-mates to make me Quatrefoil blocks using tangerine/orange and turquoise/teal. Although I found a tutorial on line, I didn’t like one part of it and decided to write my own tutorial to help make this block come together in a snap!

All seams in this tutorial are a scant 1/4″.

Fabric Requirements and Cutting

This tutorial results in a 12.5″ X 12.5″ block.

You will need fabric in two colorways (in this tutorial – tangerine and turquoise) and background fabric (in this case Bella Bleached White-pfd). Cut the following:

1 – 4.5″ X  4.5″ square (for the center)
4 – 4.5″ X  4.5″ squares (for the petals – this should be a different colorway than the center. You can use all the same fabric, or different fabrics if you want a scrappier flower)
1 – 2.5″ X 11″ strip of one accent color
1 – 2.5″ X 11″ strip of a second accent color
2 – 2.5″ X 11″ strips of the background fabric (white)
8 – 2.5″ X 2.5″ squares of background fabric (white)


Constructing the 4 Patches which make up the corners of the Block

Match one 2.5″ X 11″ white (background) strip with each of the 2.5″ X 11″ strips of accent fabric and join them along the long sides, right sides together.


Open each strip set and press toward the patterned fabric (away from the white fabric). You will then have two strip sets, one in each colorway:


Square up one end of each strip set, and then sub-cut each of your strip sets into four 2.5″ X 4.5″ rectangles:

QuatrefoilTutorial.SquareEnds0001 QuatrefoilTutorial.SubCuts0001

You should now have 8 two patch units, 4 of each colorway:


Match each 2-patch with its opposite colorway and layout in a 4-patch layout with the patterned squares diagonally opposite each other. If you have pressed correctly, you will now be able to nest the seams when you sew these together.



Join each pair, sewing right sides together. You will now have four 4-patch units which should measure 4.5″ square. Use a clear, square ruler to make sure your units are 4.5″ square (trim if necessary).


Constructing the Petal Units

Select your four 4.5″ squares of petal fabric, and your eight 2.5″ squares of background fabric. Draw a diagonal line on the backs of each of the background fabric squares and then place one background square on top of each of the 4.5″ squares of petal fabric (in one corner, edges lined up), right sides together. You will then sew just a smidge to the right of the drawn line.


Trim off the corner after stitching (1/4″ from the stitch line), and then open the block and press



Place another 2.5″ square of background fabric on an adjacent side of the petal fabric (right sides together) and again stitch just to the right of the diagonal line, trim the corner, and press open.

QuatrefoilTutorial.PetalConstruction40001 QuatrefoilTutorial.PetalConstruction50001 QuatrefoilTutorial.PetalConstruction60001

You will now have four petal blocks, each measuring 4.5″ square – measure and trim if needed.


Layout your block in rows (as below), with the center square in the middle surrounded by your petal blocks, and the 4-patch blocks in each corner.

NOTE: Each 4-patch block has two colorways. The same colorway should occur in each outer corner. It does not matter how you position your 4-patches, as long as each is positioned the same. In my example, I have chosen to make the colorway which matches the center be the inside corner squares of the block. But, you could just as easily flip these around so that the inside square matches the petals which would give  the flower a more monochromatic look.


You will next join the blocks in each row together, left to right. And then join each row together, top to bottom, to complete the block.

A Note about Joining the Petal Blocks to the 4-Patch Blocks

This can be a little tricky if you have never done it before. But there is a trick to getting the seams to match.  Lay a 4-patch block on top of a petal block (right sides together). Insert a pin at the seam line (where the background fabric and a patterned piece come together on the 4-patch block) a 1/4″ from the stitch edge and straight down so that it intersects the diagonal seam of the petal block:



This is the correct placement for the seams to be joined. Pin the blocks together in this position and stitch them together and your seams should match when opened up.

When all the rows are joined, your block should look like this:


Have fun!!!!


  1. paula paula
    March 17, 2014    

    Wow!! Terrific tutorial Wendy!

  2. March 19, 2014    

    Wendy, this is a great tutorial. Thank you for making it so thorough and easy to follow. It’s a great-looking block!
    Marsha, Threadbias

  3. Terry Terry
    March 20, 2014    

    I hope I get wi-fi this weekend so I can refer to this great tutorial while making your block. Love how you explained how to match the 4 patch with the diagonal of the petal unit. That was a BIG help!

  4. March 30, 2014    

    Wendy, I”m linking to your blog in my blog post Monday, the 31st of March, so that others who admire your block can find your great tutorial. I enjoyed piecing your blocks.

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