Category Archives: Geometric Blocks

Free geometric paper piecing quilt block patterns

Arabesque paper pieced quilt pattern

Arabesque paper pieced quiltThe dictionary defines arabesque as “a complex and ornate design of intertwined floral, foliate, and geometrical figures.” It’s a fitting name for this paper piecing pattern.  Continue reading

Parrot’s Puzzle – free quilt block pattern for paper piecing

Parrot's Puzzle quilt block - primary colorsThe Parrot’s Puzzle quilt block is a variation of the traditional Chinese Puzzle block, adapted for easy foundation piecing.  The Parrot’s Puzzle pattern PDF has pattern pieces for making a 6-inch finished size blocks and line drawings for you to color when planning your fabrics. When making a larger quilt, enlarge the block to at least 8 or 9 inches for quicker piecing and bolder pattern.

Below shows how the block above looks when set with together with a second block using green and orange in place of the red and blue.   

Parrot's Puzzle quilt example - primary colors Continue reading

Circle of Geese – free quilt block pattern for paper piecing

circle of geese WMI designed the Circle of Geese quilt block almost 15 years ago, and it has become, without doubt, my most popular design. And for good reason — It’s easy paper piecing with a spectacular effect!  Around the web, you’ll find the Circle of Geese block featured in blogs, block exchanges, and more.  For example, Christina at The Sometimes Crafter has done a fabulous paper piecing tutorial for this block on her blog. 

Although the pattern is free, please refer to my Terms of Use if you’re interested in teaching a class using this block, featuring it in a publication, or other not-strictly-for-personal use.  Thank you :-)

Download the free PDF Circle of Geese quilt block pattern. 

Double Dutch Rose paper pieced quilt pattern

Double Dutch Rose - blues and golds

Double Dutch Rose – blues and golds

Many quilters will recognize the inspiration for this design as the traditional Dutch Rose block, also called Carpenter’s Wheel or Broken Star. Here, the design has been transformed to use simple blocks based on half-square triangles, rather than the usual 45 degree diamonds. A second round of “petals” completes the design, hence its name: Double Dutch Rose.

Double Dutch Rose quilt - pastels

Double Dutch Rose quilt – pastels

Two color scheme options are offered for this design. The first color scheme (above) uses four shades each of two contrasting colors, plus a strong background color. If you’ve ever taken a fabric dyeing workshop in gradated colors, this is the perfect project for those fabrics. The second variation (at right) uses only three different fabrics. Finished size is approximately 53″ x 53″ (135cm x 135cm), perfect for a lap quilt, wall hanging, or a small child’s bed.

Download the PDF Double Dutch Rose quilt pattern

Cake Basket – quilt block pattern for paper piecing

Cake Basket is one of those great traditional blocks many people imagine when they think of Grandma’s quilting.  Paper piecing makes quick work of all those little triangles forming the basket’s “handle.”  For a true traditional “Cake Stand” block, cover pieces C1, C2, and C4 with a single piece of fabric.

Cake Basket quilt block - 4 color variations

For the free PDF pattern to sew your own 6 inch finished size quilt block, click here: Cake Basket pattern


Knight’s Knot – free paper pieced quilt block pattern

Knight's Knot paper pieced quilt block

2 variations – interwoven center (left), and open center (right)

Knight’s Knot offers wonderful design possibilities! However, it does require some care in selecting colors and setting arrangements to highlight the optical illusion of an intricately folded ribbon knot. Don’t overlook those nice squares in the centers of each pieced unit — how about using them for signatures, or fussy-cut prints for an “I Spy” quilt? And of course, a Knight’s Knot block would be a very nice addition to any sampler quilt.  Download the Knight’s Knot PDF pattern.

In general, Knight’s Knot blocks are most effective with sashing strips to separate them, as in the blue and black example, left.  By alternating highly contrasting blocks (i.e. light/dark values or warm/cool colors), it is possible to effectively set the blocks without sashing (middle image).  In the on-point block version (right),  the different values of the sashing pieces create a second-level optical illusion of 3-D enclosing walls around each block. The cornerstones are simply half-triangle squares.

Click on thumbnails below for larger images:

My inspiration for the Knight’s Knot block was painted on a wall in the beautiful 13th century Chateau de Chillon near Montreux, Switzerland, setting of the famous Byron poem, “Prisoner of Chillon.” Sitting right at the water’s edge of Lake Geneva, the castle is well worth a half-day visit if you’re in the area.

Chateau de Chillon near Montreux, Switzerland, setting of the famous Byron poem Prisoner of Chillon.  Well worth a visit!

Woven Ribbons – a free paper piecing quilt block pattern

Woven Ribbons paper pieced quilt blockThe rather simple Woven Ribbons paper piecing block makes a quilt which looks deceptively complex, with an effect similar to caned chair seats. You’ll need 8 different colors for the “ribbons”, plus a background fabric which doesn’t compete for attention with the other fabrics. Batiks and hand-dyeds are especially recommended for this design. Continue reading

Tequila Sunrise – a free paper piecing quilt block pattern

Tequila Sunrise paper pieced quilt blockI named this paper pieced quilt block after the well-known drink, due to the off-beat way the rays emanate from the center “sun.” Maybe the sunrise looks like that after a really rough night :-)

In any case, this block is entirely paper pieced in one section. The “circle” is, in fact, a 15-sided shape, not appliquéd. When Tequila Sunrise blocks are placed side-by-side in different arrangements, interesting things happen because of the combination of the circle with the long ray shapes.

Tequila Sunrise quilt, pastels version Continue reading