Quilting Patterns for Beginners

Updated July 13, 2018

Quilting has been popular for hundreds of years, in almost every society in the world. Once a simple frugal necessity, today many quilts are accepted as genuine works of art. Beginning quilters can be daunted by the many patterns and styles of quilting, but the easiest way to begin your first quilt is by making a simple one-patch. The one patch design is almost without limit, makes a beautiful quilt, and is very simple to construct. Simply put, a one-patch design is a quilt in which every patch is the exact same size and shape.

One Patch Squares

One of the simplest quilt designs is really no design at all. Simply cut out a number of squares within a colour scheme, all the same size. Sew the squares into rows, then sew the rows into your quilt top. The random placement of the quilt squares gives the quilt a scrappy look, while the controlled colour scheme keeps the quilt from looking too random.

Rail Fence

The rail fence quilt is a very controlled colour scheme, consisting of three or four colours. Each patch is cut in a rectangle shape, with either three or four rectangles sewn together to create a square. Each square is then laid out and sewn into a quilt top, alternating vertical and horizontal stripes. The resulting pattern will look either woven or like stair steps, depending on how you look at it and how you place the light and dark fabrics.


Triangles are another simple design for the beginning quilter. Cut out a number of triangle patches, all the same size, and separate them into piles of light and dark colours. Sew the patches into rows, alternating light and dark. This design can be made in two colours, one light or dark colour and scraps, or totally scrappy. The pattern is also known as Thousand Pyramids.

Quilt Designing

Beginning quilt designing can be a fun and rewarding part of your quilting hobby. Using graph paper and pencils, you can design any number of quilts simply by changing around the colour and hue of the fabrics. One simple shape is all that's needed, it's the colours that will make the design.

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About the Author

Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Gardening Know How. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.