How to make quilt squares

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Quilt squares (blocks) can be very intricate and difficult to make. However, there are plenty of block patterns that are less difficult and designed for beginners. The nine-patch quilt square is an easy one to start with. With different configurations and fabrics, many quilt designs can be formed from the one pattern. For your first nine-patch quilt square you will only need two different fabrics, one dark colour and one light colour.

Make your quilt block in any size. However, they are usually sewn in even-numbered inches, such as 6, 8 or 12 inches. For the purposes of these instructions we will be making a 12-inch quilt square.

Wash and dry two new fabrics. When you make enough squares for a quilt and it is completed, you don't want it to shrink unevenly when laundered..

Make a template. You will eventually be cutting out a lot of squares for your quilt. Using a template will save time and ensure that all your squares are the same size. Measure a 4 1/2-inch square onto poster board (plastic can also be used) and cut it out.

Trace on the wrong side of your fabric, around the template, with a light pencil marking. You will need five squares of dark fabric and four squares of light fabric. Cut them out.

Lay out the quilt square pattern on your work area. First, place four dark-coloured squares, one in each corner and one in the centre. Place the light-coloured squares in the centre top and bottom, as well as the middle left and right. The finished pattern will look somewhat like a checkerboard.

Sew three rows of squares. Use a 1/4-inch seam allowance throughout. Start with the top row. Sew the first two squares, right sides together. Sew the third square of the first row onto the second square. You have one row completed. Sew the middle and last rows in the same manner.

Press all the seams, of your rows to the right side, not open, as you would when sewing a garment.

Sew the rows together. Place the first row on top of the second row, right sides together, and sew across. Place the last row on top of the middle row and sew across.

Press all three seams downward, with your iron.

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