Heather Thomas

Tips for Resizing Quilt Blocks

Heather Thomas
Duration:   11  mins

Understanding how a quilt block is made is one of the first important steps in knowing how to resize a block. Heather Thomas teaches you how to determine the base makeup of a block and then how to resize it.

Block Design

Many quilt block designs, from pinwheels to friendship stars and more, are either four, nine or sixteen patches. Heather explains that this means they are made up of either four, nine or sixteen equally sized units. Depending on the block these units can be solid squares or another design, like a half square triangle.

Resizing a Block

If you have learned how to quilt by following patterns you may think that the size of block laid out in the pattern is the only size the block can be. However, if you learn how to change the size of your quilt blocks you can change both the design and final size of a quilt. Once you have determined whether your block is a four, nine or sixteen patch Heather explains how to determine both the finished size and cutting size of the units and explains which measurement is important when it comes to resizing a block.

She then explains some of the basic math behind resizing a block, including how to determine what size a block can easily be sized up or down to depending on the beginning measurement. Resizing a block that is made up of equally sized units that are all solid squares is fairly easy. When a quilt block is made up of units that are pieced together it can require a bit more math. Heather explains how to resize a block like a pinwheel that is made from half square triangles. She explains how to determine the cutting size of the square needed as well as how to stitch a half square triangle unit.