Quilting 101 – Clays Choice Quilting Block Tutorial


This block measures 25cm (10″) when sewn with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Use a plain background and two fabrics to make the star punch out from the middle of the block, as in the sketch below, or reverse it, using a white fabric for the star and patterns everywhere else.

If you are planning to make a quilt by repeating this block over and over, consider rotating the 3 fabrics in the block, giving each one a chance to be the background, central square and star.


Getting Started


Note: These pieces are not for this particular block!

Print or trace the attached templates onto card and cut out. Now trace the pieces onto your fabrics and cut out (the number of pieces required and fabric suggestions are shown on each of the templates).

Laying Out

Lay out your pieces in line with the pattern.  Don’t be alarmed that all the pieces don’t line up – this is due to the seam allowances for each of the pieces being visible at this point, it will work in the end!


We strongly recommend spraying all your pieces with starch and ironing them once more BEFORE sewing.  Spray starch is used by all sorts of sewers, but for quilters it is a total must. The fabric will stiffen, helping to stop it stretching and making it MUCH easier to sew.

NOTE: You can buy specialist spray starch for quilting, but we find the one from the supermarket works fine 🙂

Piecing Together

This block is made up of 4 identical mini blocks, each making up one quarter of the finished block.  Start by sewing the two small squares in each mini block together.

quilting-one-o-one-clays-choice-block-tutorial-2-finished-block-squares together

Now you need to sew the other three parts of each mini block together, making rectangles (as below).   This is a little trickier than you might think, but work through the steps below the next image and you will get there without pulling your hair out!


I am only joining three pieces together- how hard can it be, I hear you cry!  Place the two pieces you are sewing together, right sides facing, lining up the diagonal raw edges and you will discover that the shapes are actually different sizes and won’t line up.

Place the middle shape in front of you as shown to the right.  Then place a triangle on top, right sides facing each other, so that the bottom diagonal sides are lined up, from the bottom corner, out along the long diagonal side THEY WILL NOT LINE UP AT THE TOP CORNER.

Sew the two pieces together and when you iron the seam flat and turn over, the pieces should be lined up perfectly!



Now turn your shape around, so that the sewn side is at the top of the middle shape and the raw diagonal edge of the middle shape is at the bottom.  Repeat the above steps.





Now sew the two squares you completed earlier to this shape, completing each mini block.


Now sew the top two mini blocks together.

At this point I find it helps to check that the bottom edge of the new, larger, block is straight, and trim it back if not.

Then sew the bottom two mini blocks together, making sure the top edge is straight and trimming back as necessary.


Now sew the two rows together.


The final step is to square off the block.  The easiest way to do this is to fold your block into four and iron the creases in lightly.  When you open up the block you will have the mid point of each side marked with a crease.

Place your square on your cutting board with the vertical crease lined up with the 10″ line on the cutting mat, making sure it is in line at the top and bottom of the block.  Now place your ruler over the block so that it runs along the 5.25″ line to the left of your crease, cut along this line.  Now line your ruler up with the 15.25″ line to the right of your crease, and cut along this line.  Turn your block 90 degrees and repeat the process (if you like the block we used for the images this part of the tutorial (below), it is called King’s Crown – click here to view the tutorial).

king-s-crown-quilting-block-triming back-tutorial


Ta dah!


Don’t forget to send us pictures of your finished blocks/quilts, here on our blog, on Facebook or by tagging us in on Instagram #printstopolkadots. We love seeing your makes!

Fabrics used in our examples: Riley Blake’s Bloom and Bliss (click to view instore) and Kona’s White (click to buy).

Click here to download the templates and short instructions.

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