Traditional Quilt Blocks

I love to play with the colors and shapes of traditional quilt blocks. It's interesting to see how it all fits together to create a bigger picture.

traditional quilt blocks

When we were ready to study geometry through play using our set of pattern blocks, I had a problem finding a good quilting book with basic pattern diagrams.

I was especially looking for designs that used triangles and squares so that we could use our pattern block set and explore how those shapes fit together and interact.

My solution was to do some research on historical designs and create my own file with the basic patterns from traditional quilt blocks.

You can download the file at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Playing with Patterns

You can use the pattern diagrams in a variety of ways, such as for puzzle play or to create artwork.

I like to save paper, so I put all of the color diagrams together in the .pdf file so you can use it like an ebook and turn the pages as you copy designs with wooden pattern blocks or color them.

quilt pattern blocks and coloring

In my .pdf file, you will find black and white outlines of each block to color however you like. I have also included blank grids to design your own quilt patterns.

Pattern Blocks

We use a Froebel set, specially sized to align geometrically. Unlike some pattern block sets, this contains the same shape in several colors.

If you don't have a set of blocks, you can print out the color diagrams and cut them apart to make your own puzzle pieces. I would use cardstock and laminate them for durability.

Sticker Fun

We really love stickers, so I also had the idea to buy some colorful 1 inch square stickers that we could use to recreate the quilt designs.

quilt pattern stickers

It is easy to cut the squares in half or into quarters to make the necessary triangle shapes.

Whoa, are we learning fractions now and playing with stickers?!

You can extend this to more advanced math about area, too. Talk about how many stickers of each color a design takes.

Show Me the Quilt Patterns!

Bigger Projects Using Traditional Quilt Blocks

The blocks you make can be cut out and collected to hang up as a paper quilt on a bulletin board. Maybe after experimenting, you will discover some favorite designs and use special papers or felt shapes.

Talk about how quilts can tell a story and maybe put the blocks together that way.

Older children might actually be able to sew a pillow. Simplify the sewing with felt applique on top of the square if needed.

A Note about Sewing

My file does not include instructions for piecing and sewing or actually assembling a sewn fabric quilt, but a variety of ages will find this to be a very handy guide.

For actually sewing quilt blocks, I recommend 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks and Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage. They were my favorites of the many books I looked through as I was doing research.

More to Explore

crazy quilt embroidery
homeschooling math
window quilts
needlepoint canvas


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