Building Blocks: Your First Quilt Block

Learn how to quilt with easy beginner quilting tutorials and quilt patterns from Missouri Star Quilt Co!
The Super Easy Hourglass Quilt is a great place to start learning your first quilt block! This project comes together easily using Charm Packs (5″ squares of precut fabric).

You’ve finally made it! You have your supplies in hand and you have a great knowledge of precut quilting fabrics so it’s time to create your very first quilt block! Before we begin, remember Jenny’s favorite phrase, “finished is better than perfect”. Your first quilt block might not be perfect (maybe it will!) but what is most important is that you learned new skills along the way and have a finished block that YOU created!

If you’re more of a visual learner and would like a video tutorial to follow along with as you create your first blocks, you can find all of the information on the Hourglass Quilt included in this blog post in Jenny’s Super Easy Hourglass Quilt tutorial and, for a quicker version, our Quilt Snips mini tutorial! 

In today’s post, we are focusing on creating the first few blocks of the Hourglass quilt. We won’t be finishing the entire quilt top today, but if you continue your block making, you’ll soon have enough to create a finished quilt! We’ll get into binding, backing, and quilting later, but for now, let’s piece our first block!

Learn how to quilt with easy beginner quilting tutorials and quilt patterns from Missouri Star Quilt Co!
The Super Easy Hourglass quilt block will measure 5″ x 5″ when complete.

For this project we’re going to be working with Charm Packs. If you haven’t already read Building Blocks: All About Precut Fabric, take some time to get to know your materials before diving into creating your first block. Once you’re ready, grab your favorite Charm Pack and let’s get stitching! You will need:

Supply List

One Charm Pack of 5″ precut squares

A Rotary Cutter & Cutting Mat

A 5″ x 15″ Inch Ruler

An Iron for Pressing

A Sewing Machine Ready to Sew

Remember we’re not tackling the full quilt today, just the first block. If you’re wanting to push your sewing skills a bit further, gather the supplies for the Super Easy Hourglass Quilt from the list HERE.

Creating Your First Block

Learn how to quilt with easy beginner quilting tutorials and quilt patterns from Missouri Star Quilt Co!
Arrange four 5″ squares of precut fabric together to create a large square.

Start by arranging four 5″ squares from your Charm Pack into a Four-Patch. This is a very simple and basic quilt block style and a great place to get started! Select four 5″ squares that vary in color or design and remember—we’ll be cutting these four-patches up very shortly so the layout will change as the hourglass block develops.

Once you have laid out four squares (hard work so far, right?) all you need to do is sew them together! Flip two squares of your four-patch over so that the right sides of the fabric are touching, as shown below.

Learn how to quilt with easy beginner quilting tutorials and quilt patterns from Missouri Star Quilt Co!
Sew the side seams together by sewing down the side of the two squares on top of each other)

Next, sew straight down one side of each set of squares, creating two sets of two squares, using a 1/4 inch seam. Open and press the two sets flat, then line them up on top of each other with right sides facing. Match up the middle seams and sew the two sets together to create a four-patch.

Learn how to quilt with easy beginner quilting tutorials and quilt patterns from Missouri Star Quilt Co!
Sew all four squares together to create a Four-Patch quilt block!

Once your four squares are sewn together, press your block flat with your iron. Believe it or not, you’ve created your first quilt block! This Four-Patch block is oh-so simple and versatile on its own, but with a little more creative energy, we can turn it into a simple Hourglass block! To do so, follow the instructions above to create a second Four-Patch block, just be sure to mix up your fabric choices! Once the second Four-Patch block is complete, press it flat and lay it on top of your first Four-Patch block with the right sides of the fabrics facing each other.

Learn how to quilt with easy beginner quilting tutorials and quilt patterns from Missouri Star Quilt Co!
Lay the newly created second Four-Patch on top of the original (right sides facing).

Take your blocks over to your sewing machine, keeping them lined up (you can stick a few pins into your blocks to hold them together if needed), and begin to sew all the way around the squares with a 1/4″ seam.

Learn how to quilt with easy beginner quilting tutorials and quilt patterns from Missouri Star Quilt Co!
Sew all the way around the two blocks to bind them together.

Your two Four-Patch blocks should be sewn together now and held tight. Now comes the fun part! Grab your rotary cutter and ruler and make two diagonal cuts from corner to corner on both sides of the sewn-together block. Use extra care when crossing over the middle of your block as the seams will be slightly more difficult to cut. Use your 5″ x 15″ ruler as a guide to ensure that your cuts are straight and even!

Learn how to quilt with easy beginner quilting tutorials and quilt patterns from Missouri Star Quilt Co!
Cut corner to corner in both directions using your rotary cutter, cutting mat and ruler

Now all that’s left is to open your newly created Hourglass blocks and press them flat! Using this method, you’ll actually create FOUR hourglass blocks at a time.

Learn how to quilt with easy beginner quilting tutorials and quilt patterns from Missouri Star Quilt Co!
Open and press your newly created Hourglass blocks!

Take a moment to admire your work and be proud of what you’ve accomplished, you’ve not only created your first quilt block, but you altered that block to create four more unique quilt blocks! At this point you’re ready to tackle your very first quilt. If you need a little extra help, don’t panic! Check out Jenny’s full tutorial or the Quilt Snips mini tutorial below for some extra visual aids. Not everyone learns in the same way or at the same speed, so take your time and have fun!

A sneak peek into the next issue of BLOCK Magazine

Dear Quilters,

Thanksgiving is just around the corner… talking about gratitude… I want to talk about the other side of giving, which is receiving. It is often easy to give of ourselves, but it can be difficult to accept help when we need it. I love this quote by Maya Angelou, “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” It reminds me that in every situation where there is a giver, there is also a receiver…

It’s wonderful to be on the giving end, as we so often are, but what about those times when we are the ones in need? I hope you know that it is important to ask for help when you need it and that you are worthy of the help when it arrives. 

So often, as quilters, we find ourselves in the role of the giver. Thank you for giving so freely of your talents and sharing your gifts with so many. Thank you for being there when others need you and quite literally wrapping them with love. The need for sincere acts of kindness is only increasing in this world. And when the moment arrives when you are in need of some kindness, smile and simply say, “Thank you.” You don’t need to justify your need or excuse yourself. It’s okay to accept help. I am learning more and more to ask for help when I need it and express gratitude instead of trying to explain the need away. Thank you for being there for me with all your support and love. This time of year and always, I am grateful for you!


BLOCK Magazine Volume 7 Issue 5 October 2020 Issue

When we first opened our doors back in 2008, we never would have dreamed we would begin our very own magazine just six years later! Now, in 2020, we’re celebrating our 12th company birthday and seven years of BLOCK!

Although this year is a little different than our previous annual Birthday Bash Extravaganzas – you can still celebrate with us ONLINE! You’re invited to our second ever BLOCK Party to kick-off our Birthday Bash Online starting this Thursday! Put on your comfy pants, grab some snacks, and tune in HERE on Wednesday, September 23 at 6 PM CT for a sneak peek into our October Issue with Jenny & Natalie!

BLOCK Party with Jenny & Natalie

Here’s an extra little sneak peek of what’s coming in Volume 7, Issue!

Better Bindings for Beautiful Results

Circle Magic Casserole Dish Holder

Jenny’s Journal
(Sewing Bird Baby Quilts)

And sew much more...

A look behind the scenes with photo-stylist, Jennifer Dowling

“Every time a story comes along in BLOCK that calls for food I have so much fun trying out new recipes and creating foodie art! I wanted to share with you how I made this cake (found on the cover of the next issue) so you can enjoy it from home during our online birthday celebration this week!

Your favorite cake mix will do, I prefer Duncan Hines,  but the real secret to an incredibly moist cake is two tablespoons of yogurt! If you haven’t tried it – I promise you’ll be delighted with the results. The super simple buttercream frosting is so simple and a family pleaser! You’ll need:

– 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks), softened
– 3 oz cream cheese
– 4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
– 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
– 3-5 tablespoons of heavy cream

Cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla then add your sugar slowly, could be more or less sugar just look for the consistency you like. I use a serrated knife to cut completely cooled cake into layers, The frosting is fluffy enough to fix any mishaps along the way.”

– Jennifer Dowling, Photo Stylist

Subscribe to BLOCK Magazine by Sunday, September 27 in order to receive this issue at your mailbox in October! (Pst, subscribe now and receive an extra FREE digital issue your account today!)


River Log Cabin Quilt

MSQC New Tutorial on the Blog!

River Log Cabin Quilt

Ever heard of diamond rain? Sounds impossible, but lightning storms on Saturn produce thousands of little sparklers every single year! And here on earth, we can get some pretty remarkable precipitation, too. In 1887, giant snowflakes fell on a Montana ranch; one was measured at a whopping 15 inches! It may seem impossible, but “impossible” things happen every day!

River Log Cabin Quilt

This week Jenny is whipping up a little miracle of her own with the River Log Cabin Quilt. Because, while it sounds impossible, when you put together 1.5 inch strips and 2.5 inch strips in just the right way, all those straight lines transform into curves! Click HERE to learn this pretty magic trick!

River Log Cabin Quilt

(Hooray! This quilt is available in a kit. Click HERE to pick it up!)

Watch the Latest Tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co!