Granny Square Quilt Block Tutorial


Well, you may have heard about it, but Rachel over at Stitched in Color is having another party!  (she's good at those!)  This time it's all about scraps!  It's called the Scrap Attack Quiltalong and you can read more about it over here.

Anyways, I'm very happy that she asked me to write a tutorial on this scrappy Granny Square block because it gave me the incentive to finish up the whole quilt!


You can read about my original inspiration for this block here.  Of course when I made the first few blocks I had no idea how they would look in a finished quilt.  I'm quite happy with the results though!  Sort of a mix of old-fashioned and modern, which is exactly what I love!

The final size of my quilt after being quilted and washed, is about 50"x60", which is an nice lap size quilt.  I'll give you instructions how to make one block, but will also give you fabric amounts for making a quilt the same size as mine.  


 For one block, here's what you'll need:  
12 - 2.5" squares of background color (I used Kona Snow)
8 - 2.5" squares of print or solid scraps in your chosen color for the outer ring
5 - 2.5" squares of print or solid scraps in your chosen color for the inner ring 

To make a quilt like mine, you'll need about 2 yards of solid background fabric (I used Kona Snow) This includes enough for sashing and border.

You'll also need 260 - 2.5" squares for your blocks.  I would definitely cut more than this exact amount so that you can play around with color placement when you put your blocks together.  They're just scraps anyways, right!?



Now lay them out like this next to your sewing machine and sew them together into rows.


Once you've sewed all the rows they should look like the photo above.  Notice that the two lonely white corner pieces have not been attached to anything yet.  That's how it should be.  I suggest pressing these seams open.

Now take and sew these rows together,  adding those lonely corner squares on to the ends where they belong.


You should now have a completed block that looks like this.  Those little arrows are my crude way of showing you how these seams should be pressed.  Although I generally like to press my seams open, these ones work best if pressed to one side in the direction I've shown above.


Now you just need to trim your block!  You'll want to cut a quarter inch away from the point in your colored squares, so that the point doesn't get lost in your seam allowance.

Mine ended up needing to be trimmed to 9 1/8" square.  This may vary slightly, depending how scant/generously you sew your 1/4" seams. It won't really matter, just so your blocks are all square, and all the same size.


I made 20 blocks for my quilt, and sashed it with 2.5" wide strips.  I made my outside borders 6" wide.


I decided to hand quilt this one, using an orange perle cotton.  If you don't tell anyone, I'll let you in on my little secret.  I don't use any type of hoop or frame.  I just layer and baste my quilt with safety pins the same way I do for machine quilting.

Then I plop myself down on a soft chair and begin to quilt.  I've done a couple of quilts this way, and have had no problems at all, with any puckering or any type of bad things that I would imagine should happen to me by using this lazy method.

I'm not guaranteeing anything, just sayin...:)


Here's the back.  I had fun pairing these black and jewel tone prints with the daintier colors on the front of the quilt.

So are any of you inspired to make a block or three or twenty?  If you are, make sure to add it to the Scrap Attack Flickr group.  I'd love to see your variation.

*Edited to Add*  I have a new tutorial available for this quilt block.  It uses strip sewing, which is perfect for a jelly roll or 2 1/2" strips.  Find the blog post here.

146 comments:

  1. Thanks! I'm bookmarking this right now. :)

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  2. Definitely inspired! Thanks Jolene!

    x

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  3. This is so awesome. I know what I'll be starting tomorrow!!! Thanks for the tutorial and such gorgeous pictures! What are you going to do with this quilt? Is it for you to keep? I would...It's beautiful!

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  4. Fabulous (as usual). Great tutorial! Thank you. This one is moving to the top of my list!

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  5. I love this quilt...and have some scraps that would work well. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Thank you for this tutorial. I love your colours and the whole Quilt - it's just moving on my To-do-list!

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  7. Thank you for sharing the tutorial with us. This is exactly the kind of (scrap) quilt i love. Will come back and post pictures ones I get to play...

    The quilt is so pretty!!!!

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  8. I really really really love this quilt! I am so tempted to put everything else on hold and start making it right now!
    I hand quilt the same way, and I think it's so much easier on your wrists, hands and fingers, and much better for snuggling too :)

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  9. thank you so much for this tutorial, I'm absolutely in love with your idea of a granny square quilt. Unfortunately I cannot crochet at ALL! so this will be a great alternative for me :) on the to do list! Many thanks,
    Jessie, xo

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  10. Thank you for the tutorial Jolene! Love this quilt - as you said it's traditional and modern at the same time. The orangey binding is a great finishing touch.

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  11. Awesome ideas! I really like the block and am going to mark it as one I want to try. I'm totally smitten by the quilting. You have inspired me to try to hand quilt something small. Baby steps... :-)

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  12. this is wonderful and i can't wait to try and use my scraps on this one! lovely!

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  13. Love this! Definitely going on my to-do list.

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  14. This is lovely. I made a quilt very similar last year. I can't get enough! I love your scrappy and sashed version.

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  15. this is such a great tute! and what a cute way to use 2 1/2 inch squares. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  16. This is so beautiful - your quilts are so inspiring! I love the Kona Snow and the "golden" binding!

    Thanks for sharing!

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  17. jolene!!! this is amazing, so pretty and bright and soft at the same time. you did a beautiful job, now I'll have to go and try your tutorial, seems so perfect for some precious scraps!

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  18. As is ALWAYS the case, I love this quilt Jolene!

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  19. This is really beautiful, Jolene! Thanks for the tutorial.

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  20. I love this block, your quilt looks gorgeous, so bright and pretty. I did a foundation pieced tutorial for this block recently as it was the only way I could work out how to get them a specific size, my brain just couldnt work out the math any other way!

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  21. Jolene, I love this quilt! Thanks for the tutorial! I’ve never made crocheted granny squares, but these are on my list now!

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  22. What a wonderful quilt. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  23. This is simply wonderful! Thanks for the tutorial, Jolene!

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  24. Love it! (And Shhh... that is how I hand quilt as well... never had a problem with puckering as long as I pin basted enough)

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  25. Adding this to my must-make list!

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  26. This is a great quilt! I'm definitely saving it for my to-do list. Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

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  27. I am in LOVE with this quilt!!!! I just finished a huge (sort of similar look) version using lots of darker fabrics. I could definitely go this direction and still not be tired of 2.5 inch squares. So fresh looking! :)

    http://creativechicksatplay.blogspot.com/2011/11/scrap-tastic-finish.html

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  28. This is absolutely my next project, I love it!!!

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  29. I saw this on flickr (I think...) and fell.in.love! It's beautiful. And I love that it is all squares, not set on point with little triangles...

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  30. felt i should comment after looking at your blog several times now. thanks for your generosity in sharing such a charming quilt! lovely blog as well!

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  31. Love the vintage-y look of this quilt!!! I don't use a hoop for hand quilting either!

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  32. I always love the quilts you make! Thanks for the tutorial... Definitely going on my "to make" list. Thanks again!!

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  33. Love it! So bright and cheerful.

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  34. Wow, this is stunning! Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial, I am definitely planning to give it a try!

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  35. Your quilt is fabulous! Thanks so much for the scrappy sharing.

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  36. Oh, my!!!! That is such a wonderful quilt. I did not see a quilt you made that I would not love. after you post pictures of your quilts I always feel like I have to make my own, just like yours, right away. Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all your work and this tute is fabulous! Might give it a try tonight.

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  37. I love it., love it. This is will be at the top of my make it list. Thank you very much for sharing.

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  38. this is just beautiful! thanks so much for the tutorial...luckily i have been cutting my scraps into 2.5 inch squares already, so now i just need some free time!

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  39. Thanks for sharing and writing a great tutorial. I can't wait to start this quilt. I've been saving 2.5 inch squares.

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  40. It may be time to use up all that Kona snow I've been hoarding... :D

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  41. thanks for posting this tutorial! this block has been catching my eye lately, and i'm glad it's not too tough to tackle! :o)

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  42. I love this quilt! Thanks for posting, I can't wait to try it!

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  43. Love it! Now can't wait to try it.

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  44. Wow!!! Great tutorial! I will try it today!

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  45. This is so beautiful! I have to make one now. Thanks so much for the tutorial.

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  46. Its absolutely beautiful - what a brilliant way to use up my scraps too!!!

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  47. So playful and nice!
    A great way to use all that scraps.
    Good tutorial! Thanks!

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  48. Jolene, I just finished the top for a baby boy quilt using these blocks and I'm so in love with it! I'm so thrilled about this tutorial, and have two other baby girl quilts to make that I'll be using this block for also. It came together so nicely and so quickly, I'm just over the moon about how awesome it is! I can't thank you enough!!!

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  49. oh my gosh. i love that quilt. you are awesome. seriously.

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  50. I really like your use of color!!! It looks so nice and crispy.

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  51. Oh, this is the best use of scraps that I've seen. You can just play. I tried to crochet granny squares with no success. Now I can make granny squares. Who needs an afghan when you can have a quilt?

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  52. Yes, I'm inspired. In college, I made a crocheted granny square throw and had so much fun making it with 8 colors of yarn and no two blocks alike. I love scrappy quilts, so this will be on my "to do" list. Thanks for the tute!

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  53. I'm totally inspired to make some of these! It's a great quilt!

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  54. Well I just LOVE it! Thank you for the great inspriation and tutorial!

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  55. Great tutorial! You've been featured on the Quality Sewing Tutorials blog.

    We hand select only the best free tutorials and patterns for home sewers.

    Grab a brag button!

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  56. i can't believe i am just getting to your blog now?. i love your work. thank you for sharing your tutorial. i have some scraps that need addressing!.

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  57. I saw this quilt on pinterest. Truly lovely. Thanks.

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  58. Just love this quilt! (Of course all your quilts are beautiful! :)

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  59. Thanks for the great tutorial
    I had some charm squares needed using up
    & made a baby size on the weekend :)

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  60. Thanks for sharing the tutorial especially on how you hand quilt it... I love it, I can't wait to give a try.

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  61. Oh, love everything about this quilt: fabric, tutorial, granny square inspiration...everything. Will definitely be trying this.
    PS: I'm also a casual hand-quilter (it's just running stitch, right?) and feel I'm doing things 'properly' now I've seen it written down! x

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  62. Thanks Jolene! It is a stunning quilt and I will pin it so that I can come back to it later! Yeah! Am making a granny square crochet bag at the moment so I really have to do this one!

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  63. Just found your Blog. really enjoyed looking at your recent posts. Your Granny Square quilt is Fun. But my absolute favorite is your Basket Quilt on Dec 29th Post. Oh how fun that was to make, I'm sure! from Marlynne at mcreatesdaily.blogspot.com I'm adding your blog to my favorite blog list, so will be commenting frequently.

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  64. Wow. I am pretty much in love with this quilt. And your hand quilting is beautiful. Especially without a frame or anything. Bravo!

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  65. Love it!! My scrapbasket thanks you :)

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  66. Great tutorial! You've given me the courage to tackle one of these. Thank you very much. Oh, and I'm now following you on Bloglovin'.

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  67. This is so gorgeous! Must resist temptation and finish my WIP's first!

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  68. I am so happy to have come across this Jolene! My daughter is a new quilter and we are going to try to get her going on this project. I think it's a perfect beginner quilt that will look great when she is finished! Thank you!

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  69. Thanks for the how-to! I am tackling my first quilt right now, and this looks like my next!
    (if all goes well, that is!)
    :)
    Jamie

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  70. Thanks so much for this great tutorial. Whipped up 2 blocks last evening and have squares already cut for most of a quilt. Great job. I posted my blocks and referenced this posting.

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  71. Thanks for the tutorial I will be adding this to my to do list. I might need an intervention if I start any more quilts at the moment! Your quilt looks great.

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  72. What a great looking quilt, simple but effective.

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  73. awesome! i love it and I can't wait to make one! also, I always hand quilt my quilts that way ~ I had no idea it was the "lazy" way, but that's fine. Put on a movie, sit on the couch and stick that needle into my finger a million times! ha. Great job on the quilt, I am truly inspired. xo amy

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  74. Hi Jolene, I have a question about your 'lazy method' of hand quilting. I hate having to use a hoop also, but with a big quilt, how do you manage to work the center. What do you od with your 'free' hand? How do you hold the fabric? Just wondering...
    Love your work BTW.

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  75. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  76. What a great tutorial - and so much easier than I expected!

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  77. I love your 'making it big and cutting it down' method. So much easier than fitting in those triangles cut on a bias... Thanks for sharing, I came over from "I have to say..." blog.

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  78. I hand quilt "hoopless" too.
    I have never had any issues NOT using a hoop. My stitches are even and I have no hoop marks!
    Thanks for the tutorial!
    XOXOXO Subee
    http://www.subeesews.com

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  79. Jolene, I so appreciate your posting the instructions for making this block. I thought you might want to see my project from your tutorial, though it is FAR from scrappy. It is here: http://nancynearphiladelphia.blogspot.com/2012/02/1399-and-counting.html I love this quilt and have already entertained the idea of making SMALLER blocks! Thank you again.

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  80. Hi Jolene - We used your block for one of the Flickr do. Good Stitches bee quilts this month (the "Faith" circle), and I just wanted to say thank you for the tutorial. It was a fun block to make, and I think the bee quilts will be really cute!

    I wanted to also mention that I tweaked the tutorial a bit to use triangles for the sides, instead of squares (to eliminate the waste and leave a little more fabric on the outer edge). I haven't done a blog post about it yet, but I added some pictures in Flickr - the first one (with the square/triangle dimensions) is here: http://flic.kr/p/byYKxz. Hope that helps you or other folks!

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  81. Great quilt. Another Happy Scrappy Quilt!

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  82. I hopped over yesterday from "my brown bag studio" and "Pam Kitty Morning" blogs because I just had to check out these blocks- I just got a new jelly roll in the mail and spent last evening, while watching Captain America, cutting those strips into squares and arranging them and rearranging them into granny squares- I get to go home tonight and stitch them! They are turning out so cute!! Thank you for a great tutorial!

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  83. Great tutorial! I LOVE scrap quilts and I am definitely going to make one of these very, very soon!! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  84. Birds of a HeatherMarch 2, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    Do you think this size is acceptable for a baby's first quilt? I love your quilt so much that I'm going to tackle this as my first "real" quilt & give it to my soon-to-be born niece...I'd love for it to be big enough to take her into her toddler years, but I'm worried this is too big? Should I just make the border less than your 6 inches? Anyone have an idea/opinion? I'd really appreciate it! Thanks for the awesome tutorial!!!

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    1. Quilt sizes are such a matter of personal preference:) In my opinion, this would be a little large for a baby, but really a perfect size for a toddler or older child. You could definitely make the borders narrower, but another option would be to make only 12 blocks and lay them out 3x4, which would make a great baby quilt, but maybe not so great for an older child.

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    2. Birds of a HeatherMarch 7, 2012 at 7:41 AM

      Thanks so much for your response! I appreciate it! (I'm thinking my sis-in-law would prefer a larger one for when bebe girl is older...since she told me a story of how her Aunt sewed her a quilt when she was a child and she used it until it fell apart...seems like a toddler/child would get more use out of it!)

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  85. Hi and thank you for the great information and tutorials. I just learned about your flickr group yesterday while listening to all people quilt and wanted to find out what it's all about. Looks adorable and plan to get started right away.

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  86. So pretty. Putting it on the ever growing To Make list.

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  87. Yay! I have finally found the instructions for this block pattern and I hope that you don't mind that I have pinned it to my board on Pinterest for future reference. I love your quilt it is bright and fresh - thanks for sharing!!

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  88. Just the idea and inspiration I needed!

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  89. I love the Granny Square Block. Thank you so much for the tutorial!!! I just made one this morning and used it for a pillow cover =D

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  90. I have always liked granny square afghans, and I know I sew this faster than I can learn to crochet! Thank you for the tutorial and inspiration!
    Vicky F

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  91. Thanks for sharing your beautiful quilt!

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  92. I am so inspired! Thank you for sharing, and for the tutorial. I've been itching to get into quilting but haven't found the right starter project. I feel like I can actually make this one! And I love the cool back.

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  93. Jolene, I am a very new quilter (only been sewing for the past two years) and your tutorial for this ROCKS!!! I was able to follow it and actually make my very first square. I did mine in the scrappy look and boy is it gorgeous. Thank you for sharing this. You have given the online quilter world a wonderful quilt idea. ~Melinda of Tacoma WA~

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  94. Thanks for sharing your tutorial. I have also shared it on my Freebies for Crafters blog.
    Khris

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  95. Thanks for the tutorial! It's an easy and fun block to make. I made my first this afternoon and it looks great! :)

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  96. i am just starting quilting and i was wondering can i use jelly rolls to make this quilt? and if i do how many rolls would i need?

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    1. Katie, There are 12 blocks in the quilt shown.
      Each block needs 13 - 2.5" fabric squares
      12 x 13 = 156
      each jelly roll strip should yield 16 squares (40" usable fabric?)

      each jelly roll has different strip amounts of the fabric line. How many are in yours?
      if my math is wrong, someone else jump in and help her out...

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  97. Now that is one pretty quilt!

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  98. If it's okay to mention it, I sell a quilt pattern that uses this same block design! It's also called the album block among traditional quilters. You can see my pattern at http://www.scarlettrose.com/voila_viola_.html

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  99. Thanks, I usually don't like little pieces, but this one looks therapeutic. Gotta try it. Thanks

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  100. I love this pattern! Cannot wait to start using my scraps. I also hand quilt this way as I have never been comfortable with a hoop. I am a traditionalist and really have no interest in doing machine quilting. I still refuse to use a bread machine! I guess I should have been born back in the 1800's. Thanks for the pattern.

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  101. Could u make the squares larger so it wouldn't take so long to make a bigger quilt?

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    1. I have been making these squares with 3.5" squares - I imagine you could use charm squares or layer cake squares to do it, if you wanted!

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  102. Did you do stitch in the ditch, diamond pattern, or just inside the lines? I am new to quilting and not sure what is best...what method would you recommend for this quilt?

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  103. I love this quilt. It is so cute. I have to make one. I posted a link to your blog for the pattern. I thought some of my readers would like to see it too. http://fabricmom.com

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  104. Thanks so much for the tutorial!
    I think this looks really neat.
    I have no clue at all on how to machine quilt...and especially on my little machine.
    I find that I can't use a hoop when hand quilting. It's too cumbersome and I can't hold the fabric the way I feel I need to to get my stitches. I look forward to starting on a quilt like this. Thanks again

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  105. Lovely blocks! I just posted some of my first ones on my blog. I'm addicted! I'm wondering why you recommend to press seams open. I've always been told that open seams are weak and should be pressed to one side.

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  106. Now these are true scrappy blocks! Thank you for the tutorial--I'll be using it!

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  107. Great! Thanks for providing this. I love scrappy blocks!

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  108. LOVE IT .... been wanting to do XMAS QUILTS since went to an OPEN HOUSE last DEC where a gal had Scads of Christmas Quilts..said, her mother had made them. ANYWAYS, this is perfect!!! SO many ideas and so LITTLE time...smiles. Granny Lindie

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  109. Very artistic- I loved the picture compilation. 

    Hottub Covers

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  110. I quilt on my lap, too. So far it's worked out just fine! :)

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  111. I love this quilt, I have already started making it, this will be my first quilt I have ever made. Thank you for sharing!

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  112. Preciosa colcha,me anime a haerla ,gracias y felicidades.saludos desde ESPAÑA.

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  113. Love the quilt. You said you used pearl cotton to quilt. Pearl comes in many sizes--what size did you use?

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  114. All I can say is wow...the first time i saw this block I did not know the name ...so I searched for quit blocks on the point...and in doing a seach this morning...for a totally unrelated block(hexagon quilt patterns) I found a picture of your tutorial...so needless to say...I quilt breathing....and did a quick turn about...and did a test block using your tutorial...I am amazed at how easy and quick this was...your instructions and pictures were more than easy to follow....my test block was more than I expected for a first...and including a link to flickr where I posted my first block...to make a long story short...ty for making this tutorial....this old woman is very happy

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kountreequilter42501/7856493546/in/photostream

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  115. By now this is a SUPER old post, but I have a 16 month old so I just got around to making my granny square throw. I'm also hand quilting it. (I hand quilt every single quilt in the way you descibe, on the sofa with Netflix. Had one or two puckers in a queen-sized quilt once but nothing major fingers crossed. I think whatever works!)

    What I love best about your version is how the Sashing and border seams disappear in your second photo there, making the scrap blocks "float". Don't think I pulled that off and can't figure out why. Even with my seams, it's a super-cute quilt, and I THANK YOU for this tutorial.

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  116. Just saw you tutorial and just purchased a million?? 2 1/2 in squares at a garage sale.
    someone had cut them all out and I just loved the fabric choices. So am going to try the
    granny square. When it is done I will post it.
    Thanks for the great ideas.
    Mary

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  117. Hi Jolene, just wanted to thank you for your tutorial on the granny squares block. I have just had THE best day playing with these blocks. Normally I hand piece, but do require some instant gratification machine sewing every now and then, and this provided the perfect hit! It has been so much fun!! I have 5 blocks made (you can see then on my blog post for today), and another 5 sets chosen. Yippee! Thanks again. Better late than never with getting on the granny block band wagon! x

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  118. Thanks for the idea I have a whole box of 2,1/2inch squares now I know what I'm going to do with them

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  120. I just finished following your tutorial and made a block. I am not the best seamstress but this ( my first ) turned out quite nicely! Thank you! :)

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  121. I ADORE This quilt, as do sooo many others I can see above. I have been collecting all my daughters old clothes up to make a quilt out off all her baby clothes but when I was putting the squares together they looked horrid. Doing little squares mixing with some other fabric I have will make it work!!! I cant thank you enough. and the instructions seem easy enough for a complete novice!

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  122. How do you search information for your new articles, which search algorithms do you mostly use?

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  123. This is wonderful. I can use my new Accuquilt cutter for this one. Yes!!!

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  124. Beutifull!! I love the colours and especially the combination of the black and bold colours on the back of the quilt. I hope I get to try this one soon!! Nice to do with those left over Jelly Roll strips.

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  126. Adorable quilt block - as a perpetual beginner I think this is something that even I can handle - thought I wouldn't say that I would ever hand quilt - still working on my first crib size through my small baby lock!

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  127. Loving this quilt block so much that I made a quilt for a grandniece. The directions were easy to follow. What took me the longest? Choosing and cutting all of the different color squares from my scrap bag and modest stash.When it was finished, I had a hard time giving it up. I guess I'll have to make another one! :) Thanks so much!

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  128. Interestingly enough, my Great-grandmother recently showed me a quilt that looks very similar to this. It was the first quilt she ever made, which would put it somewhere in the 1930's - 1940's. She has two more rows of blocks, though, and used the same colors in each block with a white center. I was looking for a tutorial to make a copy, since hers is worn out (she now uses hers to cover plants when it's supposed to frost!). Anyways, thanks for the tutorial!

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  129. oh my gosh! I think we have the same table... I saw just a hint of it in one photo, but it matches exactly... Mine belonged to my grandmother, circa 1950's I would guess (before I was born, it was just always there at her house)... The gray formica top with the chrome edging... love it!

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  130. oh my gosh! I think we have the same table... I saw just a hint of it in one photo, but it matches exactly... Mine belonged to my grandmother, circa 1950's I would guess (before I was born, it was just always there at her house)... The gray formica top with the chrome edging... love it!

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  131. I was wondering what that print on the back is, the black with white words of varied fonts? So cute!

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  132. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I just posted about it on my crafty blog telling how I used your tutorial to make a quilt for my great-niece using this block and I made sure to link to your tutorial. It's so simple and I love how the quickly the blocks went together. I'm getting ready to go try your strip-piecing version for a quilt for myself. Thanks again! Julia http://juliamakesstuff.blogspot.com/2014/08/great-grannys-squares-story-of-quilt.html

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