Stepping Stones Quilt – Free Pattern

Stepping stones quilt pattern

Stepping stones quilt pattern

The quilt pattern this week is based on the Stepping Stones quilt block – which is also known as the Good Cheer block, but I prefer stepping stones.  I have made it 42″ square using four of the quilt blocks.

I’ve used 1/4 yard of purple fabric, 1/2 yard of gold, 3/4 yard of blue and 1 yard of black fabric.

Cutting requirements

2.1/2″ squares:  thirty two black, ninety six blue, forty eight purple – but don’t cut these yet as some of them can be made with strip piecing

2.7/8″ squares:  sixteen each in black and blue, sixteen each in black and gold

4.1/2″ squares: four gold

For the quilt borders you will need to cut eight 2.1/2″ strips of black and four 1.1/2″ strips of gold, cut across the width of fabric.

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Use black/gold and black/blue

Use black/gold and black/blue

Make half square triangle units

Use the 2.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles in the colour combinations listed above.  Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangles which are 2.1/2″ squares.  You don’t actually need them in purple/gold – I just wasn’t thinking and made a whole lot of purple/gold half square triangles which I didn’t need for this quilt!

Strip piece the nine patch units

Sew together purple and blue strips

Sew together purple and blue strips

Layout for the nine patch units

Layout for the nine patch units

I said above that you could use strip piecing to save time, and I’ve done this for the nine patch units in the corners of the quilt block.  Cut a 4.1/2″ strip of blue and a 2.1/2″ strip of purple, both cut across the width of fabric so that they are about 42″ long.

Sew the strips together along the length, press and cut at 2.1/2″ intervals as shown on the left.  This gives you rectangles 2.1/2″ wide by 6.1/2″ long.  These are in effect one purple and two blue squares already sewn together.  You’ll need two of these panels to make the required number of strips (thirty two altogether).

These can now be used as shown to create the nine patch units.  Two of the rows are made using these rectangles and the middle row is made with two blue and one purple individual squares.

First three rows

First three rows of the stepping stones quilt block

First three rows of the stepping stones quilt block

I’ve shown the first three rows of the stepping stones quilt block layout because they show you the basic shapes needed for the rest of the block.  On each side you have a nine patch unit placed so that the purple squares form the diagonal of the nine patch unit, running from the corner towards the middle of the block.

The shape between the two nine patch units is made with two black/blue half square triangles, two black squares and two black/gold half square triangles.  Place these so that there is a larger blue triangle at the top pointing towards the middle and a larger black triangle at the bottom, also pointing towards the middle.

Full layout of the stepping stones quilt block

Stepping stones quilt block layout

Stepping stones quilt block layout


Now I hope it will be easier to see how to place the patchwork squares for the entire block.  They are the same two shapes placed around the gold 4.1/2″ central square.

You have a nine patch unit in each corner, always with the purple squares forming the diagonal.

Note the one black shape on each edge of the central square.

Sew the squares across the rows

Sew the squares across the rows

For the first three and last three rows you can sew the squares together right across the row.  The middle two rows are slightly different because of the difference in sizes of the squares.  For these two rows you will need to sew the three squares on either side of the central square together  Then sew each pair of three square rows together first.  Then they will be the same length as the central square so that you can sew one of the black shapes to either side of the square.

Finally sew all the rows to each other to complete the stepping stones quilt block.  Make four of these, sew them together in two pairs and then sew the two pairs to each other to make a 32.1/2″ square.

First two quilt borders

First two quilt borders

Quilt borders

For the first border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of the black fabric.  You will need two lengths of 32.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 36.1/2″ for the sides.

The second border is made with 1.1/2″ strips of gold fabric.  You will need two lengths of 36.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 38.1/2″ for the sides.

Third quilt border

Third quilt border

For the third quilt border I have returned to the 2.1/2″ strips of black fabric.  Cut two lengths of 38.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 42.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the stepping stones quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:


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  1. Hi Rose ,
    Was very proud of my finished echidna quilt. Is there some way your world wide students could send pics of their quilt and have a link to them all at your website?
    Just returned from a trip in Outback South Oz, and “fell” into a fabric shop in Eudunda…had the perfect piece for my next quilt! Freesias! Carol

    • Hi Carol. It’s a great idea. I’ve been mulling over ideas and the only one that seems to work is a Flickr group. Then quilters who are members of Flickr could upload their own photos and those who aren’t could send them to me for me to upload. I could link to the Flicker page from my website. What do you think of that?

      • My biggest challenge is to make photos I send of a suitable size…and that could be a challenge for you getting pics that are big and fill your mailbox, unless you had a clever IT person who “shrunk “them on arrival?
        I personally don’t yet Facebook…the offspring tell me Flickr is good too, but I’m too impatient to sort all these programs while I learn to process with Photoshop! One thing at a time!

        • Hi Carol. That’s my feeling – that I must find a way of making it easy for people to display their photos without having to sign up for something like facebook or flickr. I’ll think about it some more. Yes, I can shrink photos when I receive them so that’s one less problem to worry about.

  2. Ingrid Baker says:

    Hi Rose – not sure if this is the way to go about changing my e-mail address for your (much appreciated) weekly newsletters?
    Thank you so much! Ingrid Baker – Tasmania

  3. Beautiful quilt, Rose. I really liked your choice of colors and the way you combined the polka dots and florals. Looking forward to seeing what you will come up with next week.

  4. Another beautiful quilt pattern, Rose! 🙂

  5. Helen warren says:

    Hi Rose It was me at the information centre yesterday looking for an actual shop. Was being blond! We ran out of time otherwise would have popped over to see you. Thanks for all your information. I have four quilt tops yet to be quilted but keep starting a new one before quilting the previous ones. I am totally addicted. Keep up the good work xx

    • Hi Helen. You would have been very welcome. I’ve just had a new delivery of fabric and you could have seen them. My business isn’t big enough to support a bricks and mortar shop so I do everything online.

  6. Rose, as usual with your excellent tutorials you make a
    complicated block look doable even for newbies.
    Thank you!
    Rose may I ask what keeps you motivated?
    I’m sewing a simple 9, patch at the moment and I feel I hate it

    • Hi Mary. That’s a difficult question – when I am quilting I feel calm and at peace. Last week I had a few days away and I had a wonderful time, but when I came home it wasn’t until I sat down at the sewing machine that I felt relaxed. Of course there are times when I am unpicking a seam (for the second time!) when I wonder why I’m quilting, but I just get so much satisfaction from seeing a quilt grow from an idea into a pretty quilt. My advice to you would be to put the 9 patch away for now if you’re not enjoying it. Quilting should be fun. Make something small like a cushion cover or a placemat that you can finish quite quickly – something that will give you that buzz. Hope that helps.

  7. Caroline Shelford says:

    Thank you for this one! As an absolute beginner it looks complicated even when broken down so I will leave any attempts for a few weeks (months? years??!) Love your website and all your helpful vids etc.
    PS – made the tea cosy last week; don’t drink tea but the empty cosy looks lovely on the worktop!

  8. Rachel says:

    Love my new friend explaining things so clearly!! Now how to copy article!

    • Thanks, Rachel. Towards the bottom of every page there’s a little green box saying ‘Print Friendly’. You should be able to print using that.

  9. Teresa Purvis says:

    This is an absolutely beautiful block and I love your fabric! I always love getting your emails and seeing your new quilt patterns. I really like this one, thank you for sending to me. Teresa Purvis, Newark, DE USA

  10. Breda Flood says:

    Thank you for the wonderful designs and tutorials. Hopefully I will complete something soon I promise.
    Have a super weekend and trasure your grandchildren

  11. Sandra Barnett says:

    Another great quilt love the pictures to go with everything I think I’m a visual learner too you always make your quilting instructions seems so easy.
    Have a great weekend. Hope there will be sunshine for you

    • Thanks, Sandra. We all learn in different ways – glad the photos help. So far this morning we have plenty of sunshine.

  12. Cecilia Alcantar says:

    Things couldn’t be any better, when it comes to spending time trying to make the quilts that you show us. Honestly, I became so interested just by your helpful tutorials, Yes, I really look forward to your emails and what I;ll be working on next.
    Believe me, I never thought that I could and you encouraged me to just do it! Yea!!!
    Thanks so much. Your devoted beginner. Cecilia Alcantar

    • Thanks, Cecilia. I’m so pleased that you feel my quilt patterns have helped you – really kind of you to say so.

  13. Marilyn says:

    I just love this one Rose thanks so much you make it look very clear on how to put it together. Definitely going to try it next after I finish my baby quilt. So many to try! Thanks again love Fridays when I see what you’ve posted for us. Marilyn.

  14. Brenda German says:

    Lovely quilt. Your colors are perfect, thanks for sharing!

  15. Gladys Hontz says:

    THANK YOU ROSE!!! Your tutorials are “GREAT” and this stepping stone quilt block is just fantastic and one I am sure to make. I plan to go fabric shopping early next week. Thank you again for all the great things you send us and for the explanations that one can understand.
    Gladys Hontz

  16. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your tutorials. I am new to quilting, and you have shown me so much. Thank you for all you do!

    • Thank you, Demmi. That’s what I always hope I am doing – giving people confidence to take up quilting – so I’m glad if I’ve helped you.

  17. Hilary says:

    Hi Rose another lovely quilt, just to clarify in the fabric used it gives two amounts for black fabric, but none for the purple. Is it 1/4 yd of purple, and 1 yd black please? Love the way you give us all the pictures with the instructions, I’m definitely a visual learner! Hilary.

    • Hi Hilary. Oops – looks like I goofed! I’ll go and change the pattern now. Yes, it is 1 yard of black and 1/4 yard of purple. Thanks for letting me know.

  18. Another inspirational quilt. Wish I had half your creativity. Have a lovely weekend. Regards, Helen

  19. Hi Rose,
    Love this quilt block, it looks stunning. Have a lovely weekend.

  20. Just wanted to tell you how much I look forward to your emails. Feel like it is a message from a friend. This weeks quilt, stepping stones is especially nice and I look forward to giving it a try. I have just come back to quilting after 30 or so years and am very excited to see machine quilting. That was a no no back a few years. Seeing I have 8 growing grandchildren to make quilts for your patterns are showing me it is possible, along with my machine. I look forward to the next email. Thank you.

    • Thanks for your kind comments, Pat. Machine quilting has definitely become acceptable now and it certainly is much quicker than hand quilting. It sounds like you’re going to be busy with all those quilts to make for your grandchildren.