Gretchen Quilt Block Pattern

Gretchen quilt block

Gretchen quilt block

The Gretchen quilt block is a delightful nine patch block that I have made as an 18″ square finished size.  It is an easy block, using only squares and half square triangles, even though it looks satisfying complex.

Cutting requirements for the Gretchen quilt block

3.7/8″ squares:  fourteen purple, fourteen white

3.1/2″ squares:  four purple, four white

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Making the Gretchen quilt block

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles.  Place a purple and a white square 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 triangle units, each one now a 3.1/2″ square.

Gretchen quilt block layout

Gretchen quilt block layout

Lay the squares out in six rows of six.  Look for the larger shapes made by several smaller squares:  along each edge of the block there are a purple and a white larger triangle formed with a square and two triangles.  In the middle there is a simple pinwheel formed with four half square triangle units, and along the diagonals there are purple and white stripes (almost boat shaped) formed by three triangles together.  That more or less takes care of the placements – now you just need to be sure to maintain those placements as you sew the squares together across each row – it’s very easy to put a pair of squares down the wrong way round and mess the pattern up completely.  I know because I have done it many times!

Complete the block by sewing the rows to each other.

Gretchen quilt image basic

Gretchen quilt image basic

Gretchen quilt image - different coloured blocks

Gretchen quilt image – different coloured blocks

Gretchen quilt ideas

The first quilt image that I came up with was just using nine of the blocks sewn together in three rows of three.  The second option that I tried was using four dark quilt blocks with five light quilt blocks.

Gretchen quilt image - colours within the block

Gretchen quilt image – colours within the block

Then I decided to see what would happen if I used both dark and light within the quilt block itself.  This one is made using nine blocks all the same as each other, but each Gretchen quilt block is made using light purple along the diagonals, but dark purple to make the larger dark triangles, the white remaining the same as in the basic block.

I think that I like this last option the most, but do let me know what you think.

Here’s the video:

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