Geometric Illusion Quilt Pattern

Geometric illusion quilt

Geometric illusion quilt

This easy quilt pattern has lots of lovely secondary designs even though I thought that the original geometric illusion quilt block would give the dominant design.  Just shows you never can tell!  I have used nine different fabrics to surround the cross in the quilt blocks and then a variety of scraps for the outer edge of each block.  The quilt measures 52″ square and I have used 1.3/4 yards of the light fabric.  In total I have used 1.1/2 yards of the dark fabric but this was made up of lots of bits and pieces from stash.

Cutting requirements for each quilt block

2.1/2″ squares:  twenty randomly coloured squares

2.7/8″ squares:  four each of dark and light fabrics

4.7/8″ squares:  two each of dark and light fabrics

4,1.2″ squares:  five of the light fabric

Making the geometric illusion quilt block

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles with the 4.7/8″ and 2.7/8″ squares.  Place a light and a dark 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 give you two half square triangle units for each pair of squares.






The basis of the geometric illusion quilt block

The basis of the geometric illusion quilt block

I think it’s more clear if I show you the layout for the central cross first.  This is the section of each block for which I have used one dark fabric with the light fabric.  There are five 4.1/2″ light squares in the middle arranged in a cross shape.  In each corner of this part of the block there is a half square triangle made from 4.7/8″ squares.  The half square triangles made using 2.7/8″ squares are placed in pairs mid way along each edge.  They are placed so that the two light triangles are next to each other, forming a larger light triangle pointing outwards.





Geometric illusion quilt block layout

Geometric illusion quilt block layout

The 2.1/2″ squares cut from scraps are placed round the edge of the quilt block, making a frame for the cross.

Sew the squares in the top and bottom rows together across the row.

For the middle rows you will need to sew together the pair of 2.1/2″ squares at each end of the rows first.  These can then be sewn to the three larger squares in the middle of each row.

When the squares are sewn together across each row, sew the rows together to complete the geometric illusion quilt block.




Completed geometric illusion quilt block

Completed geometric illusion quilt block

This is the completed quilt block.  Doesn’t the scrappy frame make it look bright and cheerful!  The block at this stage measures 16.1/2″ square.  Make nine of them and sew them together in three rows of three.







Border for the geometric illusion quilt

Border for the geometric illusion quilt

Border for the geometric illusion quilt

I’ve used a simple quilt border made using 2.1/2″ strips of the light fabric.  You’ll need two strips 48.1/2″ long for the top and bottom of the quilt and two strips 52.1/2″ long for the sides.  That completes the geometric illusion 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 – I managed to chop my head out of the camera’s view somehow but I don’t think that it’s too much of a loss:


I made a sampler quilt recently.  It’s a very simple one using easy four patch quilt blocks, but I can’t write it up here because it’s so long (twelve different quilt blocks).  I’ve shown the steps right through to include layering, quilting and binding and I have made it into an ebook.  This is the first one that I have ever made so I’m quite excited about it.  Amazon are allowing me to offer it to you as a free download until next Tuesday.  If you wish to download it, I’ll give the links below.  If you like the pattern I’d really appreciate it if you could leave a review.

If you live in the UK, you can access my ebook here.

If you live anywhere else you can access my ebook here:  how to make a quilt – simple sampler quilt pattern

Don’t forget – I’m only allowed to keep it free until Tuesday.

And just one final point:  I thought you might be interested in Craftsy’s newest course.  It’s in French cooking and looks delicious:

French Home Cooking: Essential Techniques with Cynthia Nims

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  1. You are a clever woman, I really enjoy all your emails. If only there were more hours in the day and of course no housework.

  2. Zona Bentley says:

    Thank you rose for your lovely ebook. I had no trouble downloading it and I wrote a review at Amazon.
    It is so easy to understand .

  3. Hi Rose thank you again for yet another great quilt you are so clever, like the e book
    Had that downloaded to my Kindle thanks for the opportunity of being able to have it free?

    Regards, Heather

  4. Janice Hicks says:

    Rose! Thank you so much for the ebook. Congratulations on your publication, and another thank you for your generosity in freely sharing it with us. Your tutorials are quite lovely, you know. I stumbled across them on You Tube some time last year, I believe. Always learn something in them. Blessings on you and yours in your prolific enterprise.

  5. Marilyn Larkin says:

    Congratulations on your publication. What an inspiration you are to us all. Now my quandry, do start on your sampler quilt. or do I start rummaging through my stash to begin the geometric illusion? Wish I had your capacity to multi task and complete so many quilts in so short a space of time. You are Britain’s Wonder Woman. Pssst. Thank you for inspiring me to play with my computer to get the app loaded for my pc so I could download the e-book.
    Enjoy your week.

  6. Hi Rose, Well done and “Congratulations on your 1st Book.
    It looks good and the instructions are very clear as always.
    The quilt looks really lovely, thank you Rose.

  7. Dear Rose, I like this quilt very much. It’s colourful & beautiful. Thank you.

  8. Trish Tarbuck says:

    Rose, I think this quilt is superb and a brilliant way to use up stashes. Just downloaded the e book, so no housework today I will be tucked up on the settee reading it.
    Many thanks for all your hard work are really are an inspiration to us all.

  9. Thank you for the book. I just know it will be as clear and helpful as your lessons. I enjoy thinking over your quilts.

  10. Dear Rose,

    thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. I love to watch your videos and learned a lot although I still am a beginner.

    It seams that your ebook isn’t available in Germany. Neither in the UK nor in US I could download the book. I was told to try it at but they didn’t have your book. Do you know whether it is planned to publish it in Germany too? I don’t mind to pay for it, Rose. But I would like to have it!

    With kind regards,


  11. Sandra Barnett says:

    Thank you for all your ideas. Still quilting my quilt from May yet. Almost done. Got a little carried away with the quilting design .Not as good as your But I like it. Will try this latest one of yours. Have lots of little pieces. can’t seem to throw them away. thanks for the e book also. will look at it later Keep sewing.

    • Hi Sandra. I’m the same – I tend to hoard the small leftover pieces of fabric. Be grateful for a review on amazon if you like the ebook.

  12. marge tarleton says:

    Rose, congratulations on your ebook !

  13. marge tarleton says:

    Hi Rose, ths quilt is really cool! It definitely has an optical illusion appearance to it. You always come up with such creative quilts and I am so happy that you share them with us. Marge

  14. Thank you Rose. I forgot to say Congratulations on your publication. The first of many, I hope. Jx

  15. D. Friendly (Canada) says:

    Have succeeded in downloading. Thanks for making this free to your dedicated followers!

  16. Thanks so much for another lovely idea and your free book. Very generous.

  17. D. Friendly (Canada) says:

    Amazone won’t let me do a second download (rightly so, I guess) so I’ll wait for my techie husband to come home to find the first one for me!

  18. D. Friendly (Canada) says:

    Hi Rose – Congratulations on your ebook. I just tried to download it and must have done something wrong because I can’t find it. Will try again. I am downloading it to a PC because I have a Kobo friendly device and not a Kindle. It looked easy to download but….

  19. How interesting that I had to see your instruction to see the main block. I saw the “stained glass cross” first.
    I’ve already downloaded your ebook, too. Your sampler is a lovely collection of blocks.

    • Hi Louise. It’s funny the way it works – I thought that the light coloured cross would be the dominant feature but as you say it’s the scrap squares that dominate. Glad you like the sampler quilt.

  20. Hi Rose
    Very pretty and does look like a stained glass window as previously mentioned by Eileen. I am just amazed at how quick you produce these quilts, the video of it and now the ebook. Truly amazing. When do you sleep?

    • Hi Irene. Aren’t I lucky to be able to quilt all day long! My main struggles are with the technology required to get everything on the internet.

  21. Hi Rose,
    This is a strikingly beautiful quilt. I was able to download your book on my iPad and my computer as well and I thought you did an outstanding job. Keep up the good work. I look forward to seeing what you’ll be coming up next. There seems to be no end to your quilt making expertise.

  22. Rose, Congratulations on your book. It must be wonderful to see your
    name on a book.
    Thank you for a lovely pattern.
    Wishing you every success with your book.

  23. Congrats, Rose! Your published!! Thanks for sharing your e-book. Can’t wait to check it out.

    Denise <

  24. very pretty – it looks like a stained glass window

  25. Dear Rose
    you make everything look so easy. thank you . I saw your book on facebook so went on to amazon and got it on my kindle will have a good look at it as soon as I can. thanks appreciate your talent and your sharing of it. great stuff. that sounds so inelegant but you know what I mean.

  26. Love this quilt too Rose. A great way to use the never ending pile of scraps that I do not want to throw away. I do not seem to see where to download it. I do not have a kindle, but have an iPad and we have a ‘windows’ computer, however, I am not computer literate either, are you able to tell me how? It is probably very simple, but……..the obvious is not always apparent!! Jx

    • Hi Jennie. Thanks for your comments – it’s very satisfying seeing your scrap pile diminishing. You don’t need a kindle – Amazon are very keen for your business and if you buy a kindle book they will do it all for you. They’ll probably ask you if you want it on your computer and then they will download everything for you so all you have to do is look intelligent and click ‘yes’ every now and again.

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