Block Basics: How to Make Square-in-a-Square

We have something new to learn. Last month I posted about how to make a square-in-a-square using the flip and stitch method.

Today we are covering a new method and I find that this one is more common in patterns.

I realized as I was writing this tutorial that I could have used a few more pictures, so hopefully you understand what I’m saying.


Cut list:

  • 1- 4 3/4” Square Background (center square)
  • 2- 4” Squares Pattern fabric (corners)

We’re going to start by cutting the 4” pattern fabric on the diagonal so you end up with 2 triangles from EACH square, 4 triangles total.

Fold your background fabric in half and crease it. This can be done with an iron or your fingertip. I usually just use my finger.

Line up one of your triangles along the edge of the background square along the long edge of the triangle. The point of the triangle should line up with the crease in the middle of your square. Pin in place.

Lay a second triangle on the opposite side of the background square so the long edge of the triangle is lined up with the side of the background square and the point lines up with the crease. Pin in place.

Sew along both edges using a 1/4” seam allowance. Press open and trim of corners so your pattern fabric lines up with the sides of the background square (see below).

Fold your piece in half again, going the opposite direction. To ensure the crease goes down the middle, line up the seam of the background/pattern fabric together in the middle. Finger press or iron. Open both up.

Line up a pattern triangle with the long side and the point of the triangle with the crease in the middle. Pin into place.

Line up a second pattern triangle with the long side of the triangle

Sew along both edges and press open.

Measure and Trim

The unfinished size of the square-in-a-square is 6 1/2”. Start by lining up the center square points with the 3 1/4” line on your square both horizontally and vertically.

Trim right and tip sides. Flip unit around 180 degrees and line up the bottom left corner at 6 1/2” both horizontally and vertically. Trim the right and left sides.

Unfinished size is 6 1/2” square.


If you have any questions, please go watch the YouTube video. I go into much more detail in the video, and you can watch it and follow along.

If you have questions after that, drop them in my comment section below, or on the comment section of the video and I will come and answer them.

How to Make Any Size Block

What if you want a different size of your block? It’s time to do some math.

I looked and looked for a good equation, so you can figure it out for yourself, but there wasn’t anything definite.

Instead I’m going to give you link to a site that will do all the calculations for you. You will just put the finished size into the calculator and it will give you the starting size of the inner square and outer triangles.

Quilter’s Paradise

Beginner Skill Builder Sampler Quilt

If you are sewing along with me and making Beginner Skill Builder Sampler Quilt you will need to make just 1 for the center of your quilt block.

Tag me!

I would love to see your progress. Just tag me at #theashleytomlinson or #ashley_sunnymade and I’ll be able to see you on social media.

I want to see how they turn out!

Happy sewing!