How to Sew a Basic Square in a Square Block

Posted by Elaine Huff on

The Square in a Square block is put together like the Snowball block and the Flying Geese block. It is a basic building block for quilting and is easy to do. Let's sew one together!

square in a square quilt block

Fabric Requirements for a 4" Finished Square in a Square Block:

You will cut the large square to the unfinished size you want the block to be. To determine the size for the small squares, divide the size of the large square by 2 and add .25″. For example, if your block will finish at 8″, the large square will be cut 8.5″ square and the small squares will be cut at 4.5″ square (8.5 / 2 = 4.25 + .25 = 4.5).  

In my sample, I’ve used:

  • Light/Pink: 1 - 4.5″ square
  • Dark/Blue: 4 - 2.5″ squares.

square in a square quilt block

Sewing Directions:

Step 1:

Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of the four small squares.

square in a square 1

Step 2:

Place 2 of the small squares on opposite corners of the large square, right sides together, and sew close to the marked line in what will be the seam allowance.

square in a square 2

Step 3:

Match up the corners of the small squares and press.

square in a square 3

Step 4:

Open the small square up and trim .25″ from stitching.

square in a square 4

newsletter signup

Here is what it looks like from the back.

square in a square 45

Step 5:

Repeat the process for the other 2 corners of the large square. Here’s a little trick – after sewing close to the marked line, sew another seam about .5″ from the first one.

square in a square 5

Step 6:

Match the corners together and press.

square in a square 6

Step 7:

Open up the small squares and cut in between the two stitching lines.

square in a square 7

Now you have a bonus little Half Square Triangle block! You could incorporate it into another part of the quilt or save them for a scrappy quilt.

square in a square 8

The Square in a Square quilt block is great for showcasing a fussy-cut piece of fabric or embroidery work.

Happy Quilting!


P.S. Here are some blocks that use the Square in a Square as component in their construction:

P.P.S. To print a PDF of this tutorial, check out the free app at A reader and I tried it out and it worked great.

P.P.P.S. To figure out yardage for a quilt, check out this post:

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →