Squares and Diamonds Free Quilt Block Pattern

Posted by Elaine Huff on

Today let's look at the Squares and Diamonds quilt block. This block was first published in the Kansas City Star. The elements of the Squares and Diamonds block can be rearranged to make other blocks (more on that later). Pretty easy to sew with just Half Square Triangles, Hourglasses, and a easy partial seam construction center unit. Let's get started!

squares and diamonds block

Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished Squares and Diamonds Quilt Block:

  • Light/White: 2 - 5.5" squares, 2 - 5" squares, and 1 - 2.5" square
  • Medium/Orange: 2 - 5" squares
  • Dark 1/Floral: 2 - 5.5" squares
  • Dark 2/Navy: 4 - 1.5" x 3.5" rectangles

squares and diamonds fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Half Square Triangle Units:

Step 1:

Using the Light/White 5" squares and the Medium/Orange 5" squares, sew together four Half Square Triangle units. Trim/square up the units to 4.5" square. You can find my Half Square Triangle tutorial at  https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-half-square-triangle-block

half square triangle units

Hourglass Units:

Step 2:

Next you will make four Hourglass units (also known as Quarter Square Triangles) using the two Light/Ivory 5.5" squares and the Dark 1/Floral 5.5" squares as shown in the picture below. Trim/square up the units to a 4.5" square. The tutorial for making the Hourglass block can be found at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-hourglass-or-quarter-square-triangle-block I recommend not to press the seam allowances using the tweak/twirl/furl method - just press the last seam to one side.

hourglass block

Center Unit:

Step 3:

Now comes the fun part of making the easy partial seam construction Center unit! Use the Light/White 2.5" square and the four Dark 2/Navy 1.5" x 3.5" rectangles to construct this unit.

squares and diamonds 3

Step 4:

Sew together the Light/White 2.5" square and the top Dark 2/Navy 1.5" x 3.5" rectangle part way (about 1.5" to 2") as shown in the picture below. Press the seam allowance away from the Light/White fabric. I've darkened where I've sewn so that you can see it better. The second picture shows it pressed.

squares and diamonds 4-1

squares and diamonds 4-2

Step 5:

Now you can sew the left Dark 2/Navy rectangle to the Step 4 unit and press the seam allowance away from the Light/White fabric. Continue sewing the Dark 2/Navy rectangles to the previous unit in a counter-clockwise fashion as shown in the pictures below. Press the seam allowances away from the Light/White fabric as you go.

squares and diamonds 5

squares and diamonds 6-1

squares and diamonds 6-2

Step 6:

Finish sewing the partial seam that you started with and press away from the Light/White fabric once again. Here you can see the completed unit.

squares and diamonds 6

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Putting It All Together:

Step 7:

Lay out the Half Square Triangle units, the Hourglass units, and the Center unit in a typical Nine Patch layout as shown in the picture below.

squares and diamonds 7

Step 8:

Now you can sew the units together into three rows as shown below. You may need to rotate the Hourglass units around so that seams will nest together nicely when sewing.

squares and diamonds 8

Step 9:

Press the seam allowances in opposite directions so that the seams will nest together nicely when sewing the rows together. Here you can see that I've pressed away from the Hourglass units. (You can also see where I changed the direction of the seam allowance pressing on the Hourglass units so they would nest better.)

squares and diamonds 9

Step 10:

Finally, you can sew the three rows together as shown below.

squares and diamonds quilt block

Step 11:

And press the seam allowances. Here you can see that I pressed the seam allowances toward the center but you can do which ever way you prefer. You can also see that I corrected the mis-pressing I did on the Center unit - oops! and also the direction of pressing the Hourglass units. 

squares and diamonds 11


I thought the Squares and Diamonds quilt block was an easy block to put together even though I made several mistakes with the pressing. I guess it just wasn't my morning when I was sewing this together!

The components of this block can be configured in different ways and really make a totally different look. Here is just one example.

squares and diamonds extra

I hope you've enjoyed this Squares and Diamonds quilt block!

Happy Quilting!


P.S. If you liked this post and want to see more quilting tutorials like this, simply click here to sign up for my newsletter and also receive a free PDF quilt pattern called "Chained Weathervane".

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