The Diamond Panes Quilt Block - Beginner Friendly Free Tutorial

Posted by Elaine Huff on

I ran across this easy quilt block and thought it would make a great beginner-friendly tutorial. The Diamond Panes block by Nancy Cabot is similar to ones you find when doing a search but this version has fewer seams and creates a different design when sewn into a quilt. I have lots of layout suggestions at the end of the tutorial. Let's get sewing!

diamond panes quilt block 

Fabric Requirements for a 10" Finished Diamond Panes Quilt Block:

(Traditionally, this is a two-color block but I wanted to see how it looked as a semi-scrappy block.)

  • Light/White: 2 - 5" squares, and 2 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles
  • Medium/Blue: 1 - 2.5" x 10.5" rectangle
  • Medium or Dark Prints: 2 - 5" squares

diamond panes fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Half Square Triangle Units:

Step 1:

Using a Light/White 5" square and a Medium or Dark Print 5" square, sew together a Half Square Triangle unit.

  • Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of the Light/White square and sew 1/4" (or a little less) on each side of the line.
  • Cut along the diagonal line.  You will have 2 half-square triangle patches.

diamond panes 1

Step 2:

  • Open up the patch and press the seam allowance toward the Medium or Dark fabric.
  • Trim the unit to 4.5" square.

For a detailed tutorial check out my blog post at

diamond panes 2

Step 3:

Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for a total of four Half Square Triangle units.

diamond panes 3

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Putting It All Together:

Wow - that was quick!

Step 4:

Lay out the Half Square Triangle units, the Light/White 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles, and the Medium/Blue 2.5" x 10.5" rectangle as shown in the picture below.

diamond panes 4

Step 5:

Sew the top three units and the bottom three units into rows as shown below.

diamond panes 5

Step 6:

Press the seam allowances toward the Light/White rectangles.

diamond panes 6

Step 7:

Finally, sew the three rows together as shown in the picture below.

diamond panes 7

Step 8:

All that's left is the pressing. You can see in the picture below that I pressed the seam allowances away from the center of the block. I plan on making more of these blocks and rotating every other block - pressing this way will make the seams nest nicely in the quilt top. However, you can press whichever direction you desire.

diamond panes 8

Layout Ideas:

Here's the basic 4 x 4 layout using colors similar to the ones in the tutorial. Not my favorite.

quilt 1 

Here's the same layout but every other block is rotated. Much better! The pinwheel formed at the intersections of the blocks really shows up.

quilt 2

In this example, I've used the traditional two-color block.

quilt 3

And here it is with every other block rotated.

quilt 4

Of course, I had to do a scrappy version!

quilt 5

In this version sashing and cornerstones were added.

quilt 6

Back to using just two colors. In this example I replaced the center 2.5" x 10.5" rectangle with the light color. Really changes the look.

quilt 7

Here's a typical on-point layout. This looks fun!

quilt 8

This is the same scrappy on-point layout except background fabric was used for the setting triangles.

quilt 9

Another on-point layout using the two-color block and adding sashing and cornerstones in a complimentary color. 

quilt 10


The Diamond Panes was soooo quick to sew together! I particularly like the scrappy on-point layout and can see making this to use up those random Half Square Triangles that keep showing up in my stash! Where do they come from? I swear they are reproducing themselves.

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

Happy Quilting!


P.S. Looking for more blocks with pinwheels in them? Click on this link: for some inspiration.

P.P.S. Need a quilt pattern in a hurry? Check out my easy downloadable PDF patterns at

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