11 simple quilt blocks you can make in 10 minutes

11 quilt blocks to make in 10 minutes

Work, school, after-school activities, appointments, shopping, cooking, cleaning…whew! Do you sometimes feel you’ll never find time to quilt? We feel that way too, so we set out to find ways to squeeze a little quilting into small chunks of time. Do you know what we found? A surprising number of easy quilt blocks that you can cut, sew, and press in less than 10 minutes. It’s true! We know because we timed ourselves just for fun. And if you use chain piecing, that single block will turn into a stack before you know it.

So what blocks come together that quickly? Look at classic beginner quilt blocks, just for starters. A few that spring to mind immediately are Rail Fence, Nine Patch, Square in a Square, and Half-Square Triangles. Using 2½" strips from a Jelly Roll, we actually made four Rail Fence blocks in 10 minutes. Just imagine how quickly you can finish that quilt! And half-square triangles are easy to make in pairs, so there’s another block that reproduces in a hurry.

Rail Fence quilt block
Rail Fence quilt block
Nine Patch quilt block
Nine Patch quilt block
Square-in-a-Square quilt block
Square-in-a-Square quilt block
Half-square triangle quilt block
Half-Square Triangle

501 Rotary-Cut Quilt BlocksThose are just a few of the dozens of simple quilt blocks quilters have loved for years. To find more, we dove into 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks by Judy Hopkins, an amazing resource in which every block is given in six sizes. (That’s more than 3000 possibilities!) There were so many good options it was hard to decide what to show, so we chose just a few to feature below. See more of the astonishing variety of blocks in this treasury here: 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks.

Blocks in a Box quilt block
Blocks in a Box
Cotton Reels quilt block
Cotton Reels
Counterpane quilt block
Flying Goose quilt block
Flying Goose
Four Patch quilt block
Four Patch
Pinwheel quilt block
Shoo Fly quilt block
Shoo Fly

With all this talk of quick and easy, it’s good to remember that just because the blocks are simple doesn’t mean a quilt is boring. Check out these examples of fabulous quilts made from easy quilt blocks.

Rail Fence quilt
“Don’t Interrupt!,” from
Country Threads Goes to Charm School by Mary Etherington and Connie Tesene, features the simple Rail Fence block.

Nine Patch quilt
Nine-Patch blocks in sweet ’30s prints star in “Take 5…Visits the General Store,” from
More Take 5 Quilts by Kathy Brown.

Square in a Square quilt
“Cornucopia,” from
Big ’n Easy by Judy Hopkins, starts with Square-in-a-Square blocks.

Half-square triangle quilt
If you can make a half-square triangle, you can make “Rainbow Stash Buster” by Megan Jimenez from
Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe.

What’s your go-to block when you need a quilt fix in a hurry? Tell us in the comments.


35 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I love 9 patches! I cut my scraps into strips and squares and use them to make 9 patch blocks which are always interesting.

    —Cindy Wienstroer on April 15, 2015
  • I love the nine patch, it is a great block.

    —Patricia D. Roberts on April 15, 2015
  • HST are quick and easy if you know the trick and use big blocks. Of course they are so versatile as well.

    —Susie Furgason on April 15, 2015
  • Snowballs and 9-patch. So many options!

    —Jane on April 15, 2015
  • I like to do Monkey Wrench or Shoefly. As there is so much you can do with half square trangles, I use those a lot.

    —Lorraine Robertson on April 15, 2015
  • I love to make large 1/2 square triangles and sometimes even cut them again just to see how the patterns develop and how the colors come together. I’m not as much a strip piecing person unless it’s strips from a jelly roll…I seem to have trouble getting the strips straight.

    —Barbara Dolan on April 15, 2015
  • The half square triangle block because there are so many things you can do with it.

    —Lynda Nunez on April 15, 2015
  • Believe it or not, while Flying Geese are not usually considered a "simple" block, I can make them quick and easy using the "Triangle-Pieced Rectangle" method. Starting with just two squares and just sewing four seams (sewing twice on each side of a drawn center diagonal line) yields four geese at a time!

    FG are great by themselves but also as units in many basic blocks so you get a lot of bang for your buck both in terms of the piecing and designing.

    Vivian on April 15, 2015
  • Scrappy Flannel Needler!

    —Gail Zirtzlaff on April 15, 2015
  • Well, it’s just the simple 8″ square and maybe with HST with sashing then bordering. I like all the blocks shown and think I’ll try a new one (like Rainbow Stash Buster) next time. I like to have as much as possible of my fabric print visible, hate to cut little pieces.
    Cheers Carol

    —Carol on April 15, 2015
  • I love making log cabin blocks. Once the cutting is done the sewing fun begins. The most difficult part of a log cabin quilt is deciding on a layout.

    —Diane S on April 15, 2015
  • I have opened a fabric shop and would be interested in stocking some of your publications. Please tell me the procedure I need to go through for this to happen.
    Thanks for your assistance and cooperation in this matter.
    Kathy Jones

    Hi Kathy,
    I’ll have our shop Account Manager email you privately!
    ~Cornelia/Customer Service

    —Kathy Jones on April 15, 2015
  • I’m all about the pinwheel and 9 patch. They go together so quickly and the color options make placement easy for me. I got several yards of reproduction baby fabric I want to make crib quilts with and plan on using those blocks to do it.

    —debra lee on April 15, 2015
  • "Apple Core", I made a baby quilt start to finish in 5 work nights; and night #1 was purchasing fabric! #2 was cutting. somewhere in 3-5 it got pieced, basted, quilted, and bound with an embroidered label. Also made a tote bag to go with it.

    —Connie Gereffi on April 15, 2015
  • Three vertical strips per block for a super-quick rail fence (zigzag) quilt.

    —Marty on April 15, 2015
  • My go to block is always flying geese. I love to finish off a quilt with flying geese all the way around. It’s gorgeous and ties everything together.

    —Fran C. on April 15, 2015
  • Warm wishes makes a great quilt when you have a print you want to frame.

    Sharon on April 16, 2015
  • I like to make rail fence blocks and use then in a rag quilt. I can use up scraps of batting as well as fabric.

    —Kay on April 16, 2015
  • my simple go to square is probably a plain 4″ block of gingham checks tied with the 1/8″ ribbon.

    —judy on April 16, 2015
  • I tend to lean toward the Warm Wishes pattern. Using a different focal fabric, you can make 5 quilts using the same coordinating fabrics and they all look different. It is such a versatile pattern but simple and loved by all.

    —connie b on April 16, 2015
  • Half-square triangles cut from strips are so fun and versatile! You can arrange them in so many different ways.

    —Carole on April 17, 2015
  • Pinwheels, 9 patch, 4 patch, log cabin, flying geese are all fun to put together, but I LOVE to make anything with stars, just can’t get enough stars; so versatile, works with most any colors.

    —Norma on April 17, 2015
  • 9 patches, rail fences, HST – I have made quilts with them all. Looking at your pictures, it made me realize I don’t make square in a square block often enough. I think I’ll dig out some scraps and start sewing!

    —Linda on April 17, 2015
  • four patch, nine patch or best of all string blocks

    —Rosalie on April 17, 2015
  • I love Rail Fence! It can be so lovely or exciting depending on the fabric.

    —Dell M on April 17, 2015
  • I haven’t tried them all so I’m not sure about having a favorite. I don’t think I have made it yet!! I do like the 9 patch, love the look of HST’s but by the time I finish a quilt, I’m sick of them for a while. Love Log Cabin. That was the first quilt I did.

    —Judy Pennington on April 17, 2015
  • Half-square triangles are great. You make them big to avoid error and cut down to the size you need. No problem. Great way to use up lots of leftovers!!!

    —Diane Schwarz on April 17, 2015
  • There are too many to count! I especially love the Snail’s Trail which is just a square in a square in a square with special color placement.

    —Linda Towers on April 18, 2015
  • Thanks for sharing the ‘easy blocks’. It gives me hope. 🙂

    —Terry on April 18, 2015
  • Rail Fence. Offset, of course!

    —Diana O on April 19, 2015
  • Bowtie block. It is easy to chain piece & can be arranged in so many ways. Looks complicated but its easy

    —Barb on March 18, 2016
  • Nine patch and snowball are so quick.

    —Marsha Nelson on March 20, 2016
  • I love the nine patch and four patch and the half square triangles. They are fun to play with.

    —Leeana Carden on March 23, 2016
  • Log cabin – but it sometimes get a little wonky when I rush too much

    —janG on April 10, 2016
  • Very interesting

    —Cathy on November 25, 2018

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