Easy Quilt Block Tutorial: a Grandmother’s Cross variation


Sew this beautiful quilt block fast with my free and easy sewing tutorial. Even though there are lots of little squares in this block, I used a method for sewing the 9-patches that is really fast and easy – so you can stitch one or more of these up in an afternoon – trust me!

The Grandmother’s Cross block really appeals to me, but all of the versions I looked at were made up of 4-patch squares and I really wanted more squares in mine – so I came up with a version with 9-patches.

Let’s get sewing!

Grandmother’s Cross (variation) Quilt Block tutorial

Finished size: 12”


1. Prepare:

  • 9 print strips 1 7/8” x 10” (I used 9 different fabrics, but you don’t have to)

  • 1 square 7 3/8” x 7 3/8”

  • 2 squares 3 1/2” x 3 1/2”

2. Sub-cut the larger square into 4 quarter square triangles and the 2 smaller squares into 4 half square triangles.


Note: technically, the cutting measurements for this block will produce a 12 1/2” (12” finished) block. But all of the piecing involved, combined with the tiny bit of fabric lost every time you press a seam to the side will make it very difficult to end up with the right sized block at the end. So I strongly encourage sewing this block with scant 1/4” seam allowance. If you plan on making lots of Grandmother’s Cross blocks, I suggest sewing one first and measuring it to check how your seam allowances are making it turn out.

1. Group the print fabric strips into sets of 3 and stitch the groups together.

2. Sub-cut each strip set into 5 pieces, each one 1 7/8” wide. You will have a little bit left over.

3. Sew one piece from each strip set together to make a 9-patch square. Repeat to make 5 9-patch squares.

4. Arrange the 9-patches and background triangles as shown above.

5. Sew the 9-patch blocks and background triangles into diagonal rows.

6. And then stitch the rows together! Press your block and trim to 12 1/2”.

This block would be an adorable addition to a sampler, or sew lots together make a beautiful quilt of Grandmother’s Crosses!

See more of my easy quilt block tutorials on this Pinterest Board.

Happy sewing,


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Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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  1. Judie Harron says:

    Caroline, I love the Grandmother’s Cross variation…hope to get to it this week! I pinned all your Classic Block patterns to my Pinterest board. Love them all…thanks for the patterns, tips and tutorials! Happy sewing!

    PS. I also purchased your Craftsy class…can’t wait to start making baskets…good job!


  2. Lesley Gilbert says:

    Thanks for this tutorial – another one for my ‘to do sometime soon’ list :p

  3. I have always been able to copy and paste your tutorials, but this one will not work. Yet I have no problem with other things I copy and paste. Is there some reason that maybe it has been blocked from doing that? I really like all this Classic Blocks.


  4. I did a lot of cutting and recutting. Think I would go with the full inch instead of 7/8" inch and that might take of problems. But I like looking at this and these were scraps left over from another project.

  5. I really had fun with this block. I am think of making several, using one line per block and then arranging them together for a small quilt. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  6. Judy DeGraff says:

    This is a nice block, but you are making a mistake cutting your large square into quarters – this gives you bias edges on the outside of the block – you don’t want that! Better to cut side pieces differently so straight grain is always on the outside of the block!

    1. Please read the cutting part again. 🙂

      The half square triangles go at the corners, and the quarter square triangles go at the ‘V’ shapes on the top middle, bottom middle, and side middles of the ‘X’.

      That way all of the edges of the block have been cut on the straight of grain as you say.



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