Magic Square Quilt Tutorial Using Pre-cut Fabrics


Hi, I’m Jenny, from the Missouri Star Quilt Company!

Today I’m going to show you two quick and easy ways to make the Magic Square.

This quilt behind me is a gorgeous quilt. Made using a fabric line from Benartex called Lemon Tree. It just uses the three colors But the way all the colors play together and all the different patterns, it just makes a really fun and interesting quilt.

So, let me show you what you’re going to need to make this quilt. You’re going to need a Layer Cake. You’re going to need a Jelly Roll. You’re going to need your rotary cutter, and your scissors, and your ruler. So, not to many supplies, just a few things, and let me show you how to do this.

So, we’re going to take our Layer Cake square, and because we know that a Layer Cake square is 10”x 10”, we’re going to cut two 10” pieces to sew on the sides. So, we’ve got that done here, and you can already see these are sewn on. Then we’re going to add our pieces on the top and the bottom. So, let’s go ahead and do that. I’ve already got mine cut out here.

You may want to go ahead and measure your block so you know what size they are to cut out those side strips. Then you’re going to sew them ¼” down either side.

Hang on, I caught my tail on there. There we go. Now before I iron, I’m just going to flip this around, and sew the strip on the other side, and then we’ll iron all at once.

Alright, so now lets press these open. We’re going to come over here, we’re going to set these seams. Then we’re just going to roll them back. Now to make this block you’re going to need two of these. So, you’ll need two of these framed blocks together. Then what I’m going to do is I’m going to fold this one in half, just like this, and I’m going to iron a crease down the middle. We want to make sure that we get it right on that angle, and then come across here and you want this to be a pretty good crease that you can see. You want to  be able to see this crease when we sew it together.

OK, so I have another one here that I’ve already made, and what we’re going to do is, we’re going to treat this like the original half square triangle. Where you put your two blocks on top of each other like this, and you’ve pressed or drawn the line down the middle. What we’re going to do is we’re going to put a couple of pins in this to anchor it.

There we are. Let me put that pin in there, that one’s got a little bit of a bend to it, but that’s alright.

So, we’re going to pin this down and then what we’re going to do is, see this crease right here? We’re going to sew ¼” on either side. Just right down the sides like this. Let’s go ahead and do that, and this part, this is where the magic happens!

So, we lay our presser foot right on that fold,and we just sew down one side. Get all the way down to the end, and we sew right off. Then we’re just going to lift  it up, pull it around, and we’re going to sew back down the other  side on the other side of that fold line. There we go.

So, now what we’re going to do is we’re going to come over here, and you can use a rotary cutter or your scissors, and we’re just going to cut on that fold line right down here. There we go, and we’re going to pull our pins out. Then we’re going to open up these blocks, and what you get is a block that’s half one block and  half the other. So, it makes this great looking block like this with very little piecing.  You never have to handle the little pieces. So, that makes it fun! So let’s iron these. You can get a good look at them.

This is a really, really fun way. It works with any size square. You just want to make sure that you border your strips around the edge of your square. You know your squares are the same size, so when you put them together, again, you go through and you iron that crease, sew on either side of the crease, cut down the center, and you get these two great blocks.

Now there’s another way to make these, that really works just as well. Let me show you that. To make this block you’re going to need a Turnover and a Jelly Roll. Sometimes these Turnovers are fun. We always like new ideas for what to do with them.

So, basically we’re going to make a block that looks like this. The Turnover is a little bit smaller. So, it’ll make a little bit smaller block. What I’ve done is I’ve opened up my Turnovers and my strips. Here they are here. So, I’ve opened up my strips and what I’ve done is I’ve cut my strips into 8” pieces and… Oh, I think these are… These are 10” pieces. So I cut my strips into 2 – 8” pieces and 2 – 10” pieces, because in your turnovers you’re going to get eighty squares in that little Turnover bundle.

So, then what we’re going to do is we’re going to take this Turnover and we’re going to lay the short one along the side like this. We’re just going to match it up on the side and we’re going to sew right down that edge. Then we’re going to press this open. Let me scoot these over here. There we go. This is also a fun line by Benartex called, My True Love Gave To Me, and then the reason you need this little tail down here is that, we’re going to cut along here and you’ve got to keep the angle going.

So, then we’re going to get our long piece here and we’re going to lay it, again, so, that it comes up even with the top right here, and then all the way down this side and then I’m going to flip this over and sew this way so that I can see where this piece ends. I just keep that edge of  the Turnover lined up with the strip, and I sew ¼”. Then we’re just going to, I’m going to clip these threads real quick here. Then we’re going to press that back.

When you pick out these fabrics you just want to make sure your fabrics are contrasting, and to trim off this Turnover, what we’re going to do is, We’re going to use the Turnover as our guide. So we’re going to use that as our line. We’re going to line up our ruler on the edge of the turnover. See how this uses quite a bit of extra fabric when we come down here from the Turnover line. So, that’s why the 8” and 10” strips are necessary.

So, there’s that one and we’re going to come up here and line our ruler up using the turnover as a guide, cut to the end. So, you end up with a block that looks like this. Then whats fun, I have some others over here that are finished, is we’ll go ahead and we’ll put two of these together and we’ll pick your two different blocks to put together, and we just lay them on each other  like this and sew them right down the center. And that gives you the Magic Square in a Square look also.

Alright let’s go ahead and iron this open. I forgot to set that, let me see. Let’s see roll that back, and there you have this square. So let me lay a couple of these out so you can see how this will look with this Christmasy fabric. It’s just a quick idea, and this one I sashed but you don’t have to do that. You can do it how ever you want. Look how pretty this is! There we go!

So, there are two quick and easy ways to make the magic square. We hope you enjoyed this tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

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  • Tinlady612

    jenny, a very fresh look, especially with the fabrics you have chosen. how much yardage did you use for sashing, border, and backing. is that about a twin size finished quilt?

    • Natalie

      Yes, that quilt is in the Twin size range, it takes about 1.5 yards for shashing, and 1.5 yards for border and binding. Backing will depend on how big your quilt ends up and what type of fabric you choose to back it with. Probably 2 yards of 108″ or 4 yards of 45″ wide fabric. I hope this helps!

  • qwirky qwilter

    I’ve noticed that your little “bubbles” that have comments say to follow the links for directions and supplies. What links? Glad to see some new tutorials.

    • Natalie

      The links are located under the video in the description. You may have to click the “show more” tab in order to see them. I hope this helps!

  • aussienanna

    love this one, have to give it ago, just love all your tutorials.

    • Natalie

      Thanks! Good luck with your quilt!

  • Pattycsaul

    I just love watching Jenny!  She makes me smile as she encounters all the silly things we do sometimes.  She is just so down- to- earth so I don’t take myself so seriously!

    • Sarah

      Thank you! She really does love what she’s doing. Glad you enjoy the tutorials.

  • Amelia

    Great tutorial! Can you give the specific measurements of how many squares needed and specifics of the pattern? Thanks!

  • Jenny is my absolut Favorit. I could watch her for hours

    • Sarah MSQC

      Thank you Renate!! We love to hear that! Have a wonderful day!

  • Jenny, How much fabric do you need for the back of this quilt? Also, how do you add the sashing and how much fabric for that? Thanks so much.

  • Ann

    How do you get enough length out of a jelly roll to border all 4 sides of a layer cake? Cut my jelly roll then realized it didn’t’t work. Help!!!

  • Ann

    I can not border a layer cake square with 1 jelly roll strip. Trying to do magic square quilt. Can you help me please. I have already cut lots of my jelly roll, based on your tutorial . Any help appreciated. Thanks

  • Sharon

    Is there a pattern for the quilt behind you with instructions for putting together, borders and all

  • bonnie

    Is there a pattern I can buy for this quilt? I need more instructions, like final size, how much backing and boarder needed, and how to do the black square around each block?

    • SarahMSQC

      Hi Bonnie, we are actually working on one now. So glad you like it.

      • Fran

        You answered that question 2 years ago. Where is the pattern ?

  • Pamela

    I made enough blocks to do a queen quilt. In order to use the entire layer cake, which btw are NOT 10″, you really need 2 jelly rolls. The finished block measures 13″ and all needed to be squared. I am putting the sashing on just as in the wall hanging. Looks like a 2″ piece. I bought the extra yellow fabric for the border. I found a very similar fabric for the backing at a local store, not a quilt shop, for a very reasonable price. All in all, I love it. I posted a pic on my fb page of it layer out before sashing and everyone loved it.

    • MissouriQuiltCo

      That is awesome!! Glad it turned out well!

  • Fran

    Where is the pattern ?

  • Gloria Laube

    I cut all my 10″ strips and just now started sewing them … and, too late, realized only half the strips are 10″, the others have to be 14″ I think that should have been emphasized in the video. Now I have to order another jelly roll.

  • caitlyn

    Can you tell what the layer cake and jelly roll you used is called. I really like the color combo of the lime green, lack and white. I want to make it for my sister