Make the Square in a Square Quilt Tutorial


Hi, I’m Jenny from the MSQC. Take a look at this darling quilt behind me. Isn’t this sweet? This is just so pretty. I love the, the square block. This is the block that we’re concentrating on today. I love this fabric. This fabric is called LaDiDa and it’s by Heather Bailey for Free Spirit. It’s just a gorgeous line. To make this quilt, what you’re going to need is one charm pack that is your five inch squares. One jelly roll, that’s your two and a half inch strips. And one honey bun. That’s your one and a half inch strips. The honey buns are now being cut by Kona for Robert Kauffman and so we get the solids in honey buns as well. For those of you who don’t know, the pre-cuts, all the sizes, come in solids as well. But now they’re even cutting honey buns and when they do that it really, dramatically changes the look of your block which I love. You know just by a little smaller piece or larger piece, it changes the whole block.


So let me show you how to make this block. We’re going to start with a charm pack. So here’s our charm pack and that charm pack is going to be surrounded in a white frame. Now all the charm packs are going to be surrounded in a white frame so we’re going to chain piece them. We’re going to take our one honey bun strip like this, and we’re going to place our charm pack right sides together on the, I mean our charm, our charm square, down onto the strip of fabric and we’re going to sew that. And we’re going to place another one right next to it and just sew them. And we’ll do all, you know the one side of the charm all at once. And then we’ll cut them, flip them and sew the other side. So let’s go over to the sewing machine and I’ll show you how we put a few of these together.


Alright now I’m going to set these up here. And just line up my, make sure my, I’ve got my quarter of an inch lined up, and I make sure that my charm pack is right along the edge of the honey bun. And when it gets close I just line up that next one. I leave about, about an eighth of an inch in between. You can, you can do whatever you like. So I’m, I’m going to just do two of these to show you. And then, but you’re going to want to fill your whole strip with charms. I mean you can put them all the way down the whole thing. So then I’m going to bring these over here and I’m just going to cut them apart. So we’re just going to cut right here. If you have a little extra like that right there, see that little sliver. I just cut that apart and take that off. And we’re going to go ahead and do the other side of these. So we’ll take our honey bun strip and we’re going to do the same thing to the other side. So we’re going to lay this honey bun strip down here. And do the opposite side. Now I’ll add the second one. Right sides together, quarter of an inch just like we always do. And now we’ll trim these two. Just like that and then I’m going to trim off this little excess. You can use your rotary cutter if you’d like. I just find it easier just to scissor cut them.


So now we’re going to press these two back. So we’re going to set our seams and roll it back. Just like this. And we’re going to set our seams and roll them back. Now we need to sew the white strip on the other sides. And we do it exactly the same way. There we go. So now we finished sewing the white on both sides we’re going to clip them, clip them apart. And then we’re going to press them open. Make sure those are nice and straight lines, we want to keep our edges straight. So we’re going to set our seams and roll them back. Just like this. Set our seams and roll them back.


So now we’re to the bordering, the next bordering stage which is done with a jelly roll strip. This is a two and a half inch wide strip cut by the width of the fabric. And we’re only going to do one block at a time when we do this. And the reason we only do one block at a time is because we want the same strip to go all the way around it. So the method is exactly the same. We take our block over and a, and sew it down quarter of an inch . We’re going to sew both sides first and then we’ll sew the top and bottom. Now we get to trim and iron and our block will be finished. Hooray! Alright, so now let’s iron it back. And roll it back. And there is your finished block. Just that quick.


Now what you’re going to want to do on these blocks is you’re going to want to, if you have a charm pack, there’s 42 charms in there. And there’s going to be 42 strips as well. That’s going to give you 42 finished blocks which means your quilt is going to be six across by seven down. So that makes for a pretty good sized quilt. But you’ll see the quilt here, it has a sashing in between. So right here in between the squares there’s a sashing. That’s done exactly the same way. We’re going to use our inch a half strip. And we are going to sew the pieces, sew one honey bun strip onto the top of our block like this. Clip is off and then sew the next block to it. So let me show you how that’s done real quickly.


So we’re just going to do, this is a sashing strip. And because it’s a honey bun size, it changes the whole look of our quilt. Where in normally our quilt, you know, I tend to use, I tend to use a lot of jelly rolls. But now I think that I have pre-cut honey buns what I use is a lot of pre-cuts so now that I think that I have pre-cut honey buns I’m going to have a lot of honey bun strips in there. Alright so this one gets clipped off. And then we’re going to press that open. So set it and roll it. And to make our rows, what we’re going to do is we’re going to attach blocks together using the sashing strip. So the strip is there. Here’s the next block we want to put on. And we’re going to lay it right sides together. So I’ll move it right here. Here’s the block. And then we’re going to lay it right sides together, match up our edges so that we, we have a good straight line. Take that to the sewing machine and sew it down a quarter of an inch .


So now I’ve sewn a couple more of these together because I really want to show you how to put this sashing in the middle here. Quilters sometimes struggle with this and, because you have to match up these seams and that always seems to be a big headache. So I’m going to show you how I do it. First we’re going to sew the sashing on to the top row of blocks. Now one of the things to remember when you put sashing on is you want your sashing piece to be on top. And the reason is because your feed dogs take in more fabric and if you have your sashing strip on the bottom, it might take in more fabric and you might end up with a ruffily sash or border. Anytime you put a border or sashing strip on you always want that piece to be on the top. So now let’s iron this open. And then I’ll show you all my tricks. Here we go.


So now we want to add these rows together. And one of the things that tends to be really hard for, for all of us is we’ll, we’ll put this something on here, we’ll measure it all up,  we’ll sew it up and when we open it it’s off just a little bit. And these sashings don’t line up from row to row. So we want to help you line those up and I want to show you how I do it. I don’t know if this is how the whole world does it but this is how I do it. What I do is I make sure that my, my edges of my sashing are lined up with the sashing long before I bring it up to the top. So I bring it up like that. And I just slide it up to make sure that it is exactly right. Then I hold it down and I open it up and I look to make sure that my sashing, that that’s going to match up even with a row in between. So I hope that makes sense to you. So then I put a pin in there to make sure. Because I’d much rather pin than rip. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to put a pin in here. And then I’m going to look at it again. Because I want to make sure that it’s right. Oop, look see. It’s just a little off. So you just have to really check that. So I’m going to do this method again. I’m going to come down here and I’m going to slide it right up here. Make sure that it’s all lined up. Now if I could pick up that pin. Here we go. So now let’s look. Oh yeah, that’s much better. See how nice and straight that is. So now let’s head over to the sewing machine and sew that together.


So as you’re putting your rows together, you will want to make sure that your every block, wherever there’s a sashing that you’ve pinned that and made sure that is fitting together just perfectly. Ok so we’re almost down to the end of our row. There we go. And we’ve sewn that sashing on. So now we’ll iron it open and see if we, if we matched up good and all lined up. Looks pretty good to me. There you go. So as you put your quilt together you’re obviously going to have more blocks. You just need to make sure that you go ahead and pin every time there’s a sashing, you want to make sure that you pin it and line it up really carefully so that your lines are nice and straight. And pretty soon you’re going to have an awesome quilt like this too. So we hope you enjoyed this tutorial from the MSQC.


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  • Karen

    I just made this quilt with the fabric shown. The jelly roll only comes with 40 strips of fabric, which leaves me two blocks short to make the quilt 6 sq. by 7 sq. I was only Able to make the quilt 5×6 sq. Now I have not finished the smashing but I don’t think there will be enough to finish the quilt either. I love the tutorial, I love the way the quilt is turning out, just disappointed that the fabric was short.

    • Debbie

      Sometimes you can find yardage online and order just what you need or go to your local quilt shop and get “blender fabrics” to finish your blocks. Good Luck with your project….

    • Karenski

      Get some of the printable fabric ( make sure it is washable NOT dry clean only ) Scan a square of fabric and use it. It’s costly if you need a lot of fabric but you only need a couple 5 X 6 squares.

  • Sue Blanchard Richard

    Karen commented that she was two strips short on the jelly roll. What about cutting strips from a couple of fat quarters in the same fabric line? Also, how much fabric does it take for the border and the binding? Would I have to buy yard goods? I’m a newbie but I’d love to do this as my first quilt.

    • elizabeth

      i was short, as well, so i called the number they list if you have questions and she suggested i buy yardage. i figured since i am buying it anyway, i might as well buy the border fabric as well. the lady on the phone told me the yardage for the border (i only wrote down a few) but i believe the border was 3 1/4 yards for the outer border, 3/4 yards for the smaller border, 8 1/4 yards for backing, 2 7/8 yards for saching.. you may want to check or call again, though. hope this helps!

      • JenniferMSQC

        Sorry you were short, Elizabeth. Hope the team was able to help. Thanks for sharing your experience and trying to help others, too!

  • Sheila Morrison

    Thanks for the awesome tutorials! I just found your site and tried my first jelly roll quilt last night. I was anxious, so I bought the 20 pack of strips just to try it and it turned out really nice. I am going to make it into a crib quilt and can hardly wait to make a full size one! Very inspiring and you make everything look so easy!

    • JenniferMSQC

      Thanks fantastic, Sheila! We’d love to see pics of your first ever jelly roll quilt! You can post them on our Facebook page or message us.

  • Janine

    Could you use this chain piecing technique that you do using the honey bun roll to make a log cabin block? I have been avoiding making a log cabin quilt because of all those logs, but this chain piecing might work if you use the same color strip, what do you think Jenny?

    • Laree Claire Millet

      I have used this method for log cabin several times and it really cuts down on time! It’s great to chain the blocks as you go!

  • Lisa

    I just finished mine and it turned out great,

  • elizabeth

    I am brand new at this and am making this as my first one. I too have run out of saching (honey bun) and the jelly roll. I have left multiple messges on the line for help but haven’t had my calls returned. I would like to order fabric for a border as well and am not sure of the yardage.

  • Linda Curry

    Is there a pattern for this quilt? Square in a Square.

  • Zerlene Woodward

    Thank You Jenny for this nice Tut! You always give a good “TIP” on your Videos. Like how to line up the sashing on this one…Luv it!!

  • Julie Burroughs

    Could you use Jelly Roll for the solid too? I have some in a solid that I think would work. I know it would make the quilt larger, but would it look strange with the sashing larger?

  • Mommatails

    I’m currently working on mine and I’m doing 6 X 7 rows, and I ran out of honeybun before I even got to the final 2 columns. Did anyone else have that problem?

  • Amy Sadler-Weurdig

    Finished up this quilt on Sunday. Love it. Thank you for the tutorial as well as the great machine quilting MSQC did on it for me.

  • Ann

    I’m sad that I took your word for the correct amount of fabric needed to complete these quilt blocks. Like Karen, there were only 40 strips in the jelly roll. The tutorial says we need one charm pack and one jelly roll. Now I have two blocks that don’t have correct fabric. I will finish with the different fabric, but I have my doubts I’ll ever buy from this company again. It’s too bad that you have gotten so big that you give us misinformation.

  • Sharon

    What are the fabric requirements for the outside borders for this quilt?

  • Kaitlynn

    How big is this quilt? I want to make it for my brother but he’s a big boy and I want to make sure it’s a large one.

    Also, I’ve noticed a lot of people saying the jelly rolls and honeybuns don’t have enough fabric. I don’t want to start the project and then struggle to find matching fabric. I think I’ve decided to just buy the fabrics I want at the store and take the time to cut out all the strips so they match. How many 1.5″ strips do I need? An estimated yardage? And how many 2.5″ Strips? I think I might still get the jelly roll to have a lot of bright colors and just add a few random colors, how many strips do I need total?

    I’m new to quilting so I really hope this works out!

  • Vickie Tessman Andersen

    I just made this quilt and used the Moda jelly roll and charm pack. There are 42 pieces in the Moda precuts so I had enough to do the blocks. I did run short on the precut of the 1 1/2 ” strips and had to purchase fabric that matched to finish. The honey bun I used was a Kona…hence 40 strips. I needed about 12 more strips to complete this one 🙂