Bordered Squares

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Transcript (Downloadable PDF Here):

Hi I’m Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Take a look at this quilt behind me.  We’ve got this line in.  It’s called, “Venezia,” and it’s, it’s by Benartex and it was just this wild, crazy line and I just kind of fell in love with it and thought I wanted to see what would happen and I’ve been wanting to try this old block out that is a bordered, a bordered square and I just wanted to see what would happen.  


So look at this, I mean it’s just crazy fun.  We’ve got these little four patches that come together, we’ve got these two and we’ve got this, these center blocks and it, it all is made from one square like this and so it’s really cool.

So to make this quilt what you’re going to need is one layer cake.  Just one and I used about a yard of solid for the border.  I felt like it needed a little bit of calming down and I also went ahead, you can notice on my binding, it’s scrappy.  So I just used little pieces of my, of left over pieces for my binding and you know it just to me it kind of brought it all together.


So let me show you how to do this, cause this is a really cool and easy way to make this block with the bordered squares, is what I call it.  So you’re going to take your whole layer cake and you’re going to cut it into fourths, which means you could also use four charm packs, which you know might be easier for some.  I happen to have a layer cake so that’s what I used and so then you have this whole stack of all these squares like this and you have to pick through them and make your blocks.


So what I did was I, I would find a block and I, that I wanted to be my center.  So this is my center and then I’d look through for something contrasting and I’d say, this right here, this is going to be my sides, and so I need two of these for the sides and then this would make a nice corner.  So I would pull this in for the corners and then what I’d do is I would, you leave your middle alone, you take your two sides and line them up and you just cut them in half in two, two-two and a half by five-inch rectangles like this, right in half and so now I have, I have four of these pieces and then this, this one for the square corners, we’re going to cut in fourths.  


So I’m just going to cut that and then I’m going to turn my ruler over here and come in two and a half and cut it right in fourths.  So now I have four corners.  So then what I’m going to do to put my block together is I’m going to sew two of my side onto the center block like that.  Now this is one of those where as long as your seam allowances are consistent, every block’s going to match up perfect.  So then this one, these will go on the side, but what we’re going to do is we’re going to sew these two little blocks to the center block and we’re going to do that on both pieces and then we will attach these to either side of this one and that forms the block so quick and easy.  


So let’s go to the sewing machine and I’m just going to take these pieces with me and we’re going to sew these sides on right here and I lay them right sides together and I just sewed down a quarter of an inch.  My quarter of an inch, haha.  All of us have our own and then I’m just going to turn this around.  Again I’m going to make sure I’ve got right sides together, lay my piece on there and sew a quarter of an inch.  


Now, I’m going to take my two little squares and I’m going to sew them to each end of my two and a half by five and a half-inch strip.  My charm pack that I cut in half and I’m going to go ahead and chain-piece these.  So now I’m putting, I put this little one on a long one.  I’m going to put another little corner one on here, like this and then I’m just going to pull this out a little bit and flip them around and put the block, sew the blocks onto the other side.  So here we go and add one more block, like this.  


Now, the easiest way to do this at this point is to press them now.  This, then I’ll lay, it’ll lay together really nice–cause you want your seams to nest. So what I’m going to do is come over here to the iron and I am going to lay these back–like this–and just press it flat and then on these little ones, I’m going to press the seam inward so that I’ll nest, turn it over and make sure it’s laying nice and flat.  Let’s see, I got to get this going this way to get it to lay down right.  There we go and then yep, so, so here’s how my pressing worked.  Let me cut a few of these off for you.


So here’s how my pressing worked.  These two seams are pointing in and this seam is pointing out, which is going to enable these when we put them together like this.  Let’s see, when we put them together like this, these are going to nest right up together and just lay, just lay right smack next to each other like that where you can, you can see the two seams butt right next to each other and we’re going to go over to the sewing machine and sew these side pieces on.


Alright, we’re just going to line this up here and again I like to take a little, a little anchor stitch and then make sure my seams are lined up and then I can just go ahead and sew along there.  Line up the next set and then line up my edge and then I’m just going to flip that around and do the other side.  Lay that on there, match those up and bring it across.  Now we’re going to iron this open.


Alright, let me clip these threads first.  Here we go.  I’m so, I’m so bad about my threads.  Alright, then I’m going to press this open and I’m just going to roll it back, like this, set my seam and roll it back and you end up with a block like this.  So what I did was I went through and I just made all my blocks because this, this, we’re using four squares to make one block, which equals a layer cake and there’s forty-two squares in there.  


We’re going to have six blocks across by seven blocks down.  It’s going to make forty-two squares and so that ends up measuring about fifty-five by sixty-five or something like that with the, the little border on.  So I went through and I made all my squares and then I started putting my blocks together and I just laid them out, you know, first, I laid, I made all my blocks and then I just laid them out to make sure I didn’t have anything that was too close, you know I wouldn’t have wanted the, you know, two of these right together, that sort of thing and since this is such a diverse line of fabric, that was really fun.


But then I got to thinking what would this look like if I used a solid center fabric or not a solid, but the same color and used opposing color in these? What would happen?  You know or contrasting colors.  What would it look like?  So I, I just look around in the store and I found this great bolt of fabric.  We have a lot of these, these fun little monsters prints and you know how many grandkids I have, so I, you know, always looking for some more cute prints.  And this is “Googlies” by Benartex and it’s just the cutest little monster line.  


So I just decided that I would cut five-inch squares and I cut enough for, to make one of these quilts and, which means if that’s, if this is just my center, I’m only cutting up a charm pack worth.  So I cut out forty-two squares and then half of them I put white sides with blue squares and the other half I put blue sides with white squares and look what I got.  


This is the cutest thing.  I even backed it with these monsters.  So take a look at this.  Look how different that is.  The exact same block, here let me lay this out here so we can get a good look at it.  So this is the exact same block.  Only, I used my “Googlies” in the middle and see this square right here has the white sides with the blue corners and the block right next to it has the blue sides with the white corners.  So this is a super versatile block, where if you just change your fabric up a little bit, you’re going to get a completely different look.


So when I made this quilt, I use a yard of the “Googlie” for the squares, cause I need forty-two of them.  I used a yard of the blue for the, for the edges, because you also need forty-two of those and I used a yard of the white, cause we also use forty-two of those–really easy to remember.  For the border it’s another, it’s another yard and a half of fabric and it just totally changes the whole look from this quilt to this quilt.  


So have fun with this block and we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the “Border Block” from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.


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  • Anna

    Love this versatile block! How did you get the scrappy pieces for the border of the first quilt?

    • MmphsBelle

      I think she said that she used remaining pieces from the layer cake in putting together the scrappy binding for the quilt. However, you said “border”. It looks like there’s a scrappy first border inside the black one. That is just the borders around the squares of the quilt top. It is not a separate single border. Hope that’s helpful.

  • LOVE IT!

  • JaneAce

    THANK you, Jenny, (that’s your name ;o) ) for YET another fun (and possibly quick) block! Your tutorials are SO much fun and so very inspirational.

  • Wcraftow

    What is the measurement for each square after sewing the block completely?

  • AimSure

    Would the completed squares be 9inches, Wcraftow?

  • daisy

    Jenny, Where can I purchase the layer cakes that you used for the quilt? The Quilt shops around here do not seem to carry Benartex fabrics. Is the same color combination available through Missouri Quilt? Let me know, please. Thanks

  • Anne

    I just finished making this quilt for a baby. Great pattern and it didn’t take much time. Thanks, Jenny, for the inspiration and how-to!

  • Sandy Handal

    Jenny I just love your tutorials and your daily specials. You are the best. keep them coming.

  • Jeanette

    Jenny…learn a lot from your tutorials! Thank you!

  • sandy

    Heaven bless Jenny!! Every time I’m really in the pits, I plug in Jenny & the Jelly Roll Quilt. Sometimes it takes 3 runs, but i always feel better. Thank you Jenny!!!

  • Susan

    This Bordered Square looks great, looks hard, but not! Thanks Jenny! Love all the pre-cuts, I even wrote a story about how they came about 🙂 on my blog: