Overlapping Squares Block Tutorial

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This tutorial for a very basic block incorporates an easy to tackle improv piecing technique.  Use any three colors, plus your background color to create this look of overlapping squares.


Finished block: 15.5″ square

Fabric requirements:

Background fabric: Two 5.5″ squares
Center square fabric: Six to ten monochromatic scraps, measuring no less than 1″ x 8″
Outer squares fabrics: For each color, eighteen to thirty monochromatic scraps, measuring no less than 1″ x 8″

1. Trim your scraps down to varying widths between 2″ x 8″ and 1″ x 8″.  Try to do this without a ruler and just eyeball it.  Embrace imperfection and your finished piecing will have more variation and interest.

2. Starting with your center square fabric, arrange your scraps in the order you’d like to piece them together.

3. Piece together your scraps.  When you’re done, make sure that they measure at least 6″ wide.

4. Without a ruler, cut the piecing into three different portions.  Trim the edges as needed.


5. Rotate around the top and bottom portions and piece them all back together.

6. Trim to 5.5″ square and your center square is finished!

7. Repeat this exact process with each your outer square fabrics, creating a 5.5″ square in each color.

8. Now repeat it again for each of the outer square colors, but this time when you’re done with step 3, make sure your piecing measures at least 11″ wide.

9. When you’re done with step 5, trim your piecing down to 10.5″ x 5.5.”

10. Now piece together your block as indicated in the diagram below.

Your block is all finished!