Traditional Block Thursday: 16-Patch Block


Today’s tutorial features our last strip-pieced block. This one is actually a mite easier than the nine-patch, so this should go quickly for you!

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Fabric needed: 2 – 3.5″ x width of fabric strips. I used two beautiful prints from Penny Rose’s Meadow collection.


Put the right sides together and stitch a 1/4″ seam all the way down the sides.

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Press the seam toward the darker fabric.

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Cut the strip set in half.

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Now you should have two strip sets that look like this.


With right sides together, stitch the two strip sets together.

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Press toward the dark fabric again.

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Take the strip set to the cutting mat. Line up the ruler with the seams and trim off the selvedge edges. This is also a great place to make sure that your seams are exactly 1/4″. The two middle strips should be exactly 3″.

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Turn the strip set around. Line up the ruler on the seams again and cut 4 – 3.5″ pieces.

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Now you should have 4 – 3.5″ units that look like this.

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Turn two of them upside-down like this.

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Now stitch two of the units together, butting up all three seams to make sure that the corners match. Pin seams if desired. Repeat for the other two units.

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Press. It doesn’t matter which way you press at this point. Repeat for the other unit set.

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Now you’ve got two units that look like this. How do your corners look? Perfect?


Stitch the two units together with a 1/4″ seam allowance, making sure to butt up those seams.

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Press. Again, it doesn’t matter here which direction you press.


Here you go! A 16-patch. As you probably have guessed, you can do this strip-piecing method with any number of strips. We have tried 2, 3 and 4 strips.

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If you were to do an entire quilt from 16-patch blocks, there would be no need to cut the strip set in half (Step #4). You would just make several strip sets — all with 4 strips — and cut them apart to make your units and blocks. Here is what a whole quilt from 16-patch blocks might look like with simple sashing.

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What if you put in an alternating block?

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I love the scrappy version!

Have fun with the strip-pieced blocks. We will learn about Half Square Triangles next time!