Gretchen Block Instructions

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

These instructions make a 12 inch (finished, 12 1/2" including seams) Gretchen block. The Gretchen block is traditionally made up of only 2 colours. The following uses a series of light and darks with red and white prints for the pinwheel of each block.


  • 4 x 4 7/8” squares light/medium
  • 4 x 4 7/8” squares medium/dark
  • 4 x 2 7/8” squares white
  • 4 x 2 7/8” squares red

Pair light and and dark fabrics and sew into half square triangles. Separate finished squares into two matching sets.

Cut red and white squares diagonally. Pair white triangles with dark prints on one set of sewn squares. Sew triangles to dark fabric as shown. Pair red triangles with light prints on remaining set of sewn squares and sew. Press small triangles outwards. (if you are feeling thrifty, keep the offcut triangles for making something like this)

Step 3

Place ruler over pieces from step 2, lining ruler edge with edge of red or white triangles and cut as shown. Sew units with red triangles to units with white triangles.

Step 4

Combine pairs of subblocks. Ensure that the top red triangle is to the left of centre and white to the right, as shown. Sew and press 2 pairs.

Step 5

Combine pairs to create finished block.

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  1. How good of you to post a tute on this quilt. I love it!! Presently Im collecting 1800 repro prints for a couple of quilts but youve made me want to collect these as well!!
    Ill keep this pattern in mind and might just have to start collecting!

  2. I stopped by from the Quilt Gallery, which linked to your tutorial. Love the look, so much more than the traditional color scheme. Thank you so much!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this pattern. It looks like a great stash buster.

  4. what a great block and quilt -- and I love your construction method! I would have been puzzling over it for a long time...

  5. I love this quilt! You picked great colors. Thanks so much for this tutorial!

  6. love this block and the quilt looks great........

  7. Thanks for sharing instructions cuz that's a beautiful block in a gorgeous quilt!!!

  8. Thanks so much for sharing looks so great in the 30s fabrics!

  9. Thank you for sharing this instructions! That will be great for my big stash box ;))

    Have a great week!

  10. what a awonderful block! I have a good size collection of 30's prints. this would be perfect to use them for! thanks for the tutorial! great looking quilt too!(mauh) Liz

  11. like the tutorial and the block. thanks for sharing.

  12. i like the tutorial..
    thanks for sharing.. thanks a lot..

  13. When you say 2 colors, do you mean 2 colors only or different variations of those 2 colors?

    1. Hi Rita, the pattern is traditionally two colours only i.e red and white rather than shades of two colours. You can find a paper pieced version on the traditional 2 colours here:

  14. Just found this - thanks for posting the tutorial. It’s a beautiful quilt!


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