Drafting Patterns

Please note that although the metric measurement is first and not even in brackets, it is not a true conversion from Imperial measurements. Australia uses the metric system and as this book was published in Australia the metric measurement had to be given prominence. However, at that time, almost every published pattern was in Imperial measurements, and still are. In the case of applique the minimal difference doesn’t matter, but for pieced blocks it could be deceptive. Perhaps in a future draft I will get rid of the metric measurements!

The rule is NEVER convert!

Of course, now I also have Electric Quilt 6, which automatically prints out accurate patterns! But if the computer isn’t working for any reason what so ever, I can still draft any pattern I need.

The block patterns in this book are for 30.5-cm (12-in) blocks (finished size) so that my own designs will fit with my large collection of traditional patterns from England and America. I also enjoy working with this size as it is large enough to include some detail, but small enough not to be too fiddly.

However, block sizes can be changed to suit the project. A cot quilt looks great with smaller blocks, while a king-size quilt will look less busy (and be quicker to make) with larger blocks. All it takes to re­draft patterns is some very basic geometry, so give it a try – or you may know a mathematics wizard who will do it for you.

Pieced Blocks

Most pieced blocks are drafted onto a grid of evenly sized squares, e.g. a four patch is divided into four equal squares and a nine patch is nine equal squares.

Four patch grid


4 patch grid

Nine patch grid


9 patch grid

Seven patch and five patch have seven or five equal squares on each side.


7 patch grid


5 patch grid

Some blocks arc based on smaller grids with each section divided further into smaller squares.


16 square 4 patch grid


64 square 4 patch grid


36 square 9 patch grid

To determine what grid is used draw a grid over a sketch of the block and count the number of evenly sized sections there are on each side. Note that there is not always a seam line on each grid line.


4 Patch


9 Patch

Once you have determined the grid you need you may find that you can draw the grid with set square, ruler and pencil. For a 12-inch four patch simply draw a 12-inch square divided into four six-inch squares, or a 20-cm square would be divided into four 10-cm squares.

However, a 14-cm square has to be divided into squares with sides of 4.6666-cm for a nine-patch design, and a 12-inch seven patch needs squares measuring 1.7H2-inches. These lengths are difficult to measure off accurately using a standard ruler, so use the following method.

Watch this space for more when I work out how to redraw the diagrams!!!

2 thoughts on “Drafting Patterns

  1. Luego de leer todos los articulos de secretos del sampler, me siento tan feliz de haber llegado a su blog y poder aprender cada vez mas.
    Ja, epero alguna vez poder comprar EQ para ponerme también en el diseño, solo por placer. Un abrazo

    • Marta,

      Learning to draw blocks on paper will give you a good knowledge of how blocks are put together, and if you do get Electric Quilt you will find it easier to use.

      Learning about quilting by making a sampler quilt with a teacher is the best way to learn about quilting so you are doing everything the right way.

      Aprender a dibujar bloques en el papel le dar un buen conocimiento de cmo los bloques se juntan, y si te ves Electric Quilt le ser ms fcil de usar.

      Aprender sobre acolchar haciendo una colcha de toma de muestras con un profesor es la mejor manera de aprender sobre acolchar as que estn haciendo todo el camino correcto.

      Judy B

      http://virtualquilter.webs.com http://virtualquilter.wordpress.com https://stuffups.wordpress.com

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