Beginner Quilt Series - How to Cut Quilt Squares

A baby-sized quilt is a great size to make for your first quilt and this one is very simple to make.  The size makes it manageable to quilt with almost any sewing machine and is quick to make. 

This learn-to-quilt video and photo tutorial series will teach you how to make this cute baby quilt with 5-inch squares.  The series of posts demonstrates every step in the process of making a quilt which makes it an excellent quilt for a beginner.

Our first post in our beginner quilting series demonstrates how to cut five-inch patchwork blocks for a beginner baby quilt. Beginner Quilt Series - Cut the Blocks - facebook

At the end of this post, you will find links to the other posts in our beginner quilting series which include: how to assemble the blocks, how to make a backing, making a quilt sandwich by layering and pin basting, how to quilt the top and binding the quilt.

This quilt would make a wonderful community service project.  Our quilt guild donates quilts to Comfort Cases which is a wonderful organization that provides backpacks to foster kids. 

It would also be an excellent baby shower gift to make and would be special for the recipient.

COMPLETE VIDEO TUTORIAL AVAILABLE! The video below is a preview with no audio, to watch the whole video tutorial, click the link Beginner Quilt Series - How to Cut Quilt Squares to watch in Youtube.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

Select the Fabrics for the beginner baby quilt

Beginner Quilt Series - Cut the Blocks - Select Fabrics

Select the fabrics you would like to use in your baby quilt. This quilt will consist of thirty 5" squares. To make it easier, I selected a half yard of three coordinating fabrics to use for my baby quilt. The number of fabrics you select is up to you.  To make a more scrappy quilt, select many different fabrics.  A stack of coordinating fat quarters could be cut into 5" squares to make this quilt.

Another option is to purchase a charm square pack and use that for your 5" squares.  The advantage of using a charm pack is that there would be no cutting the squares.

What is a charm pack?  A charm pack is sold in quilt stores and is a package of 5" squares.  The pack usually contains around 45 squares from a single line of fabric.  There are usually multiple squares of each fabric in the fabric line.  Using two charm packs and some yardage, a nice child-sized quilt can be made.

If you select to use a charm pack, skip the rest of this tutorial and look for the next one at the bottom of this page.

CUTTING THE BLOCKS with a rotary cutter

For quilting, use a mat board, rotary cutter, and rulers for cutting the fabric. It's important to cut accurately sized squares so that they will fit together correctly and the seams will match up. Look at the end of this post for links to purchase these supplies.Beginner Quilt Series - Cut the Blocks - Gather Supplies

No matter how straight the edge of your fabric appears, it's best to cut a small amount off the edge to make sure it's straight. Otherwise, you may end up with some blocks which are bigger/smaller than they should be.

To cut off the edge, first, make sure your fabric is folded in half and the selvages are lined up. The selvage is the edge of the fabric with the printing from the manufacturer. Line this edge up with a line on your cutting mat. Take your long ruler, make sure it's straight and carefully cut a small piece off so that the edge is straight as shown below.Beginner Quilt Series - Cut the Blocks - Square Off


If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.

Cut Five Inch Strips from the fabric 

Next, you will cut 5" strips from the fabric. I only needed two strips to get 10 blocks from each color. You may need more or fewer strips depending on the width of your fabric and the number of blocks you need. Remember since your fabric is folded over, you will get two blocks each time you cut one strip.Beginner Quilt Series - Cut the Blocks - Cut Strips

Use your ruler and cut a strip 5" wide across the fabric. If your ruler is 5" wide, you can use the width of the ruler to cut the strip. Or, you can align the straight edge of your fabric along a line on the mat board and use the measurements on the mat board to cut the 5" strip.

Be sure your ruler is straight when you are cutting by lining up the ruler with the numbers on both sides of the mat board. If you need more than one strip, cut all of the strips now.Beginner Quilt Series - Cut the Blocks - Remove Selvage

Take the strip you cut and align it on a line on the mat board again. Make sure your ruler is straight and cut off the selvage.Beginner Quilt Series - Cut the Blocks - Cut Squares

Subcut fabric strip into Five Inch Squares

Next, use your ruler to cut the 5" squares. I used a 6.5" square ruler to cut my squares. A long ruler can also be used to cut the squares. Just be sure to line up the edges of the fabric with lines on the ruler/mat board to make sure you are cutting exactly 5" square.Beginner Quilt Series - Cut the Blocks - Charm Packs

If you do not want to cut out 5" squares from fabric, you can purchase a charm square pack. Charm square packs usually contain 42-5" squares of fabric from a specific line of fabrics.

This makes it easy to coordinate fabrics since all fabrics in one line of fabric are meant to go together. The number of different fabrics varies by charm pack. You will have more than one square of each fabric in the pack.

Beginner Quilt Series - Cut the Blocks - Cut Blocks

We now have thirty 5" squares cut out and are ready to assemble the quilt top. 

For the next step in creating your quilt, look below for the "Next Post" tutorial.



Another series of tutorials for beginning quilting is by Diary of a Quilter.

Supporting Products and links: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

Fiskars Square Acrylic Ruler Set #ad

For dedicated quilters, these are the essential rulers for squaring off from 6 1/2-inch to 12 1/2-inch square. Affiliate Link to

OLFA 18-Inch x 24-Inch Self-Healing Double-Sided Rotary Mat #ad

Use only rotary cutters and blades,Suitable for any small to medium size project Affiliate Link to

OLFA 24" x 36" Double-Sided, Self-Healing Rotary Mat #ad

Double-sided mat is solid green on one side for general crafting and has grid lines marking inches on other side for detailed cutting Affiliate Link to

Quilter's Square Ruler - 6" square #ad

These rulers were designed to give you ultimate accuracy when it comes to measuring; marking and cutting your pieces out. Rulers feature clear acrylic construction with black and yellow marking and instructions for use. Affiliate Link to Amazon

Quilting Ruler - 18" x 5" with Lip Edge #ad

Ruler With Lip Edge features a special lip-edge on this ruler that works like a T-square against the edge of a mat. Offers perpendicular lines and angled bias lines. Affiliate Link to Amazon

Rotary Cutters #ad

Purchase rotary cutters at Check out their selection. Affiliate Link to

Beginner Quilt Series - Cut the Blocks - pin

Profile Photo

Annette & Chris are a mother/daughter team. We've brought you craft projects and tutorials through this web site for over 20 years.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Personal Projects

YouTube Video Topics

Annie OnlineClasses 300x250 Accucut - 250x250

Looking for something you cannot find on our site? Click here to e-mail the Needlepointers Information department.

Copyright ©2003 - 2019 All Rights Reserved. | Powered by w3.css

Secured by RapidSSL