Path A: Over the River

It’s family day at camp! From over the river, granny has come to see all the happenings at Camp Oda May. In her honor, we’ll make one of my all-time favorite blocks, the granny square block.

The blocks are 6 1/2″ unfinished and 6″ finished.

NOTE: This is one post in a series of quilt-along posts. Start from the beginning with the first post {here}.

14 layer cake squares (12 if using cornerstone blocks)


5 fat quarters

Whichever method you choose, you will have a bit of fabric leftover. This is done to allow some mixing among your granny squares.

Cutting Instructions

If using fat quarters:

  • Cut [8] 1 7/8” by 22″ strips from each fat quarter (6 strips if making cornerstone blocks). Subcut each strip into [2] 8” by 1 7/8” pieces and [1] 1 7/8” square.

 For a scrappier look, use 12 fat quarters and cut three strips from each

If using layer cakes:

  • Using the following diagrams, cut the layer cakes. From 10 layer cakes (or eight if making cornerstone blocks), cut [6] 8” by 1 7/8” pieces and [1] 1 7/8” square. From the remaining four layer cake squares, cut [5] 8” by 1 7/8” pieces and [4] 1 7/8” squares.


Background fabric (for both layer cakes and fat quarters)

  • Cut four 3 1/2″ strips
  • Cut three 2 1/4″ strips
  • Subcut into [48] 3 1/2″ squares (40 if making cornerstone blocks) and [48] 2 1/4″ squares (40 if making cornerstone blocks).

Assembling the granny squares:

Each granny square requires three focal fabrics and background fabric. For each, you will need:

Fabric A: [1] 1 7/8 square

Fabric B: [1] 8” by 1 7/8” piece

Fabric C: [2] 8” by 1 7/8” piece

Background fabric: [2] 3 ½” squares and [2] 2 ¼” squares

Arrange your fabrics into 24 sets (or 20 sets if making cornerstone blocks).

For each block, sew an 8” strip of Fabric B to an 8” strip of Fabric C. Press towards Fabric C. Cut into four sets of two blocks, each 1 7/8” wide.

Cut the second 8″ strip of Fabric C into four 1 7/8″ squares.

Cut the 3 ½” squares of background fabric diagonally twice, making four triangles from each square.

The background pieces are cut this way so that there are no bias edges on the outside of the quilt block. They are cut a bit oversized and will be trimmed later.

Lay your pieces out to form the granny square. Sew the pieces together in rows, with the triangles cut from the 3 ½” squares of background fabric at the end of the rows.

Press seams towards fabrics A and C and the background fabric.

Trim the dog ears.

Sew the rows together. Press towards the center. Trim dog ears.

Cut the 2 ¼” squares diagonally once, making two triangles from each square. Sew triangles to each corner, taking care to center the tip of each triangle in the square. Press towards background fabric.

Square the block up to 6 1/2″, lining up the outer tips of Fabric C on the 1/4″ marks.

Repeat to make a total of 24 blocks (20 if making cornerstone blocks).

Sew five granny square blocks together, pressing the seams between the blocks open. Sew to one side of the quilt. Repeat on the other side.

Sew seven granny square blocks (or five granny square blocks with a cornerstone block on each end) together, pressing the seams between the blocks open. Sew to the top of the quilt. Repeat on the bottom.

Christine Weld

[blog: The Quarter Inch]
[instagram: @christine.weld]

19 comments on “Path A: Over the River

  1. These blocks look like so much fun … I even have some cute fabric that looks like it’s been knitted which should work well for this!

  2. Shauna says:

    I did a whole quilt with these blocks and it turned out great. What a good choice for this camping adventure!

  3. Mary Andra Holmes says:

    Fabulous directions. Now I want to make a whole quilt of Granny Squares.

  4. The Wizard says:

    I used this block to make a large lap quilt for my granny last Christmas. Used pinks and florals (her 2 favorite things). It was my first time making a block that had to be assembled diagonally. So this time I plan to make sure the triangles are bigger than I need so I have some wiggle room to trim later 🙂

    • Even though the trimming is an extra step, I prefer making the background a little bigger than necessary and cutting the blocks down. It takes away the stress of getting everything just perfect, and I enjoy working with the nicely trimmed blocks when it’s time to put everything together. It’s especially nice in this project to have everything trimmed accurately since precise measurements are key to having everything fit nicely!

  5. Kathy J Firth says:

    Thanks Christine!! I love Granny Squares! I did a queen size 1930’s quilt in nothing but and loved everyone of them.

  6. Chandra Cox says:

    When I cut the (8) 1 7/8 strips on a FQ, do I cut it lengthwise or?? Y’all didn’t specify. Does it not matter? Just cut (8) 1 7/8 by WOF?

    I’ve never made this block before and I’m nervous about it so I want to make sure I get it right, especially because it requires 5 FQ’s. Thank you.

    Best Regards,
    Chandra Cox

    • Hi Chandra! I would cut from the 22″ side so that you have strips measuring 1 7/8″ by 22″.

      You need a total length of 18″ for strips cut from the fat quarter (actually, 17 7/8″, but let’s add in a little wiggle room!), so it’s possible to cut from either side. I prefer to cut the longer strips and have a bit of scrap leftover, but I know some people prefer not to have waste. Also, some fat quarters measure a little short.

      Happy sewing, and let us know if you have any other questions!

      • Chandra Cox says:

        Thank you so much for your response.

        I do have one more question. So, these blocks are to basically frame the big block from the first week, is that right?

  7. Renee M. says:

    Lovely block! I’m doing Path A as a “controlled scrap” and am so happy to have such a versatile block to work with! Great choice…thank you!

  8. Elaine C says:

    I am probably overlooking the block dimension but could you tell me the finished size of the block, please?

  9. Chandra Cox says:

    So these granny square blocks frame the block from the first week, correct? It makes more sense to me now. Lol.

    Thank you for putting this QAL together. It’s so much fun to choose my own path!

    • You are very welcome! It has been a blast seeing everyone’s projects!

      Yes, in a medallion quilt, there are multiple frames around the large center block. We also have borders in-between each round, using solid background fabric (or whatever you choose!) which helps everything from getting jumbled together.

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