Countdown to Christmas: Checkerboard Express


Greetings, I’m Rose of something rosemade and I am happy to be joining in the Countdown to Christmas with the Checkerboard Express Block.  I’ve combined the look of two simple blocks: a Rail Fence and a Four Patch made with strip sets and can be quickly made during this busy holiday season.

Two pieces of fabrics measuring 4-1/2″ x 10″; one red and one green, solids or small prints for good contrast.

From each piece of fabric, cut the following strips:  (1) 1-1/2″ x 10″ and (1) 2-1/2″ x 10″.

Sew each 1-1/2″ strip to the 2-1/2″ strip of the opposite fabric as shown.  These strip sets should measure 3-1/2″ wide, trim if necessary.  For this block, I pressed the seams towards the red print.

Subcut each strip set to (6) 1-1/2″ segments.  Each segment should measure 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″.

Rearrange the 2nd, 4th and 6th segments of each strip set to create the Checkerboard center as shown.

Sew the segments together in pairs as shown.  These segments should measure 2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ wide.

Sewing Tip:  When sewing these segments together, be sure to sew the pairs the same way each time to create the checkerboard effect in the center of the block.  For this block, the segment with the red square was always on the bottom and the seam was on the right side.  If you don’t sew these segments together consistently the same way, they will not alternate correctly. Press the seams for each segment towards the strip with the red square so the seams will nest together when the segments are sewn together.

Sew Checkerboard segments together as shown and press seams in the direction of the arrows.  Then sew these three segments together and either press these seams open or in one direction, your preference.  Trim to 6-1/2″ square if necessary.

Your Checkerboard Express Block is done and ready to join the other blocks for the Countdown to Christmas!

This block finishes at 6″ square.

The Checkerboard Express block can easily be made from scraps in a variety of prints and/or color combinations.  This block is perfect as an accent or as filler blocks in a sampler quilt.  Also, if you’re looking for a quick project for the house or for Christmas gifts, several of these blocks can be used to make a small table topper or a skinny table runner which was perfect to display with my Christmas train.  And, the block by itself, is perfect for mug rugs – it’s a generous size with ample room for a cookie.  Please check out my blog post if you would like more details and stats on these projects I made with the Checkerboard Express Block.

I hope you find the Checkerboard Express Block as simple and fun to make as I did.  If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Enjoy the holiday season!

Rose Moy Mikulski

14 comments on “Countdown to Christmas: Checkerboard Express

  1. Robin says:

    Thanks Rose. I always like to be reminded that not everything has to be complicated, even if it is only in my mind. There is beauty in simplicity! Enjoy the holidays with your grandbaby.

    • somethingrosemade14 says:

      Thanks Robin. I appreciate reading your thoughts on my simple block. I hope you enjoy the holidays too.

  2. Joyce says:

    Love these blocks. Can’t wait to see finished product.

    • somethingrosemade14 says:

      The Countdown blocks are wonderful andI am looking forward to seeing the top come together too.

  3. joan figlar says:

    Did I miss the corrected pattern for yesterday’s block?

  4. How happy I was to see your smiling face in my Inbox when I opened the MBS email! Good to see you again here, great block!

  5. Linda Wagner says:

    I found a couple of your blocks that were really nice…tried to print the directions but it didn’t print. Are these blocks set-up to be printed or is it wishful thinking on my part?

    • somethingrosemade14 says:

      Hi Linda, I just printed this off of the Printer Friendly Version Link above and it printed. It’s right above the photo of me.

  6. Kathleen says:

    I am loving all these little blocks. Thank you for getting this countdown together. I wish I could drop everything and make them right away, but instead I’m saving them for another time.

  7. So much fun to see Rose here! Love this block and all the options you mentioned. Great job!

  8. Tu-Na Quilts says:

    This is indeed a perfect block for this busy time. Thanks so much, Rose. It will be a snap to sew. I’m liking your idea to turn it into a mug rug. In fact, I think I’ll be turning all these little countdown blocks into mug rugs. Thanks for the idea and this pattern.

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