Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Bowtie Block

A bowtie block is essentially a four patch.

To make a block the same size as my photos, you will need two 4” background squares (white in photo), two 4” print squares (puzzle print), and two 2” print squares (puzzle print). You can make them any size—just keep the ratios the same.

You are going to snowball one corner of each background square with one of the small print squares. To do this, you will draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of your 2” squares. This will be your stitching line. Line the small block up with a corner of the background block and stitch.

Your corner will now have three layers. You can trim off the bottom two layers to a 1/4" seam allowance, trim just the center layer, or you can leave them untrimmed. Leaving them untrimmed creates a bit of bulk, but I like the definition in the “knot” of the tie. However you decide to trim, press the triangle portion flat.

The end result looks like this. 

Note, I was making two blocks at the same time, so I have 4 snowballed squares.

The block will be assembled like any other four patch. Sew the top two squares together and press your seam towards the large print block. Repeat with the bottom two. Your seams will be going in opposite directions when you sew the pairs together into the four patch, so your seams will nest and your center seams will line up.

Note the direction of the placement of the snowballed squares--they come together to create the "knot."

Here is your finished block. It should measure 7 1/2". (It will be 7" when sewn into the quilt.)

There are many ways to arrange these. I’ll be putting mine together to form a quilt, and I’ll show some layouts then.


  1. I'll be making some of these next. The block looks complicated, but your explanation makes it seem easy!

    1. The old-style bowtie blocks were difficult--these are a breeze!

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