Classic Quilting Patterns

For More Information, Start with These Sources:

There is a wide range of traditional quilting patterns that date back to the 19th century, and before. These are a few of our favorites. They are geometric block patterns, which makes them ideal for beginners and experts alike.

Included here are:

  • Basic quilting patterns for one block
  • An example of color usage
  • A pieced top so you may visualize the completed quilt.

Remember - there are infinite variations, not only through how you combine your blocks, but in patterns on fabric, color schemes, borders, and the quilting stitches as well. So consider these your starting point, and enjoy! 

If you would like references for measurements and other details on classic quilt block patterns, we suggest these resources:


Pinwheels is an excellent and versatile pattern for beginners. A step-by-step guide to making a pinwheel quilt is available at http://www.quilttownusa.com

Circular forms can be particularly challenging, requiring very careful cutting, piecing, and sometimes, appliqué. Two very popular and beautiful classic quilt patterns using circular forms are double wedding ring and drunkard’s path.

To learn more about these patterns, visit:


Flower Basket Pattern

Flower Basket Pattern

Bear Claw Pattern

Flower Basket Pattern

Pinwheel Pattern

Pinwheel Pattern

Variation on Pinwheel Pattern

Note that simple changes to classic quilt patterns can result in dramatic differences, in particular when piecing bold geometric forms.

Below is the original 8-piece pinwheel block, and variations. The original pinwheel is rotated 45 degrees, so it is standing like a diamond shape. 4 additional triangles are added to each corner, “blocking in” the diamond. The new blocks are combined and pieced to form a new top, with a very different effect.

Pinwheel Pattern

Diamond Center Amish Pattern

Amish quilts frequently use large, brightly colored, bold geometrics to stunning effect. Relatively few pieces are cut and sewn together. The shapes are large, and heavily quilted so that the design of the quilt stitching is more noticeable. The pattern here is the entire pieced top.

Pinwheel Pattern

8 Point Star Pattern

Pinwheel Pattern


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