Broken Dishes Quilt Block Pattern

  • 01 of 04

    How to Make Broken Dishes Quilt Blocks

    Broken dishes quilt block pattern
    Janet Wickell

    The Broken Dishes quilt block pattern finishes at 15" x 15", a nice size for a wallhanging's medallion center, or to sew side by side to make a bed quilt. The quilt block is also a good design to try when you want to make throw pillow covers.

    The quilt block's center is made from four half square triangle units. More patchwork surrounds the center.

    You'll find that other designs are also called Broken Dishes. The block most commonly known by that name is made from the square center of this more patchwork-filled variation.

    Take a look at my Broken Dishes Baby Quilt, a project made by combining Broken Dishes and Hourglass quilt blocks.

    You'll find a few of quilt layout variations on pages 3 and 4, one with sashing and cornerstones sewn between the quilt blocks and another with blocks sewn side by side.

    In the side by side version, notice that alternating blocks are assembled with different corner squares. The variation turns the intersection where block corners meet into contrasting four patch units. If all corners were the same, the intersecting patches would blend to form one large square of the same color.

    Half square triangle units are used to create many of the block's grids. Cutting instructions are for an easy, quick piecing method. Alter the instructions if you use another method, or if you like to make slightly oversize units and then cut them back after assembly for better accuracy.

    Materials for One Broken Dishes Quilt Block


    • (4) 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" squares
    • (1) 5-3/8" x 5-3/8" square

    Multicolor print with black:

    • (2) 5-3/8" x 5-3/8" square

    Multicolor gold print

    • (4) 3-7/8" x 3-7/8" squares
    • (1) 5-3/8" x 5-3/8" square

    Light neutral print

    • (4) 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" squares
    • (4) 3-7/8" x 3-7/8" squares
    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    Sew the Broken Dishes Quilt Block

    Broken dishes quilt block pattern
    Janet Wickell

    Quilt Block Assembly

    1. Review my easy half square triangle method if half square triangle construction is new to you.
    2. Draw a diagonal line, from one corner to the opposite corner, on the back of each 3-7/8" x 3-7/8" light neutral square, as explained in the sandwich method instructions. Repeat, drawing a line on the 5-3/8" x 5-3/8" gold square and the large multicolor squares (use a light pencil on dark squares, or create a line instead with a tool such as a Hera marker).
    3. Pair each smaller gold square with a light square of the same size. Pair the two larger gold squares with the multicolor squares. Pair the two larger black squares with the remaining multicolor squares.
    4. Use the tutorial to turn all pairs into half square triangle units. When complete, the smaller units should each measure 3-1/2" x 3-1/2". Larger units should each measure 5" x 5".
    5. Arrange the four 5" square units into two rows as shown, drawing #1. Sew the components of each row together with a quarter inch seam allowance.
    6. Use straight pins to keep fabrics from shifting apart.
    7. Press seam allowances in opposite directions and then join the rows, drawing #2. Press.
    8. Refer to the top and bottom rows of drawing #3. Create two rows to match the illustration, using two gold/light half square triangle units and one 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" light square. Press seam allowances towards the square unless it's very sheer -- in that case press towards the triangle square units.
    9. Make two more identical short rows and set aside.
    10. Sew a Step 6 row to the top and bottom of the block center, matching drawing #3. Press seam allowance towards the block center.
    11. Sew black squares to the ends of the two short rows you set aside. Press seam allowances towards the black squares. Arrange one of the rows on each side of the partial block, drawing #4.
    12. Sew the two side rows to the block center to complete the Broken Dishes quilt block. Press. The block should measure 15-1/2" x 15-1/2".
    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    Broken Dishes Quilt with Sashing

    Broken dishes quilt block pattern
    Janet Wickell

    In this layout, identical Broken Dishes quilt blocks are separated by sashing and cornerstones. Decide how many blocks you need and then create a simple sketch, placing squares and bars as shown. Count the number of squares and bars needed, and cut.

    Use any scale you like for sashing/cornerstone dimensions. In this illustration, each finishes with a width of 3". That means you would cut 3-1/2" x 15-1/2 sashing bars and 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" cornerstone squares.

    Yardage requirements will vary, depending on the number of blocks you make. Use my How to Calculate Yardage instructions to determine fabric requirements.

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    Broken Dishes Quilt Layout Option

    Broken dishes quilt pattern
    Janet Wickell

    Here's an example of Broken Dishes blocks sewn side by side. There are two block variations, nearly identical but with one difference. Outer corners vary so that a visible four patch unit is formed where block corners meet. 

    Yardage requirements will vary, depending on the number of blocks you make.