Easy Bow Tie Quilt Block Pattern

Getting Started

Example bow tie quilt block
Janet Wickell / The Spruce

Here's an easy Bow Tie quilt block pattern that eliminates the set-in seams of the traditional quilt block. One slight alteration makes these bow tie blocks a cinch to sew, and the design looks nearly identical to the original.

There are three size options in the cutting chart below, from a 12-inch square block down to a miniature that finishes at 3-inch square.

Cutting Chart

Choose two contrasting fabrics, one for the bow tie and another for the background.

If you prefer, cut two smaller squares from the same fabric as the darkest larger square and two more (not listed) from either a darker or lighter version of the same color.

12-inch Finished Blocks

  • Background: cut two 6 1/2 inch x 6 1/2 inch squares
  • Bow Tie Fabric: cut two 6 1/2 inch x 6 1/2 inch squares; cut two 3 inch x 3 inch squares.

6-inch Finished Blocks

  • Background: cut two 3 1/2 inch x 3 1/2 inch squares
  • Bow Tie Fabric: cut two 3 1/2 inch x 3 1/2 inch squares; cut two 1 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch squares.

3-inch Finished Blocks

  • Background: cut two 2 inch x 2 inch squares
  • Bow Tie Fabric: cut two 2 inch x 2 inch squares; cut two 1 inch x 1 inch squares.

Making a Block

How to arrange bow tie quilt blocks
Janet Wickell / The Spruce

Sew with an accurate quarter inch seam allowance unless you are sewing on a marked line.

  1. Draw a line from one corner to the opposite corner on the reverse side of each small bow tie square.
  2. Align a marked bow tie square, right sides together, with one corner of a background square.
  3. Sew a seam directly on the marked line. Trim away excess fabric from both layers 1/4 inch past the seam line.
  4. Press as is to set the seam and then press the seam allowance towards the large square.
  5. Repeat to sew the remaining small bow tie square to a corner of the remaining background square.
  6. Arrange the pieced units and two bow tie squares into two rows as shown above. Sew components of each row together and press seam allowances towards the large bow tie square.
  7. Sew the two rows together. Press.

Using Small Squares

Use the same method to sew one of the two remaining squares to one corner of the bow tie fabric. Press the seam allowances of each towards the triangle after trimming the excess.

Sew the patchwork together as before, but with like corner triangles pointing towards each other.

Layout Options

Example quilt layouts
Janet Wickell / The Spruce

Bow tie quilt blocks can be arranged in many ways. The groups of four blocks above illustrate some of the choices, but you'll discover many more when you make a batch of bow tie blocks.