How to Make a Card Trick Quilt
At first glance, the Card Trick quilt pattern might seem difficult, but if you cut and sew its patches systematically, you'll find that the quilt goes together with ease.
Choose Quilting Fabrics
The Card Trick block has four areas that appear to overlap—the cards. Most card tricks quilt blocks are sewn using a different fabric for each card. Choose fabrics with lots of contrast or use a selection with more subtle differences between the cards.
Using high contrast in fabrics arranged side-by-side could result in blocks that resemble a swastika.
Quilt Block and Quilt Sizes
- Finished Card Trick Block Size: 9 inches square
- Finished Quilt Size: 63-1/2 x 84-1/2 inches
Use Quick Piecing for Some of the Patchwork
It's nice when we can use quick piecing to assemble quarter square triangle units—like the patchwork units in all but the corner positions of the Card Trick block. But because quick piecing results in mirror-image units and all of the individual units for this quilt must be identical to create the proper flow, assemble many of them one triangle at a time.
See the illustrated fabric positions below.
- Fabric A: 7/8 yard
- Fabric B: 7/8 yard
- Fabric C: 1 yard (also used in cornerstones)
- Fabric D: 7/8 yard
- Light Background: 1-3/8 yards
- Sashing: 1-5/8 yards
- Border: 2-1/4 yards for lengthwise grain strips or 1-1/4 yards for crosswise grain strips
- Binding: about 315 running inches double-fold binding (binding instructions)
- Backing: 5-1/2 yards (backing instructions)
- Batting: About 75 x 95 inches
Cut Fabric for the Card Trick Quilt
Start by cutting only enough fabric to make a few test blocks.
Read through the pattern before you begin and change the cutting instructions if you plan to use different assembly techniques for quick-pieced units. Label fabrics as you work.
Fabrics A, B, C and D, Cut From Each
- (3) 3-7/8-inch wide strips of fabric cut from selvage to selvage and (1) 3-7/8 x 26-inch strip
- Cut strips into (36) 3-7/8 x 3-7/8-inch squares
- (1) 4-1/4-inch wide strip cut from selvage to selvage—cut into (9) 4-1/4 x 4-1/4-inch squares and then cut each square in half twice diagonally
Additionally From Fabric C
- (2) 1-1/2-inch wide strips cut from selvage to selvage—cut into (48) 1-1/2 x 1-1/2-inch squares (for sashing cornerstones)
- (8) 3-7/8-inch wide strips cut from selvage to selvage—cut into (72) 3-7/8 x 3-7/8-inch squares
- (4) 4-1/4-inch wide strips cut from selvage to selvage—cut into (35) 4-1/4 x 4-1/4-inch squares; cut each square in half twice diagonally
- (3) 9-1/2-inch wide strips cut from selvage to selvage—cut into (82) 1-1/2 x 9-1/2-inch bars
- Cut borders after the quilt top is assembled.
Make Card Trick Quilt Blocks
Refer to the triangle orientation if needed.
- Gather two triangles cut by dividing 4-1/4-inch squares of each of the following fabrics: A, B, C, D. Gather four background triangles of the same size.
- Sew a colored triangle to a background triangle along short edges. Handle triangles carefully to avoid stretch.
- Press seam allowances toward darker fabrics.
- Gather one 3-7/8-inch square of the A, B, C, and D fabrics. Cut each square in half once diagonally and set aside four of the triangles for the next block.
- Sew a step 4 triangle to each two-triangle unit along its longest edges and configured as shown:
- Background/A to D
- Background/C to B
- Background/D to C
- Background/B to A
- Trim the triangular "dog ears" at seam ends.
- Sew remaining small triangles together in pairs, and block center above (A to D, B to C, and orienting them exactly as illustrated). Press seam allowances in opposite directions.
- Sew the new units together on their longest edges. Press. Trim dog ears.
Make Half Square Triangle Units
- Gather four 3-7/8 x 3-7/8-inch background squares and one square of the same size of fabrics A, B, C, and D.
- Use an easy quick piecing method to sew each colored square to a background square, creating eight half square triangle units that measure 3-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches. Four will be used in a second block.
- Half square triangle units are used in the four corners of each quilt block.
Assemble the Card Trick Quilt Block
- Arrange block components into three rows, making sure like-fabrics touch each other.
- Sew components of each row together.
- Press adjoining seams in opposite directions and sew rows together. Press.
- Repeat to make a second block using leftover components from block 1.
- Make a total of 35 blocks; you'll have four leftover half square triangle units and a few leftover triangles.
Assemble the Card Trick Quilt
- Using a design wall or other flat surface, arrange the Card Trick quilt blocks into seven rows, each row with five blocks. Blocks can be oriented identically in each position or flipped around to give the quilt a scrappier appearance.
- When you're happy with the arrangement, sew a pre-cut sashing strip vertically between blocks in each row, and then sew a strip to each end of the row (total of six per row). Press seam allowances towards the sashing strips.
- Sew five sashing strips and six pre-cut cornerstones into a horizontal row, beginning and ending with a cornerstone. Press seam allowances toward the sashing strips.
- Repeat to create eight identical horizontal sashing rows.
- Place a horizontal row above the first row of blocks and below the last row of blocks. Use the remaining six sashing rows between rows of quilt blocks.
- Sew sashing rows and block rows together, matching all seam intersections carefully. Pin to keep fabrics from shifting. Press seam allowances towards the horizontal sashing rows.
- Use straight border instructions to measure the quilt and sew 5-inch wide borders to its edges. Sew side borders first. Beginners, do not measure your quilt along its outer edges because it is more than likely skewed a bit.
- Mark for quilting if necessary. Sandwich the quilt with batting and backing and baste. Quilt by hand or machine. Trim and square up the excess edges before sewing binding strips around the quilt.
Chain piece where possible to speed up assembly.
Card Trick Block and Block Schematic
This side-by-side Card Trick block and block schematic might help you visualize fabric placement.