King's Chain Quilt Block Pattern

  • 01 of 03

    How to Make King's Chain Quilt Blocks

    King's Chain Quilt Block Pattern
    King's Chain Quilt Block Pattern. Janet Wickell

    Sew King's Chain Quilt Blocks to Make a Quilt with Strong Diagonal Pathways

    This King's Chain quilt block pattern explains how to make five patch quilt blocks that finish at 10" x 10".

    King's Crown is one of the hundreds of quilt blocks that are often called linking designs and sometimes chain quilt blocks. The terms both describe the diagonal arrangement of each block's most noticeable patchwork, which can be used to link with other blocks when you design a quilt layout.

    Other quilt blocks with excellent linking potential include Four Square, Six Grid Chain, Jacob's Ladder, Single Irish Chain and so many more.

    Fabrics and Cutting for One King's Chain Quilt Block

    I used a two-color layout for the quilt block (the neutral gray doesn't count a color). Make your own blocks with vividly colored fabrics if you wish, and don't hesitate to use more than three fabrics.

    My block is made with cool fabrics and the diagonal patchwork blends somewhat. Use a mixture of cool and warm colors for more contrast.

    The two squares near the upper left and lower right corners of King's Chain needn't match the squares that flow along the block's diagonal.

    Take a look at page 3 for a preview of two different King's Chain quilt layouts.

    Gray or Other Background

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

    Deep Blue-Purple for Linking Squares

    • (9) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" squares

    Lighter Forest Green for Triangles Adjacent to Squares

    • (1) 5-3/4" x 5-3/4" squares*

    *The 5-3/4" squares are used to make half square triangle units with the Magic 8 assembly method. Cut the squares larger to trim each unit back to 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" after assembly, an extra step that improves accuracy.

    Alter cutting for the units if you plan to use another construction method, such as the technique that creates half square triangle units from two squares.

    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    Assemble the King's Chain Quilt Block

    King's Chain Quilt Block
    Assemble the King's Chain Quilt Block. Janet Wickell

     Sew the Half Square Triangle Units (HST)

    1. Refer to the instructions for the Magic 8 half square triangle method. If the technique is new to you, I'd like to encourage you to give it a try. Magic 8 is very easy and it results in accurate HST units.
    2. Mark the reverse side of the lightest 5-3/4" square and pair it with the dark square of the same size as explained in the Magic 8 tutorial.
    3. Sew and cut apart as described. Press the units. Each should measure 2-1/2" x 2-1/2". Carefully trim back to that size if you sewed with oversized squares.

    Assemble the Quilt Block

    1. Arrange all 25 components into five horizontal rows as shown, middle left illustration.
    2. Sew the patchwork in each row together with a quarter inch seam allowance. Match pieces carefully and handle gently to avoid the stretch that often occurs in long rows of patchwork.
    3. Press to set the seams.
    4. Press seam allowances in adjoining rows in opposite directions.
    5. Join the rows, using straight pins to match patchwork.
    6. Press the quilt block. It should measure 10-1/2" x 10-1/2".

    Strip Piecing Option

    The gray and blue units shown in the bottom illustration could be strip pieced. You'll need four of each per block, along with the remaining squares of each color that can't be sewn in that way.

    Strip piecing is worthwhile for one quilt block because it usually improves accuracy. The technique is more of a time-saver if you plan to make lots of multiple quilt blocks.

    • For one quilt block, use (1) 2-1/2" x 10-1/2" strip of each color.
    • For many quilt blocks, use 2-1/2" wide strips of each fabric cut from selvage to selvage. You can probably cut enough segments for four quilt blocks from one long strip set.
    • See Strip Piecing Tips and Techniques for help creating the patchwork.
    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    A Few Possible Layouts for King's Chain Quilt Blocks

    King's Chain Quilt Layouts
    King's Chain Quilt Layouts. Janet Wickell

    Rotate Quilt Blocks to Create a Unique Layout

    You can create many types of quilt layouts by simply rotating some of the King's Chain quilt blocks. The quilt on the right is sewn with an extra block in each horizontal row to balance the design along the edges of the quilt.

    You'll discover many more ways to orient quilt blocks when you experiment with linking designs.

    Each of the quilts on this page, although a bit different in size, can be made with similar yardages of fabric.

    Yardages for the King's Chain Quilts

    Neutral Background

    • 2-1/2 Yards

    Deep Blue-Purple

    • 2 yards

    Lighter Forest Green

    • 1-1/4 yards