Easy Roman Square Quilt and Block Pattern

  • 01 of 03

    Make Roman Square Quilt Blocks

    Rail Fence Quilt Blocks
    Janet Wickell

    Roman Square is an easy quilt block pattern that's perfect for beginning quilters. The same basic quilt block is known by many names, including Rail Fence, depending on the fabric arrangement and how color and color value are repeated.

    Try the Rail Fence Baby Quilt Pattern or the Rail Fence Bed quilt pattern to make two more easy quits.

    Roman Square blocks can be designed with a scrappy layout or sewn in a more controlled color scheme. 

    Do you have leftover fabrics from previous projects? Put those pieces to use by making a true scrap quilt with this Roman Square pattern. See page 3 for lap quilt instructions.

    To make a scrappy quilt, it isn't important to place the block's light and dark bars in specific positions, but do vary the value somewhat from strip to strip, or within the block in general.

    Follow the strip piecing instructions to make eight Roman Square quilt blocks. Make additional groups of eight, switching fabric positions or using different fabrics, until you've assembled enough blocks for a quilt.

    Cutting instructions are included for those who would prefer to sew blocks together piece by piece.

    Take a look at Strip Piecing Tips for Quilters if you haven't tried the technique. How to Choose Fabrics for Quilts may help beginning quilters, too.

    Use an accurate quarter inch seam allowance throughout.

    Finished Block Size: 9" x 9"

    Fabrics & Cutting

    • For Strip Piecing: For eight blocks, cut (12) different fabric strips from selvage to selvage, each strip 2" wide; fabric narrower than 42" wide will result in fewer quilt blocks
    • You should also learn how to cut long strips of fabric.
    • To Sew Piece-by-Piece: Cut (12) different fabric bars, 2" x 5" each, for each quilt block.
    • Also read how to cut patchwork shapes.
    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    How to Sew the Roman Square Quilt Blocks

    Assemble Roman Stripe Quilt Blocks
    Assemble Roman Stripe Quilt Blocks. Janet Wickell

    Quilt Block Instructions

    1. Choose three of your 2" x selvage length fabric strips, varying color warmth or contrast among strips.
    2. Sew the strips together lengthwise.
    3. Press to set the seams.
    4. Press seam allowances in the same direction.
    5. Square up one end of the strip set and then cut (8) 5" segments from it (yield will vary depending on fabric width). Stack the like segments.
    6. Repeat to make three more strip sets, each from three different fabric strips. Stack like segments from each.
    7. Gather one segment from each stack. Arrange the four segments into two rows, each with two segments as shown. Upper left and lower right segments have bars that run horizontally. Bars in ​the upper right and lower left segments are vertical.
    8. Sew the segments in each row together. Press new seams in opposite directions and sew the rows together to complete the quilt block.
    9. Press. The block should measure 9-1/2" x 9-1/2".
    10. Make seven more quilt blocks from your segments, or assemble additional strip sets and mix up the segments when you make the extra blocks.

    To strip piece with shorter strips, allow 5" for each segment and add 1/2" to 1" to the total length for squaring up. For example, to cut five 5" segments, cut strips 26" long (5" x 5" = 25" + 1.2 to 1" for squaring up).

    Quilt Blocks Sewn Piece by Piece

    Sew three different 2" x 5" bars side by side. Press seam allowances one direction.

    1. Repeat three times, using different 2" x 5" bars in each segment.
    2. Sew the four groups together as shown to make a Roman Square quilt block.
    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    How to Make a Roman Square Scrap Quilt

    Roman Stripe Scrap Quilt Pattern
    Roman Stripe Scrap Quilt Pattern. Janet Wickell

    This example of a scrappy Roman Square quilt is made with 35 quilt blocks sewn into horizontal rows. The quilt measures 45" x 63" before borders are added.

    Additional Roman Square Block Sizes

    It's easy to alter the size of the Roman Square quilt block -- simply change the dimensions of its bars.

    • To sew piece by piece, cut (12) 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" bars for each 12" x 12" quilt block.
    • For strip pieced blocks, cut 2-1/2" wide strips from selvage to selvage, sew strip sets as explained on the previous page and cut (7) 6-1/2" long segments from resulting strip sets.

    For a Smaller Quilt

    • Cut (12) 1-1/2" x 3-1/2" bars for each 6" x 6" quilt block that's sewn one piece at a time.quilt block that's sewn one piece at a time.
    • For strip pieced blocks, cut 1-1/2" wide strips from selvage to selvage, make strip sets and then cut (14) 3-1/2" long segments from resulting strip sets.

    Repeat steps until you've sewn the number of blocks needed for your quilt.

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