35 herringbone block tutorial.


Want to learn how to make a herringbone block?  Here's your chance!

You will need:
  • 14 strips of fabric, 2.5" x 11" long (this is a great use of scraps or a jelly roll!)
  • 6.5" x 24" ruler, or a template of a rectangle, 6.5" x 12.5".
Note: all seam allowances are 1/4".

1.  Cut 14 strips, 2.5" x 11" long.  You can cut 2 strips from 7 different fabrics, or just 1 strip from 14 different fabrics, if you want to go scrappy. (This method creates a bit of waste on some of the strips.  While you can always use those bits as part of the back of your quilt, keep this in mind when using your favorite fabrics!  Use those precious strips in the middle of the block, not on the ends.)

2.  Sew two sets of three strips together.  Sew your the fourth strip onto one of the sets of three, 1.5" from the left edge (take a look at the picture below to see what I mean).  Then sew your second set of three onto your fourth strip, 1.5" from the left edge of that strip.  Press all seams open.

3.  Turn your block on it's side so that the left edge of the first three strips are on a diagonal.  Place your 6.5" x 24" ruler or template on top as shown.

4.  Align the left corner of the ruler/template with the intersection of the edge of strips 2 and 3.  Align the right corner of the ruler with the edge of strip 1.

5.  Cut along the bottom edge of your ruler/template.

6.  Cut along the right and left edges of your ruler/template, all the way to the top of the block.

7.  Square up your block to 6.5" x 12.5" by cutting the top side of the block. (If you are using a template, you can just cut along the top side of the template.)

8. One half of your block is finished!

9.  Repeat step 2 with your remaining 7 strips, except stagger your strips from the right side of the first set of three, rather than the left.  The layout of your strips should look like a mirror image of the block in the picture in step 2.

10.  Turn your block on it's side so that the right edge of the first three strips are on a diagonal.  Place your 6.5" x 24" ruler or template on top as shown.  Align the right corner of the ruler/template with the intersection of the edge of strips 2 and 3.  Align the left corner of the ruler with the edge of strip 1.

11.  Cut along the bottom and sides of your ruler/template.

12.  Square up your block to 6.5" x 12.5" by cutting the top side of the block. (If you are using a template, you can just cut along the top side of the template.)

13.  Now both halves of your block are finished!

14.  Pin your blocks together at the center, matching up the seams as you go.

15.  Sew the blocks together, press seams open, and you have a finished block! This block finishes at 12.5" square.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial!  If you make any of these blocks, please post them to the Bijou Lovelies flickr group.  I would love to see how they turn out!


  1. This is so clever, Holly! I would love to start quilting someday soon.

  2. Love this! I've been working on something similar for a mug rug but using HSTs and this would prob be easier. Thanks!

  3. those are so pretty! You make me want to be a quilter.

  4. absolute heaven!! just a fabulous block for sheba!

    Xo, H

  5. OMG I totally love! Where do you get all that awesome fabric patterns! I'm totally drooling over here!

  6. Thanks for sharing this great tutorial. It's all your fault that no housework will be done today....At least that's what I'm telling my family.

  7. Just love this!
    Thank you so much for sharing :-)

  8. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I love these blocks.

  9. I made my first block yesterday - I cut & sewed three 2.5" strips the width of the fabric and then cut them into 4 11" strip sets - is this confusing?? Anyway - it worked great! I'll share pics soon :) And thanks for the great tutorial!

  10. Great tutorial! Can't wait to try it :)

  11. Finally going to make some these. Thanks, Holly!

  12. I love the fabric you chose and the block is gorgeous! Thanks for the great tutorial.

  13. This an amazing tutorial it has very clear instructions and cute fabric. I haven't ever tackled a quilt as I mostly make bags and such, but this herringbone quilting block would make a wonderful coordinating block on a book bag or a book cover.


  14. Where do you get your fabrics from?

  15. Thank you! I just learned so much from your herringbone tutorial

  16. Great tutorial! Thanks so much!

  17. Holly, I just linked to this great tutorial on my blog. I used this to make a herringbone quilt out of Mendocino for my daughter and would love for you to see it. You can find it at http://wafflekisses.blogspot.ca/2012/07/cs-swimming-sisters-quilt.html.

  18. This did not work for me quite right. Are jelly roll strips slightly thinner? I ended up cutting my template down 1 inch on both sides. This block looks adorable, but it is sort of a pain in the butt..... This is a very nice tutorial though. I might try making a paper pieced template to make it go a little faster.

    1. Hi Heather,

      Sorry it didn't work for you, I'm not sure why that happened? Jelly roll strips should be 2.5" wide.

      It's definitely not a super fast block to make. Paper piecing it is a great idea, I know several people have had success with that! :)

  19. Thanks so much for this tutorial! My virtual quilting bee used it to make Bee blocks one month, and I just finished the quilt! It looks great. :)


  20. Oh, I love this tut. And the fabric you used is so pretty. I have a basket of jelly rolls just waiting to be used.
    Thank you,

  21. Wow ..that is a great way to use scrap stash. Thanks will be making this one for sure.

  22. I hope that I can start mine tomorrow....love the look and ease of the tutorial. I first thought it was a stitch and flip type pattern...much easier and faster!!

  23. Hmmm... I think I just found the pattern for my first king-size quilt! :) Thanks for sharing this tutorial!

  24. Thank you for the great tutorial. I am doing the SewCanShe SewAlong using your pattern. Here is my version so far: http://sunshinesews.blogspot.com/2013/01/sewalong-progress_8.html
    Not sure if I will make a baby quilt out of the blocks or what. I do love how bright and busy it is.

  25. I am so excited to start the SewCanShe sew along using this tutorial! It's beautiful!

  26. Thanks so much for your fabulous tutorial!!! I've made this block into a Library Bag as part of the Sew Can She sew along....

  27. Thank you for the tutorial - can't wait to try it out! I LOVE how it turns out, and your colors are beautiful!


  28. Great tutorial.

    I am having problems following it and getting both the left and right sides to match up with stripes of the same thickness.... I am trying to use up some scraps, so was hoping to get away without using 11" long piece for all (as I have a great Layer Cake I am using for some of the shorter pieces)....

    Any tips to get this to turn out if I don't have all pieces 11" long?

    Thanks, Leah

  29. What is the finished size of the quilt?

  30. Holly,thanks for sharing your tutorial for making a herringbone block. Appreciate having photos to follow along. I like your fabric colors. I pinned your tutorial on Pinterest under Quilt Blocks.

  31. Ugh, finally--Ive been scouring the internet in search of a herringbone tutorial with no HSTs. Just when I was about to give up hope, here you were...thanks so much!


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