tricks and tips on how to make a signature block

Let's Make a Signature Block

Tags: free pattern, how-to, patchwork, quilt block, quilting lesson

What is a signature block? A signature block is a quilt block with a blank area where a signature can be added. Often groups will make signature blocks, join them together to make a quilt to give on a special occasion. It might be when someone is leaving or moving away.

Signature block

Signature block

There are many different blocks that can be used. I've selected an easy star block and will be making a 6" finished block.

What you will need:

  • At least two fabrics - I used three for mine
  • Freezer paper
  • Waterproof pigma pen or fabric pen
  • Your usual quilting supplies

From a background fabric you will need to cut FOUR 2" squares and FOUR 3 1/2" x 2" rectangles. If you are only using two fabrics, you will also need ONE 3 1/2" square. I cut my 3 1/2" square from a white on white fabric so the signature would show clearly.

sections cut out for signature block

sections cut out

From contrast fabric you will need to cut TWO 2 1/2" squares and EIGHT 2" squares.

We are going to be sewing through the diagonal of the contrast squares so start by drawing a diagonal line through the center of all contrast squares on the wrong side.

draw diagonal lines

draw diagonal lines

Let's start with the signature part - the center square unit. Position ONE of the 2 1/2" squares in the corner of the 3 1/2" square, raw edges even and right sides together. The diagonal line should be across the corner. Sew along the line - actually a hair outside the line to account for the fold.

position contrast square in corner

position contrast square in corner

Press the inner corner out to meet the opposite corner, forming a triangle.

press over to form triangle

press over to form triangle

Repeat for the opposite corner.

position contrast square in corner

position contrast square in corner

This completes the signature unit.

signature unit

signature unit

Now make the  star points. You will do the same thing using the background rectangles and smaller contrast squares with squares positioned at one end of the rectangle. Start stitching from the center of the long edge on the rectangle. Repeat FOUR times.

first square ready on star point unit

first square ready on star point unit

Press these first squares to form triangles just as you did for the center unit.

pressed over to form triangle

pressed over to form triangle

Repeat for the other end of the rectangle.

repeat for the other end

repeat for the other end

Tip: if making a lot of these, you can chain stitch them to speed up the process.

chain stitching

chain stitching

star points unit

star points unit

When both ends are sewn and pressed into place, turn the unit over and check the back. If you see excess square (contrast fabric) beyond the rectangle trim it off. This will ensure your block remains square.

trim off excess to keep unit square

trim off excess to keep unit square

You may want to trim away those under triangles as well to reduce bulk.

Trim triangle corners

this can be done on the signature unit too

Now layout all the pieces.

lay out all units to form block

lay out all units to form block

Start by joining them in rows. Press the seams in the center row in opposite directions to the other two rows so the seams butt together.

Next join those rows to complete your block. Well almost, we still need to add a signature.

signature block

signature block

Cut a piece of freezer paper to cover the blank in the center of the block and press it to the wrong side of your block.

back with freezer paper

back with freezer paper

Now use your pigma pen to write your signature, date or whatever you wish in the space. The freezer paper helps prevent the fabric from moving as you write.

sign your signature block

sign your block

Anyway want to participate in a signature block swap? That might be a fun idea!

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