Learn How to Make a Traditional Jacob's Ladder Quilt Block

  • 01 of 05

    How to Make Jacob's Ladder Quilt Blocks

    Jacob's Ladder Quilt Block Pattern
    Jacob's Ladder Quilt Blocks. Janet Wickell

    This Jacob's Ladder quilt block pattern creates a quilt with this popular traditional design. You can use just two colors like the traditional design or create a scrap quilt by using as many fabrics as you desire. This is a great pattern if you're looking to get rid of a lot of your scrap fabric.

    Jacob's Ladder quilt blocks create a linking design when they're sewn side by side. Twist and turn the blocks to make the diagonal links flow in different directions.

    It's easy to...MORE assemble the quilt blocks from a combination of quickly pieced four-patch and half square triangle units.

    The instructions are for the two-color block but you can use any combination of colors or patterns that you please. This is a simple pattern that allows you to be very creative in other ways.

    Jacob's Ladder finishes at 12" x 12".


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  • 02 of 05

    Cutting for One Jacob's Ladder Quilt Block

     For four-patch units

    • One dark fabric strip, 2-1/2" x 26"
    • One light fabric strip, 2-1/2" x 26"

    For half-square triangle units

    • Two dark squares, 4-7/8" x 4-7/8" each
    • Two light squares, 4-7/8" x 4-7/8" each

    Beginners, learn how to cut fabric strips.

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  • 03 of 05

    Make the Four Patch Units

    jacob's ladder quilt block pattern
    Make patchwork and sew the Jacob's Ladder quilt block. Janet Wickell

    Sew the 2-1/2" x 26" light and dark strip together lengthwise. Press to set the seam.

    Press seam allowance towards the darker strip. The strip set you just made should measure 4-1/2" x 26" along its entire length.

    Square up one end of the strip set with your rotary cutting equipment. Starting at the squared-up edge, cut ten 2-1/2" wide segments from the strip.

    Square-up the leading edge again if necessary to cut accurate segments. You have one extra inch to play with as you cut...MORE segments so trim off only what's necessary.

    Sew two segments together as shown in the drawing to make a four-patch unit. Lights and darks should be positioned diagonally from each other.

    Press the seam allowance either direction or fan out the seams to reduce bulk. The four-patch unit should measure 4-1/2" square.

    Make four more four-patch units from the strip pieced segments. Set aside.


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  • 04 of 05

    Make the Half-Square Triangle Units

     Pair a light 4-7/8" square with a dark square of the same size. Use the easy half square triangles method to sew the squares together before cutting the pair apart diagonally.

    When complete, each of your the two half-square triangle units should measure 4-1/2" x 4-1/2".

    Repeat to make two more half square triangle units from the remaining 4-7/8" squares.

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  • 05 of 05

    Sew the Quilt Block's Rows Together

     Arrange the units into three rows as shown above. Pay close attention to the position of lights and darks in all units.

    Sew the components of each row together. Press seams towards the four patch units.

    Sew the rows together, butting seams carefully so that units match at intersections. Use straight pins to secure fabrics.

    Compare your quilt block to the drawing on page one to make sure it is sewn correctly.

    Your block should measure 12-1/2" x 12-1/2".