How to Make a China Doll Block - Technique Tuesday

This month for the "How-to Block of the Month," we are learning about the China Doll Block.

China Doll Block

This block has a lot of pieces, but when you break it down, it is pretty easy. 

This is a 12 inch finished block size with the border, 10 inches without. 


Color A is for the center square and the half square triangles. Color C is the other dark spaces. Color B is for light grey squares. In the color picture, Color A is navy, Color B is the lightest blue, and Color C is the medium blue. 

White            6 of  3 inch squares

                     4 of  1 1/2 inch squares

                     4 of  1 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch rectangles                           

                     2 of  1 1/2 x 10 1/2 strips

                     2 of  1 1/2 x 12 1/2 strips

Color A         6 of  3 inch squares

                     1 of 2 1/2 inch square

Color B         4 of 2 1/2 inch squares

                     8 of 1 1/2 inch squares

Color C         4 of 1 1/2 inch squares

                     4 of  1 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch rectangles


Pieces cut out


Using the 3 inch squares, make 12 half square triangles.  To do this, place a white and   color A square right sides together. Draw a line diagonally across the white square. Stitch 1/4” away fro the line on both sides. Cut on the line, creating two half square triangles. Press to the dark side. Trim to 2 1/2 inches square.

Half Square Triangle

Using the 1 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch rectangles, sew one of each together on the long sides. Press to the dark side. This will make a 2 1/2 square.

Two Piece Square

Using the 1 1/2 inch squares, create a four patch as shown. Press to the dark sides.

4 patch square

You should now have 15 blocks that are 2 1/2 inches square. Lay them all out in the order shown on the picture. Sew them together in rows then sew the rows together. Press the rows in opposite directions and nest the seams.

Add 10 1/2 inch strips onto two opposite sides then add the 12 1/2 inch strips to the other sides.  Press toward the borders.

China Doll Quilt Block

There you have it!

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below! 

Check back each month for a new How-To of quilt blocks! To see the other blocks, just search my blog for Quilt Guild Block of the Month.

(As I have mentioned before, these block designs come from the book 5500 Quilt Block Designs by Maggie Malone. (c) 2003.

China Doll is an original design from Judy Martin’s Ultimate Book of Quilt Block Patterns, (c) copyright Judy Martin, 1988. It is used with permission.)

Have fun quilting!


  • Hi Kinsey!
    Thanks for asking! I don’t have a name for that fabric, but I do know that I bought it at Joanns. I hope that helps!

  • Hello! This is such a an old post but hopefully you can help me with the name of the largest blue square fabric? I think you’ve labeled it Color A. I’ve been looking for it for AGES to finish a quilt but I can’t track it down! Hope you can help!


  • Thanks for another block tutorial. I don’t know how it got the name China Doll, but I like the block.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published