How to Make the Ombre Block

This year, for the quilt guild I am apart of, I am providing instructions for how to make a different quilt block each month. For the month of September, we learned about the Ombre Block. 

Ombre Quilt Block

The word Ombre is used to describe something that fades in color from dark to light. I love how this block gets lighter towards the center of the block. 

For a 12 inch finished block (12.5 inch unfinished), you will need to cut the following:

Center Square         2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches

4 Light Rectangles  2 1/2 x 3 inches

4 Dark Rectangles   2 1/2 x 3 inches

4 Long Strips - Each one a different value, light to dark - 2 1/4 x 31 inches


The corner blocks are made by using a scant 1/4 inch seam and sewing the four long strips together in descending color value. I.e. dark on one side to light on the other side. Press to the dark side.

Fabric Strips sewn together

Using a square template or 45 degree angles, cut the squares out on point. I did this by lining up the center seam of the strips with the 45 degrees line on the template. Make sure to line up the edge of the fabric with the corner of the template. ( I am using a 6 1/2 inch template to make the 5 1/2 inch squares.)

Ling up the seam with the template

Trim the two sides that are lined up. This is the top and right side in the picture.

Trim two edges

Line up the template to the 5 1/2 inch square size.

Lining up the other two sides.

Trim the bottom and left sides to make the 5 1/2 inch square. If the top left and bottom right corners are just barely too short, it should be ok. Repeat to make four squares.

Trim to the final size

Make the center strips by sewing a short side of a light rectangle to the short side of a dark rectangle. Repeat with all rectangles.

Making the center strips

Following the block layout, create strips for the block. Start by sewing two sets of rectangles to the center square, light rectangles lining up with the center square. Press towards the dark sides.

Center Strip

Then sew two corner blocks to a set of rectangles. Then again, two more corner blocks to the remaining set of rectangles. Press towards the center. 

You should have three strips that look like this. 

Almost done


Finally, sew the strips together to create the block. 

Ombre Block finished

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.

If you would like a PDF version of these instructions, please check out Group #2 of the How-To Block of the Month Downloads.

(Although this block is a classic and can go by many names, as I have mentioned before, these block designs come from the book 5500 Quilt Block Designs by Maggie Malone. (c) 2003 but these instructions are written by me.) 

Have fun quilting!

1 comment

  • Thanks so much for sharing this great quilt block with us. I can think of many places to place it.


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