A query that frequently crops up on UKQU Facebook posts is ‘What is this . . . block/quilt design called?’ and is usually followed by ‘Where can I find the pattern?’ or ‘How can I make it?’. Sometimes these queries are answered in the comments, sometimes not – or (occasionally) perhaps not as helpfully as the questioner would have liked or needed. There have been many blog posts on this website over the past few years that have done their best to assist with these queries but finding them can sometimes be tricky. I have kept a record of all my posts on this and related topics and I’m adding links in this post (and subsequent ones) to some of the (free) downloads in my UKQU shop which explain some of the units mentioned as well as some of the posts about those units. Carolyn Gibbs has also written extensively about various units and how to make them so search for her posts too.

We’ll start with some that have appeared fairly recently – first is this one, which was answered fairly promptly by several people giving helpful hints on the shapes in the block. This is the best way to work out how to make a block – even if you don’t know what it is called, and as a lot of blocks have a great many names it often doesn’t really matter what its name is.

If you look carefully at the blocks you can see they are made from nine units – it’s a ‘nine-patch’ block – although the colouring cleverly disguises this. It has a central square, half-square triangles in the four corners, and the remaining four units are often called Peaky and Spike.

The size you make it depends on how small you enjoy making things and whether you will rotary cut the pieces or use templates. As a nine-patch then, if you wish to rotary cut, it makes sense to choose a measurement divisible by 3 – so make it 6 inches (3 inches if you like making miniatures!), 9 inches or a giant 12 inches. If you want to make it any other size (i.e. not divisible by three) then your best bet is to use squared paper to draw it out to the size you want and make templates. As for the name of the block – it is Eight Pointed Star Variation. Related blocks are 54-40 or Fight and Garden Patch among others. The starter for all these blocks is the Eight Pointed Star.

The next block is one the questioner had seen and attempted to draft and make, but realised that her measurements had gone astray somewhere.


Again she received a number of helpful comments and acknowledged these when she posted a completed block (and then several more) that was far more accurate and more what had originally been intended.

It is also a nine-patch block with a central square, four half-square triangles in the corners, and (this time) four units made up of a rectangle and Flying Geese.

This block is called Big T and again has several variations including Friendship Quilt and Cups and Saucers. They all have a block called Churn Dash (among many other names) as a starting point.

Finally there was this one which, I discovered as I scrolled through many previous posts, had actually been made as a table topper (hence the shape) from a kit and was not a block – however it does have a block at the centre and that block has then had borders added.


The basic block is a variation of King’s Crown which itself is similar to Sawtooth Star with the Flying Geese units turned around. Variable Star with the Flying Geese units turned around is the closest block to this one.

The centre is a Square-in-a-Square  unit with a border made of four Flying Geese and four squares for the corners. This border is half the width of the centre. The second border is wider and consists of plain rectangles of floral fabric with a half-square triangle in each corner giving it its octagon shape – to make it square you would use half-square triangle units in the corners.

You can find a little more about drafting your own blocks in this post. I’ll expand on this in another post later and perhaps look again at working out how a quilt has been made.

And if you are wondering about the block in the header, it is the London Roads block which is Block 4 in the Puzzle Quilt series currently running on the website.