Easy Quilt Block Pattern for 2.5″ Strips

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This is a fun and easy quilt block pattern for quilters of all skill levels.

It’s quick to put together and perfectly sized for using up 2.5″ squares and 2.5″ jelly roll strips.

rainbow color quilt blocks

We all end up with that odd leftover fabric strips from jelly roll bundles or the ends of unused quilt binding cut to 2.5″ as well as mini charm squares. This block makes good use of them all.

This stepped quilt block which I just call a ‘Rectangles & Squares Block’ I’m sure has other names but at it’s heart are just some simple rectangles and squares.

Below you will find step-by-step instructions to make this easy peasy & super versatile quilt block – perfect for a beginner quilter.

Rectangles & Squares Quilt Block – Fabric Requirements

Note: These measurements will yield an 8.5″ quilt block.

  • From your Background Fabric cut (2) 4.5″ x 2.5″ Rectangles; and (2) 2.5″ x 2.5″ squares.
  • From Accent Fabric 1 cut (2) 4.5″ x 2.5″ Rectangles; and (2) 2.5″ x 2.5″ squares.
  • From Accent Fabric 2 cut (4) 2.5″ x 2.5″ squares.

How to Make the Rectangles & Squares Quilt Block

You can make this block as scrappy as you like but to keep things simple I have gone for two accent fabrics and one background fabric.

If you are making this as a scrap buster it can be helpful to make two piles, one with dark strips and one with light strips to pull from for the background and accent colors respectively.

I didn’t have a huge contrast for my Accent colors 1 & 2 but you could go with two totally different colors depending on the colors of your own strips.

Step 1: Lay out patches as shown

Cut and arrange your fabric patches as shown (the red in this photo is accent fabric 1; flower fabric is accent fabric 2; and the cream fabric is the background fabric).

quilt block for 2.5 inch strips
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Step 2: Chain Piece

Place accent fabric 2 right sides together with accent fabric 1 and use a quarter-inch seam allowance to join along the right side of accent fabric 1.

chain piecing quilt block
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Chain piece all 4 sets of patches through your machine one after the other without cutting your thread.

Keep your background fabric patches in order close to your machine so you can add them next.

chain piecing quilt block
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Clip each accent fabric unit from the back of your chain and add your background fabric right sides together to accent fabric 2 and continue sewing with your quarter-inch seam until you have 4 ‘rows’ or block units that will be joined to make your final quilt block.

chain pieced quilt block units
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love
quilt block for 2.5 inch strips
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Step 3: Join Rows to Complete the Quilt Block

Once you have 4 rows, sew right sides together in sets of 2 following the layout in the fabric requirements image above.

join rows to make quilt block
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

For each pair there will only be one seam to match where the accent 2 fabrics meet each other.

I like to press seams open but you can also nest your seams if desired.

matching seams quilt block tutorial
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Finally join the two halves of your block as shown again matching the seams of the accent fabric 2 squares.

quilt block units
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

Finished Rectangles & Squares Quilt Block

Here is the finished block. I think this block would be great for a wide quilt border or done in rows as an easy baby quilt with minimal seams to match.

You can get such a variety of patterns with this block depending on the fabric you use and how you orient your block.

rectangles and squares finished quilt block for 2.5 inch strips
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

This size block is great for using up precut fabric as 2.5″ is such a common size. However, I have also made a larger version (see below).

Foundation Paper Pieced Version

Here are some other examples of blocks using this pattern done in some rainbow colors for my Scrap Blocks Quilt Along quilt.

rainbow color quilt blocks
Photo: Scrap Fabric Love

These blocks are slightly larger (9.5″ block) and were pieced using foundation paper piecing.

To get the free foundation paper piecing pattern for this you can sign up to the quilt along here (you can get the free emails for each block even if you sign up after the quilt along is over!).

Printable Cheat Sheet

purple quilt block - scrappy

Easy Quilt Block for 2.5" Strips

Make a simple quilt block from rectangles and squares. Perfect for using up 2.5" strips and 2.5" mini charm pack squares.


  • Background Fabric - (2) 4.5" x 2.5" Rectangles; (2) 2.5" x 2.5" Squares
  • Accent Fabric 1 - (2) 4.5" x 2.5" Rectangles; (2) 2.5" x 2.5" Squares
  • Accent Fabric 2 - (4) 2.5" x 2.5" Squares


  • Sewing Machine
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Cutting Mat
  • Iron


  1. Lay out fabric patches in rows as pictured above.
  2. Chain piece accent fabric 2 to accent fabric 1 right sides together with a 1/4" seam.
  3. Chain piece background fabric to accent fabric 2 as above.
  4. Press quilt block unit 'rows' using your preferred method (seams open or alternating direction for each row)
  5. Join rows in sets of 2 matching seams where accent 2 fabrics meet.
  6. Join 2 halves of your block again matching seams where accent 2 fabrics meet.
  7. Give your block a final press and trim to 8.5"

Video Tutorial

Top Tips

  • Take a photo of your patches in the correct layout before you start sewing in case you get mixed up along the way. You can refer back to it to keep you right.
  • Be consistent with pressing your seams. Decide if you want to press your seams open or nest them and stick to whichever way you choose.
  • Make sure there is enough contrast between your fabrics so the stepped look of the block can be seen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I size this quilt block up or down?

Yes you can! This tutorial gives you the measurements for best using your 2.5″ jelly roll fabric and 2.5″squares but this block would also look great smaller strips or larger ones.

The foundation paper pieced version in the second half of the video tutorial gives the sizes for a 9.5″ block.

When altering your block size always make sure to account for that 1/4″ seam allowance in your math.

What can I do with 2.5″ Strips?

I think this block is great for ends of 2.5″ strips or even full jelly roll strips you don’t have another use for.
Other ideas for 2.5″ strips include – quilt binding; a strip quilt, rail fence quilt blocks, log cabin block, and jelly roll race quilts.

How long does it take to make this quilt block?

This is a super quick block – you can make one block from cutting to finished in less than a half an hour which makes it a super easy quilt pattern.

Cutting for multiple blocks at a time can be a great time saver and if you chain piece all your units for multiple blocks you can certainly go quicker!

Can I use a strip set to make this block?

Yes you could make strip sets for the smaller units of 2.5″ squares (there is a set of 2.5″ squares next to each other in each row of the block).

To do this you would use long strips of fabric – for example an entire jelly roll strip – in two pairs: Accent Fabric 1 & Accent Fabric 2; and Accent Fabric 2 & your Background Color.

You would then sub-cut units into 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles and join them to the other rectangles in the block.

More Quilt Blocks You Might Enjoy

I hope you have enjoyed this free pattern. Below you will find links to more fun scrap fabric quilt blocks and beginner quilt patterns with step-by-step tutorials.

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