If you are a beginning quilter looking for free and easy quilt patterns, check out this list of my favorite beginner quilting patterns!
In this list, you’ll find a ton of ideas for easy quilts made from simple shapes or pre-cut fabric, like layer cakes and jelly rolls, too!
Easy Quilt Patterns for Beginners
Anyone can learn to quilt, you just need to know where to start. And in my opinion, the best way to learn how to quilt is to start with an easy pattern designed for beginners.
In the list below, you’ll find 50 free and easy quilt patterns that I’ve specifically chosen to help you learn how to make a quilt. The patterns have plenty of detailed instructions and photos to guide you through each step, from start to finish.
How to Make a Quilt
If you are new to the world of quilting, all of the different cutting and sewing steps can seem overwhelming. So before we get to the patterns, why don’t we briefly talk about how to make a quilt?
Quilts are made from a patchwork top layer, a middle layer of warm batting, and a bottom layer of backing fabric. The quilt patterns you see in the list below will show you how to cut and sew beautiful quilt tops.
Here are the 7 steps to make a quilt:
Pick a quilt pattern. You can choose one of the free and easy quilt patterns I’ve collected in the list below.
Choose the fabric. You’ll want to shop for high-quality quilting cotton that will wear well over time.
Cut the fabric. Following the pattern instructions, cut out the fabric pieces with a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler.
Piece the quilt top. Sew the fabric pieces together according to the directions in the pattern. Make sure to sew an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance!
Assemble the “quilt sandwich”. Once you’ve finished the top, add a layer of batting and the quilt back.
Quilt the layers together. Using a walking foot or free motion foot, quilt through all layers of the quilt sandwich.
Trim and bind the quilt. After quilting, trim the layers so they are even and square. Sew on binding to encase the edges.
What Makes a Quilt Pattern Beginner-Friendly?
The best quilt patterns for a beginner should use simple shapes, be easy to assemble, and come with detailed instructions.
Simple shapes: The easiest quilt patterns are made from simple shapes like squares and rectangles. Squares and rectangles are easy to cut and sew, since you don’t need to worry about curves or bias edges.
Precut fabric: Some quilt patterns are designed to use bundles of precut fabric, called charm squares, jelly rolls, and layer cakes. Using precut fabric will save you a lot of time that you would have spent preparing and cutting fabric.
Larger patchwork pieces: Quilt patterns made with larger fabric pieces will be faster to sew than those made with a lot of small pieces. Larger pieces mean fewer seams to sew, and fewer points to match, too.
Detailed pattern: Look for a pattern that includes step-by-step instructions with plenty of photos to guide you through the process. Some will even include a video tutorial.
What’s the Easiest Quilt Pattern for a Beginner?
One of the easiest quilts for a beginner to make is a simple patchwork quilt. A square patchwork quilt is made from fabric squares that are sewn together in a simple grid pattern. You can cut squares from your own fabrics, or start with a precut fabric bundle called a “charm pack” or “layer cake”.
Another easy quilt for beginners is called a strip quilt. A strip quilt is made by sewing long strips of fabric together to create a striped effect. You can cut strips from your own fabric, or start with a precut fabric bundle called a “jelly roll”.
Essential Supplies for the Beginning Quilter
After you pick out your pattern, you’ll need to gather your materials. You don’t need a lot of fancy tools, but you do some basic quilting supplies. Here’s what I recommend:
The four-patch block is one of my favorite easy quilt blocks! This pattern shows you a speedy way to make four patches -- and by using this method you can crank out a whole stack of blocks in no time! It makes this quilt SO fast to finish!
The pattern comes together quickly and makes a lap-sized quilt. I am always amazed at how quickly quilts come together when you use precut fabric like a jelly roll. With this pattern, you can make a quilt top in an afternoon!
I love this quilt because it is a beautiful modern design that is also fast to sew up. Depending on the size of your squares, you can make it as a baby quilt, all the way up to an 80″ by 80″ large quilt.
Plus, it's easy to make with pre-cut squares from a layer cake.
Try this fast quilt project that comes together easily. It's made with pre-cut fabrics that make it easy to put together a quilt quickly. This super simple quilt is perfect for beginners or a great choice when you’re in need of a quick project.
This pattern promises a complete quilt in 1 hour! It makes a complicated-looking quilt with a very simple trick. It uses a very unique piecing method involving unpicking seams (on purpose!). It's a great way to use scraps, and it's so fun to see how the different patterns emerge as you go.
Try this modern baby quilt made with the traditional “broken dishes” pattern. This quilt can be made in any color palette imaginable using any quilt-weight fabric. It looks especially lovely with tonal solids.
Sometimes the simplest designs can be the most striking. In this diagonal stripe quilt, long strips of fabric are cut, pieced, and sewn in random order. They come together by chance in striking diagonal lines. The result is a stunning mix of precise lines, subtle color shifts, and random pops of neon!
This triangle quilt is very quick to sew and a great project for a beginning quilter. This post isn't a full pattern, exactly, but rather an explanation of the method needed to create a quilt of your own. It's perfect for people who love to improvise!
A quilt with no piecing, you say? It’s simple to make (because the quilt top and backing are both just solid pieces of fabric), but still has lots of interest and texture that comes from the geometric quilting design.
If you hate to measure and prefer to improvise, you'll love this "lazy quilt". This tutorial walks you through the process of creating a unique quilt where no measuring is required, and the pieces can be as big or as small as you want.
Like a lot of the traditional quilting blocks, the Plus Quilt works with the classic nine-patch pattern, alternating dark and light colors to make a plus sign. The pattern itself is really versatile, with the opportunity to use just a few alternating fabric patterns or a ton of scraps.
This fun pattern for an arrow-inspired baby quilt is so simple, and easy. It comes together quickly, and can easily be made bigger by adding more blocks. You could also make the blocks bigger if you wanted to make a larger quilt.
This quilt's diagonal lines and tiny pieced diamonds may give the impression of expert quilt-making, but the reality is much simpler than that. All you really need is the easiest of building blocks: a basic square… and lots of them!
Check out this dramatic chevron-inspired quilt pattern. It comes with a full tutorial to walk you through every step in the process. And, it includes directions to make different sizes of quilts -- from crib size to king size.
If you are new to quilting, you'll love this easy "cheater" technique for piecing hexagons. You may have heard that hexagons are pretty tricky to piece and the technique is usually not recommended for beginning quilters. But this smart technique is perfect for someone who is new to quilting.
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More Quilting Projects
For more quilting patterns and ideas, check out my other posts:
Sarah Stearns has helped millions of makers find their next craft project with free patterns and step-by-step tutorials on her blog, sarahmaker.com. Read more.
With over a decade of experience in knitting and crochet, she has been featured in prominent publications like The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, and Lifehacker.
I was just given a throw quilt with 7 pieces; a pattern pieces against a solid side. The pattern pieces, look like stairs some a larger pieces (3), 2 medium size pieces and then 2 small square. What is this pattern called?
Thursday 20th of April 2023
Hi Georgia, it's hard to say without a picture. Does it look like a variation on courthouse steps, maybe? I bet if you post a picture in a quilting FB group you'd get some helpful ideas.
Sunday 15th of January 2023
Great job Sarah! Very beautiful quilts. Hope you continue to share your special creativity with us.
Thanks, Sara I.
Thursday 8th of December 2022
Thanks for sharing beautiful patterns I will use it in my upcoming quilting project
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Sunday 23rd of October 2022
[…] a quick-set top drop-in bobbin with a clear case cover, a detachable wide table for working on large quilting projects, a free arm for stitching around pant hems, cuffs, collars, etc., and a storage tray for keeping […]
Sunday 19th of September 2021
I have never quilted before and want to make a quilt for a queen size bed. I want to make it out of shirts and jeans that belonged to my fiancée, which passed away in June. I will have to hand sew it. Can you please help me with a very simple pattern? He was the kind of man that loved simpler things and this will give me another way to keep him with me.
Tuesday 21st of September 2021
Hello Suzanne! One of the simplest quilt patterns would be a simple square patchwork design. A queen-size quilt can be up to 90" by 100", so you could do a 9x10 grid of 10" squares.