Quick Cornerstone Quilt Tutorial


This past month I’ve had the chance to play with the Pixie Noel collection designed by Tasha Noel for Riley Blake Designs. Is that stuff just retro-inspired cute or what? At first the plan was to make a few stockings, but the more I looked at it I decided I needed to make a quilt.



This is the third incarnation of this quilt and I’ve loved every version so far. This time I’m going to share the full tutorial/pattern for this 60″ x 60″ lap quilt. It’s got a great short-cut method for assembly so it comes together quickly.


It’s also a fun pattern for showing-off cute fussy-cutting (which this collection was made for). In the past I’ve made it with solid white sashing and this time I decided to try it with a patterned sashing and the red swiss dot on white was made for the job.


Fabric Requirements:

  • 81 print squares 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ (at least 9 different 1/8 yard cuts – you can get 9 squares from 1/8 yard)
  • 3/8 yard red cornerstone fabric
  • 2 yards sashing/border (red swiss dot)
  • 1/2 yard binding
  • 3 1/2 yards backing


From red cornerstone fabric cut 3 strips 4 1/2″ x wof (width of fabric)

  • sub cut two of the strips into 18 squares 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
  • From the last strip cut off 2 squares 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ for 20 total squares 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
  • Cut the remainder of the strip in half lengthwise into 2 strips 2 1/4″ x 33″
  • From one 2 1/4″ strip cut 2 red 2 1/4″ x 2 1/4″ squares and keep with 2 1/4″ strips

From sashing/border fabric (red swiss dot) cut:

  • 16 strips 4 1/2″ x wof
  • from 9 of those strips, cut 81 squares 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
  • set aside remaining 7 strips 4 1/2″ x wof



Make 20 nine-patch blocks using 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ squares with a novelty print in the four corners, a red post square in the center, and sashing/dot squares in the remaining four spots. Coordinating the novelty print squares in the four corners is not important because blocks will be cut into quarters.

Press seams away from the sashing/dot squares.


Carefully rotary cut the block into four equal quarters. Center red block should measure 4″ x 4″ before cutting. Use this square as your guide for cutting down the center, making sure each new small red square is 2″ x 2″ square.


After cutting 20 nine-patch blocks into quarters, you will have 80 of these blocks. To make one more block, use one of the 2 1/4″ x 2 1/4″ red squares and cut remaining 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ sashing (red swiss dot) square into 2 halves measuring 2 1/4″ x 4 1/2″ to use to make final block.

You will need 81 of these blocks measuring 6 1/4″ x 6 1/4″.


Take a 4 1/2″ x wof red-dot strip and trim to 33″ long and 9″ long. Sew remaining 2 1/4″ red cornerstone strips lengthwise to the top of these sashing (red swiss dot) strips. Press seam toward the red. Trim these strips into 18 units 2 1/4″ wide x 6 1/4″ tall.


Gather 81 blocks and lay them out into 9 rows of 9 blocks with red cornerstone post in the top right corner + one 2 1/4″ x 6 1/4″ red and white unit at the end of each row.

The tenth row will be made up of nine 2 1/4″ x 6 1/4″ red and white units running horizontally with the final 2 1/4″ x 2 1/4″ red square at the end.


Assemble rows in order pressing seams to the left on odd rows (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) and to the right on even rows. This will help corners match up when you sew the rows together. (There may be some other intersecting seams you need to fold different directions as you sew the rows together, but for the most part, the seams should butt up against each other nicely, helping the corners match up.)


Use remaining dot 4 1/2″ x wof strips as your outside border. Sew two strips together end to end. Measure length of sides and cut strips to length. Sew strips to opposite sides of assembled quilt top. Repeat steps with top and bottom of quilt. (This post has more information and visuals of adding borders.)


And there you go! A fun, quick quilt that comes together lickety-split!

If you would like a printable PDF version of this pattern you can find it in my shop for only $2.00.


This fabric is just so perfect for fussy-cutting. You can see more adorable projects made with Pixie Noel on the Riley Blake blog today.


If you are looking for Pixie Noel you can still find some of it available from Fabric.com* and various shops on Etsy.

*affiliate link

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  • Reply
    December 7, 2016 at 6:22 am

    Beautiful! I used this pattern a few years ago to make a quilt kit for my mom in blue, yellow, and gray for Christmas. She finished it last year, and it was her first quilt! It lives on her bed and just looks great. I love the shortcut you use–it made it so simple for her. Love the fussy cutting!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      December 7, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      That is so awesome! Way to help you mom!

  • Reply
    Jan Altomare
    December 7, 2016 at 6:49 am

    I love the collection, it is on my wish list to buy. The quilt is terrific. I want to make one just like it. I am a white sashing girl too, but this dot looks perfect. Off to pin this pattern.

  • Reply
    Pat S
    December 7, 2016 at 6:50 am

    Cute quilt and I really like the shortcut method. I might have to give that a whirl as I have a lot of charm packs floating around.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      December 7, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      This would be a great quilt for using up charm packs!

  • Reply
    Dede Bliven
    December 7, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Thank you so much Amy! What a great idea. Now the cornerstones won’t be wonky!

  • Reply
    Victoria Webster
    December 7, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Wouldn’t it be easier to use charm squares instead of trimming to 4.5?

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      December 7, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      This pattern was designed for cutting from yardage (4 1/2″ is the easiest measurement for cutting from yardage because it’s exactly 1/8 of a yard) but you could absolutely use 5″ squares. Just adjust the rest of the squares too.

  • Reply
    Dianne L.
    December 7, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Love the short-cut! What a great idea! Thank you for sharing …

  • Reply
    Claudia W
    December 7, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    I saw something similar to this on a youtube video, but yours is so much simpler! I am going to use your method! Thank you!!!

  • Reply
    December 8, 2016 at 6:08 am

    Thank you Amy! That is so sweet! Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    December 8, 2016 at 6:18 am

    I would love to try this! Is there a trick to placing the fussy cut squares in the nine-patch so they all end up facing the right direction in the quilt after cutting the nine patch?

    • Reply
      Janis Felsted
      December 15, 2017 at 11:10 am

      Great Question! I may try this too now. Starting in the lower right corner, and going counter-clockwise, turn each square 90 degrees counter clockwise. So the lower right directionally right side up, the upper right turns 90 degrees to the left, the upper left is turned another 90 (so upside down) and then the lower left is turned another 90. ^ I hope that makes sense.

  • Reply
    December 8, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    What a sweet, Christmasy quilt and a great tutorial. Thanks, Amy!

  • Reply
    nadine donovan
    December 9, 2016 at 7:28 am

    this quilt is so cute!

  • Reply
    The Joyful Quilter
    December 9, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Slick trick, Amy!! Thanks for the tutorial, as I’m ALWAYS on the lookout for quick and easy quilts.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Love the tutorial and thank you. I’m putting it on my list to make for 2017.

  • Reply
    15 Easy Quilts for Beginners - Little Red Window
    December 22, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    […] Quick Cornerstone Quilt from Diary of a Quilter […]

  • Reply
    Janis Felsted
    December 15, 2017 at 11:11 am

    What a genius twist on the disappearing 9- patch! I love it!!

  • Reply
    November 12, 2018 at 5:28 am

    Hi. I’m really bummed. I got on this project right away after I found it and am finished with 49 blocks. When I cut my first one the directional blocks are a mess. I need to think on how to fix this. Do I go and unpick the 9 patch or cut them all and fix them. Please Amy, amend the directions for directional fabrics. This will seriously slow me down. I wish I had foreseen this. Really bummed!!! Alia

    • Reply
      November 12, 2018 at 1:14 pm

      I’m so sorry you’re bummed. For what it’s worth, I used directional fabrics in mine (see photos) and purposely rotated them different directions so that there wasn’t a one right-way-up direction for the quilt. (I do this in almost all of my quilts.)

      I can’t think of a way to amend this method for directional fabrics – it’s just the nature of the quick process. If you want them all the same direction, you’d have to piece it using a totally different method – simply piecing the blocks, sashing and cornerstones independently.

      Again, so sorry for any frustration. If you purchased the PDF, I’m totally happy to refund your cost!

  • Reply
    November 13, 2018 at 1:40 am

    Dear Amy, thank you for your prompt reply. In my haste, I commented rather emotionally. I’m sorry to have made you feel bad. I have calmed down since and have been busy unpicking blocks. After reading your reply twice (once in email and again on your blog here), I looked at yours more closely and am of the opinion of ‘why not?’ Why not have them go all directions! It’s a really fun quilt and pattern and for that I thank you. I understand your reply fully and appreciate all your work. Have a festive holiday season! Thank you again. ?

    • Reply
      February 24, 2019 at 1:17 pm

      Hi Alia and Amy, I think that if you plan which way you place your corner pieces when you make your nine patches, you can have them line up for a directional quilt. For example, if the bunny print in the lower left is the way that all blocks would be oriented, that would mean the block above it would be rotated 90 degrees clockwise after cutting. If that corner block was placed so that the top was to the left and the bottom to the right, after cutting the nine patch and rotating, it would be in the same orientation as the bunny print.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    A beautiful and simple quilt – I have a layer cake of this line that I might just make into this quilt! Thank you!

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