Card Trick Quilt Block Tutorial

In this tutorial, Paulette shows her favorite way to make the “Card Trick” quilt block, using squares and rectangles. She’s using some batik fabrics from our stash. We’re not positive where we got them, but there’s a very good chance they are batiks from Connecting Threads.

Here’s all of the measurements:

For one block (8-1/2 inches/ 8 inches finished):

For each of the four “card” colors:

Cut 2: 2 inch square 

Cut 1: 2 x 3-1/2 inch

For the background color:

Cut 4: 2 inch square

Cut 2: 5 inch square

Video transcript:

Hi everyone I’m Paulette Morrissey from Tulip Square, and today I’m going to show you a very popular block. It’s called card trick and it looks like this. Very cute little block, goes together quickly. It looks really cute as a quilt, makes really cute baby quilts, makes a nice runner, all kinds of good things you can make with it, and there are different ways of making this block, and some people make it using a lot of half square triangles and a lot of diagonal cutting. I don’t care for that process I like using just squares and rectangles. So that is the process I’m going to show you here, and it’s real quick and easy and it’s actually kind of a fun pattern to make so we will head over to the sewing machine and get started.

Okay to make a single card trick block, you’re going to need four colors, nice and contrasting with each other and a plain background. So I’m using some batiks for this example and I’ve got a purple, a blue, a red, and a green, and I’ve got a real light color for the background. So what you’re going to need is two squares of each color, plus one rectangle of each color. I’m using, you can do this in all different sizes if you want, but I’m using, for this example I’m using 2 inch squares so I’ve got two of each color 2 inch squares, and one 2 x 3-1/2 inch rectangle of each color. For the background I’ve got four 2 inch squares, plus two 5 inch squares. And this is a real easy way to make the card trick blocks, not involving a lot of half square triangles and a lot of diagonal stuff. This is more just a more simple method there’s a lot of methods out there I think. But what you do to start with, is you take one of each of your little squares, the colored squares, and you decide which, what orientation you want them. Do you want them like this, or would you rather have them like this? You pick how you want them and that’s how you’re going to sew the first four together. So I’m going to sew these four together. I’m just going to put this one here, this one here, and I’m going to sew a quarter inch seam here, and here. Plain old quarter inch seams, make sure you get your squares lined up nicely with each other.

Now I’m just going to sew these two pieces together, I’m going to press them open and sew them into a square. When you press them, press them so that they are opposite, like so, the seams go opposite so that when you sew them together they nest nicely right along that seam and you don’t have extra bulk. So I’m just going to sew these together in a little square.

Okay now we’ve got this piece done. Now what we’re going to do is, you’re going to take your rectangles and you’re going to pick two of them opposite like these two, or these two. I’m going to take the red one which is going to go here, and the purple one which is going to go here. So this one matches up with the top on this side, this one matches up at the bottom on this side. It’s opposite okay so I’m going to sew this piece right here, quarter inch seam, and then I’m going to sew this purple piece right here, quarter inch seam.

I’m going to press both of those away from the center. So now you’re going to take your remaining two rectangles, going to set this piece aside for a moment, you’re going to take your remaining two rectangles and you’re going to sew your background squares to each end, so they’re going to look like this. Okay so I’m going to sew this one here, and this one here, this one here, and this one here, so I’m just going to sew all those.

Press those towards the colors, not towards the corners but towards the colors. Now you’re going to take the one with the blue, and you’re going to sew it right to here because you’ve got an “L” of red, you’ve got an “L” of purple, you’re going to have an “L” of blue, and an “L” shape of green. So we’re going to sew this one to here. When you’re sewing these make sure you line up your little corner things so the seams nest together nicely.

I’m going to swing around and I’m going to sew the green one on the same way, nesting it up nicely in the corners. Quarter inch seam down this edge.

And there you have a really simple card trick block, but what makes the card trick block, the traditional card trick block, look the best is when it is on point like so. So we’re going to make it on point. I’ll show you what we do next. We set this aside. You’re going to take your two pieces of the 5-in, and the 5-in size is because this square, right now once you put it together and this was using 2 inch squares and three and a half inch rectangles. When I put this together right now before it’s sewn into anything it’s a six and a half inch block right now edge to edge so when I cut these they’re an inch and a half smaller than that so these are 5 in squares. So that’s what you always have to do regardless of how big you’re going to make this. If you’re going to make these bigger and these bigger your background square is an inch and a half smaller than this block is at this point. Not once it’s sewn together into here but at this point where it’s still got its edges, it would be an inch and a half smaller than this. So we’re going to set that aside for a minute. We’re going to take these four and we’re going to sew them to opposite corners. Doesn’t matter what color because they’re going to be cut, cut apart. So you’re going to put it here, and I’m going to stitch it along here…

The last two colors and I’m going to sew them to opposite corners, like this.

So now I have two pieces like this, with corners of colors in the opposite corners. So I’m going to cut off to leave just a nice seam allowance. We don’t need the extra bulk of leaving that whole triangle in the corner unless you want that extra bulk you can leave it I guess. Snip these off and I’m going to go press these towards the corners.

Now we have two pieces like this. Now I’m going to go and cut these diagonally from background end to background end corner don’t don’t cut them this way, but cut them this way. Right I’m going to go cut those and I’ll be right back.

Now I just have four triangles, each with a colorful corner. Then what you do next is, you take your block, no move these scissors out of the way, and you’re going to sew these triangles to two opposite sides. I’ll back up a little bit so you can see this whole thing. Okay we’re going to sew them to opposite sides. And here’s where you have to decide where you want the triangle color to be. Now I could sew them so they’re closest to that color or just random if you want. I’m going to sew them so they’re opposite. I like if the red card is over here, I want the red point over there, and same thing, I’m going to put the purple one opposite here like so, so you’re going to put this, now this is the part that gets a little bit tricky. Now there’s a couple ways of doing this. Some people say you can pin the center of your triangle, and pin the center of this edge, and then line up the two pins. That works, or you can fold this and make a little crease at the center, and fold this and make a little crease at the center, and that also works. What you’re trying to do is make sure you get these lined up. I found it’s easiest, if you did accurate quarter inch seams, if you end up, can I get this closer so you can see this.

If you point the point of this little triangle at your center seam here, if it’s there, these edges will be okay. Your top and bottom edges will be okay. So point this there and have this edge even along here, and you’re going to have both ends of this is going to extend beyond the back square, but they’re extended evenly, and you’ve got your little point here pointing right at that center seam, and I’m going to sew a quarter inch seam right along here.

I’m going to swing it around and I’m going to do the same thing with whichever one I want over here. Like I said I like to do opposite of the colors, but you don’t have to do that, that’s an option. And I’m going to make sure that this triangle right here is pointing to that center seam and that this edge is all even.

Pointing right there to the center seam, and then I’m going to sew this quarter inch seam here.

I’m going to take this and I’m going to press both of those edges open now we have a piece like this.

And I’m going to take the one with the blue triangle, and it’s going to get some here, and the one with the green triangle is going to get some here, only because I like them opposite. If you preferred, you could have put them all right in line with their same color. But if you’re making a quilt or something with a number of these squares and you want the whole quilt to look uniform, make sure you do all your squares the same way, whether you put them how I’ve got them opposite each other, or whether you put them across and right close to each other like this, just be consistent with all your squares. So I’m going to sew this green square here, and I’m going to do the same thing I did before. I’m going to make sure that this edge is even here, and this is pointing right to that center seam.

I’m going to swing this around and do the same thing with this last one, going to move that corner out of the way, so I can line up this edge, and I can make sure this is pointing right at that, that seam. That little point meets that seam.

I’m going to go press these all open.

And then you have a square that looks like that. And there is your card trick block. This finished block will be 8 inches. It’s 8 and 1/2 inches now because it’s got it seam allowances left on the sides, but when it’s put in a quilt or something this is going to be an 8 inch block. And then when you sew them together, if you keep them all oriented the same way, like if I keep the red in this upper left corner, and I put another one with the red in the upper left corner, let’s back this up a little bit. You can see, that when you sew these together, this one’s going to go there, this one’s going to go here. You can see that you form …oops just knocked the camera a bit with my hand… you can see that it forms a cute little diamond right in the middle of the four colors. And so that’s all there is to it and if you just keep adding blocks to this and make a whole quilt it’s a really cute quilt.

So now you all know how to make the card trick block. It was pretty easy wasn’t it? It’s kind of a pretty little block. This was in batiks, I kind of liked how it looked in batiks. It also looks cute in all kinds of pretty colors, it’s also really cute blanket, a block to make for a baby quilt and use all the little baby colors or bright bold primary colors, just make sure your four colors contrast nicely with each other so they don’t blend in with each other when you have the cards, because it’s supposed to look like some kind of a card trick that they all overlap each other magically which they really couldn’t do like that unless you cut one of them but that’s beside the point. If you like this video please hit the like button, hit the Subscribe button, and hit the little bell if you want to be notified when we put up new videos. And we’re putting up a new video every, every week, it’s on Saturday, and we’re going to cover all kinds of different things. I’ll do tutorials on some of our our regular patterns, I’ll do simple things like this with blocks, I’m going to be doing that little pin cushion doll that I showed you before. Just little different things. We’ll come up with something new every week. So I hope you join us, have a good day, have a happy sewing, we’ll see you next time bye-bye.