### Let's Talk About Grids

- It's easy to change a patchwork quilt block's finished size by altering the size of each grid in the block.
- Finished sizes of block grids needn't be in whole numbers. Use fractions if you like, as long as they are dimensions you can cut with a rotary cutter (if not, plan to construct your block with templates).
- When considering block size
**determine finished sizes first**.

The most simple quilt block to scale up or down is a block made up of only squares of fabric, left illustration, and for a nine-patch block, any finished block size will work as long as it's divisible by three (the grid of three blocks across and down). For instance, **finished sizes** that are possible include:

- a 15" block, with nine squares that finish at 5" x 5" each
- a 12" block, with nine squares that finish at 4" x 4" each
- a 9" block, with nine squares that finish at 3" x 3" each
- a 7-1/2" block, with nine squares that finish at 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" each
- a 6" block, with nine squares that finish at 2" x 2" each

Notice that squares do not have to finish in even numbers -- any number that is rotary cuttable will work just fine.

### Changing the Size of Fussier Quilt Blocks

There may be times you choose to make quilt blocks only from squares, but most of your blocks will be a bit more intricate, and sizing them up or down will require a few extra considerations.Let's look at the nine-patch block on the right. It's made up of nine grids, but only two of those grids are simple squares. Four are half-square triangle units and three are smaller nine-patch units.

**Always consider the grids containing the smallest patches when you choose a finished block size.**

*Could the design be made into a 15" block that's rotary cuttable?*

- The grids with small nine-patches would finish at 5" square in that scenario. Dividing 5" (the grid size) by 3 (the number of squares across and down in the small units) equals 1.66", a dimension that can't be cut accurately with a rotary ruler.

But let's say you need a quilt block that finishes at *about* 15".

- Use 1-3/4" (finished) squares in those units instead of the 1.66" required for a 15" block. The result (1-3/4" x 3) would produce a 5-1/4" (finished) grid.
- Multiply 5-1/4" by three (to account for all grids in the block, which must be equal) and you'll have quilt blocks that finish at 15-3/4", a perfectly acceptable size unless the blocks must match 15" neighbors.

**How would you cut patchwork for a 15-3/4" finished quilt block?**

- Four half-square triangles: cut (2) 6-1/8" x 6-1/8" dark squares and the same number and size of light squares - cut in half once diagonally; or leave the squares as-is and use the easy sandwich method to create the units.
- Two large squares: cut (2) 5-3/4" x 5-3/4" squares.
- Three small nine-patch units: cut (15) 2-1/4" x 2-1/4" dark squares and (12) 2-1/4" x 2-1/4" light squares (assuming you will not strip-piece the small nine patch units).

Read the pattern for the quilt block, called California Crossroads, to learn how a 13-1/2" (finished) block is cut and assembled.