Quilt Squares

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Project by Dave Owen posted 12-26-2011 07:13 PM 2805 views 22 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I first heard of wooden ‘quilt squares’ a couple of years ago, when a friend told me about them. Since then, I had given little thought to making one until recently. This Christmas I decided to give one to each of my two children and seven grandchildren. Those nine are shown on the first photo, followed by five individual photos. I have seven more squares in various stages of completion. Each pattern is different, but all sixteen use the same shapes and sizes except for one.

These squares are 10” x 10” overall, and the ¼” thick individual pieces (plus the 3/8” inside border) are glued to a ¼” MDF back. I applied 3 to 5 coats of clear, gloss lacquer due to a shortage of time.

The individual pieces were mostly cut from scraps I had, although I did buy a couple of small boards. The woods used are all natural color, and include two different oaks, two of the ‘true’ mahoganies, Philippine mahogany, yellowheart, maple, walnut, bloodwood, cherry, one of the rosewoods, and black palm. I even used a few pieces of an unknown wood from a shipping pallet.

Gluing the pieces to the back board is a little tricky, since the angled pieces tend to slip out of alignment easily. To avoid that problem, I designed a gluing jig that turned out to work quite well.

My favorite square is the one shown in the first individual photo. I call it ‘Tumbling Blocks’ since the 3-D look can suddenly change as you look at it.

-- Dave O.

14 comments so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3676 days

#1 posted 12-26-2011 07:30 PM

Very nice. A neat idea and very well done.

Did you have a source for the patterns or are they your own creation?

Also – I see a slight round over at the top of each piece. Is that done with a very small round over bit on the router or did you just sand the edge off or something else? They look quite uniform.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Dave Owen's profile

Dave Owen

254 posts in 3675 days

#2 posted 12-26-2011 07:43 PM

Thanks for the comment, Rich. I had a commercial plan sheet that had about 9 or 10 patterns. I created about the same number of additional patterns using a CADD program. I should have mentioned in the writeup that each piece (except border pieces) have a 1/8” roundover that I cut on my trim router table.

-- Dave O.

View Pat Cavanaugh's profile

Pat Cavanaugh

165 posts in 3972 days

#3 posted 12-26-2011 08:08 PM

Dave, those are beautiful. I noticed the roundover but thought it was a chamfer. I also like how you continued the quilt theme to the outer frames by using butt joints. They add a nice contrast tp the mitered inner frame.

-- Pat - Biloxi, MS

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3706 days

#4 posted 12-26-2011 08:11 PM

I was just reading an old post here about how to make a jig to cut triangles and diamonds to do these for a cutting board. My mom would love one of these. She is 91 and still quilting.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3627 days

#5 posted 12-26-2011 08:49 PM

Great patterning!

-- Dreaming patterns

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3642 days

#6 posted 12-26-2011 11:31 PM

Very Cool Idea !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Betsy's profile


3393 posts in 4497 days

#7 posted 12-27-2011 01:37 AM

Very nicely done.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View degoose's profile


7265 posts in 3956 days

#8 posted 12-27-2011 05:11 AM

I certainly like these…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Paul Stoops's profile

Paul Stoops

355 posts in 3162 days

#9 posted 12-27-2011 07:58 AM

Very nicely done! What a lovely choice and arrangement of various woods. Any quilter would love these!

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

View Wes Giesbrecht's profile

Wes Giesbrecht

155 posts in 3412 days

#10 posted 12-27-2011 01:10 PM

You might want to take a look at my site wesgiesbrechtcom
I rounded over the corners on the first few that I did too.
There are aout 1000 of my wall hangings out there. Some people call them wooden quilts.

-- Wes Giesbrecht

View peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3424 days

#11 posted 12-28-2011 12:28 AM

My wife is a quilter Dave so I can appreciate the work go into these pieces, well done : ))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Dave Owen's profile

Dave Owen

254 posts in 3675 days

#12 posted 12-28-2011 03:52 AM

I’m glad so many of you enjoyed looking at these, and the comments are much appreciated. They are enough different from my previous projects to require a little learning curve, but after that, they go together rather quickly. If anyone has any questions about making them, drop me a message.

-- Dave O.

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 3768 days

#13 posted 12-29-2011 07:03 PM

They look great

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3468 days

#14 posted 12-29-2011 07:21 PM

These are really beautiful. When I think about it I’m trying to imagine what a small room would look like with these covering the walls. It might be overpowering I suppose. Anyways they are wonderful.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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