Flip-Flopped Rectangles Make Fast Quilts

FlipFlopped NancyZieman 11

Flip-Flopped Rectangles Make Fast Quilts

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FlipFlopped NancyZieman 11Designing quilt blocks is as much fun as sewing them! Create this Flip Flopped Rectangles design by replacing squares with rectangles for a modern look. The skill set is the same, but the strip sizes change. First, let’s create a simple 6-1/2″ block, then learn how easy it is to Flip and Flop the design. The quilt shown is approximately 54-1/2″ x 88-1/2″.

Framed Squares

Sew a basic 6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ square block to dip your toe in the Flip Flopped Rectangle design water. This square design is great for 2-1/2″ precut rolls, often called Jelly Rolls.


  • Four 2-1/2″ crosswise strips Fabric B (pink)
  • One 2-1/2″ crosswise strip Fabric A (gray)
  • Matching right sides, sew a strip strata in alternating colors with Fabric A (gray) in the center.
  • Press.
  • Subcut the strata into 2-1/2″ pieces.
FlipFlopped NancyZieman 1
  • Cut the remaining 2-1/2″ Fabric B (pink) strips into 6-1/2″ sections.
FlipFlopped NancyZieman 2
  • Arrange the block as shown, with solid fabric strips at the top and bottom.
FlipFlopped NancyZieman 3
  • Fold solid strips towards the center, matching right sides.
  • Join strips with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  • Press seams towards the solid strips.
  • Square if necessary.
FlipFlopped NancyZieman 4

Design Basics—Start with Graph Paper

  • Outline finished size of rectangular block on graph paper using 1″ per square. (Example: 6″ x 8″ block on graph paper shown below.)
  • Draw interior rectangles.

GraphPaper 1 NancyZieman

  • Divide the rectangular block to determine strip sizes.
  • Highlight vertical lines along ends of the rectangle if the interior block is horizontal.
  • Highlight the horizontal lines along the ends of the rectangle if the interior rectangle is vertical.
GraphPaper 2 NancyZieman
  • Count the grids along the dividing line.
  • Add 1/2″ to each number to account for seam allowances.
GraphPaper 3 NancyZiemanBlock A:
  • 2-1/2″ Fabric A
  • 2-1/2″ Fabric B
  • 4-1/4″ Fabric A
Block B:
  • 2-1/2″ Fabric B
  • 2-1/2″ Fabric A
  • 2-1/2″ Fabric B

Sew Blocks Based on Your Designs

  • Find more specific drafting and sewing directions in Change-Up Patchwork.
  • To create Block B, drawn above, cut:
Two 2-1/2″ crosswise strips from Fabric B (pink)
One 2-1/2″ crosswise strip from Fabric A (gray)
Two 1-1/2″ crosswise strips from Fabric B (pink)
FlipFlopped NancyZieman 5
  • Sew the 2-1/2″ strips into a strata, alternating colors.
  • Subcut the strata into 6-1/2″ squares.

FlipFlopped NancyZieman 6


  • Add remaining 1-1/2″ Fabric B (pink) strips.
  • Place one 1-1/2″ Fabric B strip on work surface, right side up.
  • Place the 1-1/2″ Fabric B strip over the 4-1/2″ strata sections, right sides together. Stitch, with lengthwise cut edges.
  • Add subsequent sections, butting edges.
FlipFlopped NancyZieman 7
  • Cut sections apart. Square blocks if necessary.
  • Press seams toward outer strips. Rotate sections 180 degrees.
  • Lay 1-1/2″ Fabric B strip over the strata sections, right sides together.
  • Stitch, with lengthwise cut edges.
  • Add subsequent sections, butting edges.
FlipFlopped NancyZieman 8
  • Cut sections apart. Square blocks if necessary.
  • Press seams toward outer strips.

FlipFlopped NancyZieman 9

  • Using your graph paper as a guide, create Block A in a similar fashion.
FlipFlopped NancyZieman 10

Note from Nancy: The steps above are a quick visual representation of how a 4-patch is created. When making a project, I create many blocks at once using chain stitching techniques. Complete instructions are listed in Change-Up Patchwork.


The Book Features Nine Great Quilts

Find these easy Flip Flopped Rectangle quilts, and additional quilts, in the Change-Up Patchwork Book and DVD or in the Change-Up Patchwork Starter Set.

Watch the three-part series of Change-Up Patchwork on Sewing With Nancy online.

  1. Episode one features the versatility of a 4-patch block.
  2. The star of episode two is the square-within-a-square quilt block.
  3. The third episode features the basics for stitching the traditional 9-patch block.

Nancy’s Notions is giving away a copy of the Change-Up Patchwork DVD. Leave a comment below to enter the giveaway. One random winner will be chosen.

Sewing With Nancy Change Up Patchwork DVD hosted by Nancy Zieman

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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  • Clovis
    June 6, 2017

    The colors look like African print. They go real good together.

  • Karen payton
    June 6, 2017

    Looks like a fun way to change old design’s

  • Pat Walter
    June 6, 2017

    This design will work great for making mission quilts at our church! The ladies like simple, but attractive designs. Thank you so much for all of your designs. We have used several of them in our quilting.

  • Nadine Donovan
    June 6, 2017

    The pink and grey quilt looks really fun and easy to make. I would like to make a blue and cheddar one. I would love to win the book/ DVD!

  • Christine M
    June 6, 2017

    Great variation of the square in a square block!

  • Becky Gilliam
    June 6, 2017

    Thanks for the chance to win your book. I love the look of this pattern. I would love to see it in black and gray.

  • Joyce W.
    June 6, 2017

    These simple blocks make quick baby quilts and lap quilts. There’s so much you can do with these blocks just by changing the fabrics or colors.

  • Ilana
    June 6, 2017

    I love this. It seems quick and easy to make and the results are striking. Definitely lots of bang for your buck!

  • Linda D
    June 6, 2017

    I always look forward to your posts. Thank you for sharing this video for these fun quilts.

  • Pat Hoxter
    June 6, 2017

    I love how this change modernizes the quilt. Mix your favorite colors and what a stunner;

  • Gina M
    June 6, 2017

    I wonder how it would look if made from ‘scraps’ … alternating light and dark values… or if all the centers were one color and the surrounding blocks were scrappy (with value changes). -OR- what if, the centers were signed by friends or well-wishers and made into a signature quilt!

  • Therese
    June 6, 2017

    Square in a square is one of my favorite patterns. Really like the different spin!

  • lea leroux
    June 6, 2017

    Looks like a great idea for my granddaughters to sew. I am sure they could find lots of ideas in your book.

  • Marty
    June 6, 2017

    I like simple blocks to make a quick gift projects.

  • Shaela
    June 6, 2017

    Always looking for new blocks

  • Linda E in AZ
    June 6, 2017

    This book would provide great ideas for our guild’s community quilting efforts.

  • Linda Regan
    June 6, 2017

    I’m picturing this in my flamingo pink color of the year fabric. I really like this geometric pattern.

  • Kathleen B
    June 6, 2017

    What a great pattern for charity quilts. Simple, but very adaptable with different fabric colors, values, etc. I love it!

  • Teri
    June 6, 2017

    I like how simple the blocks are yet how interesting the quilt could be.

  • Sybil Derderian
    June 6, 2017

    This book looks like it offers many ideas on taking a traditional block to another level & making it more modern and fresh. Thanks for all your helpful hints, they make sewing that much more fun!

  • Karen
    June 6, 2017

    These are very creative ways of making quilt blocks.

  • Linda
    June 6, 2017

    It looks like easy blocks to make for the quilt guild small comfort give-a-way quilts.

  • Kay Statom
    June 6, 2017

    I love the simplicity of putting this quilt idea together. It would make many different block patterns with adding a panel or a different block with it, too.

    • Linda Buzz
      June 6, 2017

      Cool pattern. This could help me break away from my half and quarter square triangle habit.

  • Donna Fecteau
    June 6, 2017

    I love this idea! thanks so much for sharing.

  • PattiZ
    June 6, 2017

    I can see this in blacks and reds, great visual design for solids, or solids and prints. Added to my ever growing must make list! Thanks Nancy!

  • judy
    June 6, 2017

    O, how fun! And O the many possibilities this has. I’d love to win the DVD.

  • beth
    June 6, 2017

    I would love to make one of these quilts. The change up sounds great. Would like to win this DVD.

  • Cassy L.
    June 6, 2017

    Simple blocks to just have fun play with color and a have a “I just want to sew” day.

  • Florence Dupuis
    June 6, 2017

    Looks like a quick and easy pattern. Maybe this will be my next quilt

  • sheri
    June 6, 2017

    I love the look of modern quilts and how fun they are to design

  • Norie Mohs
    June 6, 2017

    You always come up with cool patterns. Would love to have the book.

  • Harriet Richard
    June 6, 2017

    I love two-color quilts and geometric makes it even better!

  • Beverly
    June 6, 2017

    I have gained a new granddaughter who is 12 years old and she needs a quilt from her new grandmother, so something quick with eye appeal would be just the ticket. Great ideas!

  • Susan Spiers
    June 6, 2017

    The Square Within A square is just perfect- my new favorite go-to block! Thank you, Susan

  • Starla
    June 6, 2017

    I love the suggestions for doing creative things with simple pieces.

  • Lillian K
    June 6, 2017

    I love the idea of changing up traditional blocks. You never know what might happen!!!

  • Althea Klosterman
    June 7, 2017

    I would love to have the disk to get started with this project. The two colors make an interesting pattern. Pick me, okay?

  • Nancy Runnels
    June 7, 2017

    A modern quilt is on my bucket list. I like the pattern and have a thought about, what if the blocks were done with graduation of hues?? light to dark???

  • Barbara
    June 7, 2017

    I really like this series…thanks for the giveaway.

  • Sandie G
    June 7, 2017

    Wow, love the twist on traditional blocks made modern. Looks like fun. Thanks for the chance to win.

  • Bonnie
    June 7, 2017

    I love the simplicity and modern look of this rectangular quilt. Using traditional blocks to make contemporary quilts is an interesting concept. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  • L Watson
    June 7, 2017

    I like the fresh modern look to this quilt. I like the colors chosen. I think a white and tiel colored quilt would also have a modern look in this pattern.

  • Nancy Taylor
    June 7, 2017

    I would really really like to win this book. The flip flop is the kind of quilt I would like to try for a friend of mine who is a real basic sort of person.
    Thanks for all you do.
    Nancy Taylor

  • E. Watson
    June 7, 2017

    I love the modern take on quilting!

  • Jeanette withrow
    June 7, 2017

    I like the simplicity of the pattern. It has a modern feel. It’s always fun to aspire to different views of a pattern. Thanks

  • Dorothy
    June 7, 2017

    Nancy, thank you for sharing all these great ways to make cute simple quilts!! Love them!!!!

  • Lollie Randen
    June 8, 2017

    I liked the look of this quilt and think it is a pattern I could do. I would very much like a copy of your book. Thank you for your dedication to teaching we sewers. Sewing would be much more complicated without you and your ideas and instructions.

  • Carol
    June 8, 2017

    You make sewing seem so easy and enjoyable. Thanks so much!

  • Mary Lou
    June 9, 2017

    Quilting is such a pleasure. Thank you for coming up with more inspiration for us.

  • Ann
    June 11, 2017

    I love the way you have made modern looking quilts with simple construction. My mind is spinning with ideas to use up my stash!! Thank you for the inspiration!

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