7 Great Tumbling Blocks Quilt Patterns (free and paid)

Tumbling blocks quilt pattern creates a 3D effect by using contrasting colors and a geometric pattern. If you’re looking for resources to learn to make this for your next new quilt project – see below for both free quilting tutorials and paid patterns.

What is a Tumbling Block?

Tumbling blocks are a unique quilt pattern that creates a 3D effect.  They typically use three coordinating colors of fabric (light fabric, medium fabric and dark fabric) and the pattern is repeated to create the three-dimensional effects look.   Having color combinations with good contrast is what creates the look of this quilt.  I personally have not yet made one of these yet, but it is on my list of traditional or classic patterns that I would like to complete.  There are unique challenges that come with these quilt blocks including y seams for some of the patterns.  I went on the search for patterns and tutorials for creating this quilt and have summarized what I found below.  Some are for just a quilt block and others are full quilt top patterns, but all of them come as a digital file.

Materials Needed for Most Tumbling Blocks

As you’re searching for tumbling block patterns, you should know that some of them require special rulers or templates, which I try to call out as much as I can when describing each.   Aside from your usual quilting supplies a 60-degree ruler or a ruler with 60-degree grid lines are mentioned often.  When you search on Amazon there are many different rulers ranging from about $10 and up.  Also, some quilts like the Missouri Star Quilt Pattern recommend buying an acrylic template.

Skill Level for Tumbling Blocks?

Tumbling Blocks are good for beginners, but maybe more advanced beginners.  I don’t think you’d want this to be your first quilt or quilt block you try due to the unique angles and y seams.  However, I’d say if you have basic quilting skills, can keep a ¼ inch seam allowance, etc. this would be a nice challenge.  

Free Tutorials and Patterns

#1 Tumbling Blocks Quilt by Marsha Evans Moore – Michael Miller Fabrics

To get this free tumbling blocks quilt pattern click this link scroll all the way to the bottom for the “download instructions”.

This is a free pattern for a complete quilt and is a great way to use up fat quarters, this quilt requires 22 Fat Quarters plus ⅜ yard for binding and 2 ½ yards for backing. This is a great way to incorporate a lot of different fabric colors into a project. The finished size of the quilt is 45-3/4″ x 53-1/4″.

The pattern has you make templates for cutting the triangle and diamond shapes needed, which means no special ruler is required.  

#2 Tumbling Blocks Sunrise Quilt by Leah Day

Another free pattern was born after Leah Day Quilting received the side kick ruler in her Quilty Box. Therefore, this pattern does require that special ruler for cutting the fabric for the quilt.

However, it comes with a video tutorial and has no Y-seams.  So if you don’t mind the purchase of the ruler or if you already have one, this would be a great option.

#3 Clever Chameleon’s Sewing Tumbling Blocks Tutorial

This tutorial assumes you already have fabric cut and walks you through how to assemble.  This may not be the best place to start if you’re starting from scratch. However, it has pictures and details on how to assemble the quilt.

#4 Life in the Scrapatch: Easy Tumbling Blocks ~ Free Tutorial

This free tutorial has 4 different parts from Cutting through finishing, so this is a great resource to walk you through how to make the quilt.  It is very detailed with pictures and is definitely worth taking a look through.  She also covers how to cut the pieces needed at an angle.  

Paid Tutorials and Patterns

#5 PDF Pattern Tumbling Blocks – Etsy – MyQuiltingBeehive

This is a block pattern by MyQuiltingBeehive, so not a completed quilt.  However, you can take the blocks and repeat them to easily complete a quilt top of your choice. The pattern is for a 12-inch finished block size (12.5 inch unfinished).

Requires either a standard ruler with 60-degree line mark or creative grids 60-degree diamond ruler.

It has a lot of good reviews and even a review with a completed quit which is adorable!

#6 Tumbling Block Quilt Pattern – Etsy – jaynesquiltshop

This a pattern by jaynesquiltshop is for a full quilt with a finished size of 101” by 104” on Etsy. It has lots of great reviews stating there are very good instructions.

#7 Rhombus Cube Pattern by the Missouri Quilt Company

This pattern is by Missouri Start Quilt Company, which is a very well known Quilt shop. The final quilt size is 80” x 80 ¾” and the fabric requirements are 2 yards of 3 different fabrics (6 years total); 1/12 yards for the border; 7 ½ yards backing; ¾ of a yard for binding.

Has very good reviews and a video tutorial which MSQC is known for. The video tutorial can be found here: Make a Rhombus Cube Quilt the EASY Way with Jenny Doan of Missouri Star! (Video Tutorial) – YouTube

It does use a template that needs to be purchased.  Missouri Star Large Rhombus Template (missouriquiltco.com)

Wrap Up

Did you try one of these free downloads, quilt patterns or tutorials? I’d love to hear your thoughts or see what you made! These quilts would look great in traditional prints, modern fabrics, solids, etc. Find me on Instagram to share your thoughts!

Have a few yards of fabric to use up? Check out: 102 Quick and Easy Three Yard Quilt Patterns Ideas

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