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 Free Pattern : A Corn and Beans Block

Corn and Beans is a bright, sunny block comprised of right triangles in three sizes using three fabrics. Traditionally worked up in white, gold and green, this block's colors are reminiscent of a summer's vegetable harvest. Other colors may certainly be used for a more modern look.

A dark, mid-range and neutral or white would work just as well.

Corn and Beans block

A bit more complex to piece than blocks that assemble row by row, Corn and Beans works from the inside out. Parts of the block are set on the diagonal, so specific techniques must be followed. As long as correct positioning is maintained throughout assembly, experienced quilters should have no trouble working it up.

How big is it?

Corn and Beans is a 12 inch block.

Construction instructions

You'll need three different fabric and three right triangles of different sizes to work up this block. Once all the pieces are cut, three sub-assemblies are pieced and then the finished block may be created.

Cutting - There is a fair amount of variation in fabrics and triangles sizes for this block. To stay organized, cut one triangle size at a time.

  • Cut two right triangles from a 4 7/8-inch strip of fabric A.
  • Cut two right triangles from a 4 7/8-inch strip of fabric B.
  • Cut four right triangles from a 3 5/8-inch strip of fabric A.
  • Cut four right triangles from a 3 5/8-inch strip of fabric B.
  • Cut twenty right triangles from a 2 7/8-inch strip of fabric A.
  • Cut twelve right triangles from a 2 7/8-inch strip of fabric C.
  • Cutting graphic

Sub-Assemblies - Corn and Beans includes three sub-assembly units; the center block, setting strip assemblies, and setting triangle assemblies. Although this is a square block, parts of it are set on the diagonal and these sub-assemblies are needed to create correct positioning. Use a quarter inch seam allowance for all stitching.

    Center Block
  • Gather the four largest triangles in fabric A and B.
  • Place one fabric A triangle over a fabric B triangle, right sides together and stitch.
  • Repeat with the remaining large right triangles.
  • Place the first unit over the second, lining up seams and stitch to form the Center Block.
  • Press all seams.
  • Center block
    Setting Strip Assembly
  • Gather one medium fabric B triangle, two small fabric C triangles and two small fabric A triangles.
  • Place one small fabric A triangle over the medium fabric B triangle and stitch to one side.
  • Repeat to stitch the other fabric A triangle to the other side of the fabric B triangle.
  • Place a fabric C triangle over one of the fabric A triangles and stitch.
  • Repeat to add the other fabric C triangle alongside the other fabric A triangle.
  • Press all seams.
  • Repeat these steps to piece four setting triangle assemblies.
  • Setting strip

    Setting Triangle Assembly
  • Gather three small fabric A triangles and one small fabric C triangle.
  • Place one fabric A triangle over the fabric C triangle, and stitch the bases together.
  • Place a second fabric A triangle over the fabric C triangle and stitch to one side.
  • Repeat with the remaining fabric A triangle and stitch it to the other side.
  • Press all seams.
  • Repeat to form four setting triangle assemblies.
  • Setting triangle

Block Assembly - The trick in working up this block is to watch positioning of your sub-assemblies. For best results, lay everything out and compare against this pattern before stitching.

  • Turn the completed center square on the diagonal.
  • Gather the four setting triangle assemblies.
  • Place one assembly over the center square, right sides together and stitch in place.
  • Repeat with the remaining setting triangle assemblies.
  • Gather the four setting strips.
  • Place one setting strip over the block, right sides together, and stitch.
  • Repeat this step with the remaining strips so that one is stitched to each corner of the block.
  • Gather the remaining medium sized fabric A triangles.
  • Place one fabric A triangle over the block where two setting strips meet.
  • Stitch in place to form a corner of your finished block.
  • Repeat this step with the remaining triangles so that the block has four finished corners and is perfectly square.
  • Press all seams.
  • Assembly

Great - now that I've got it, what do I do with it?

Placed together, blocks of Corn and Beans form a very striking pattern. Each block's triangles join to create a spray of diamonds across the quilt. Because there is so much movement in this type of layout, a simple border works best, as shown here.

Corn and Beans quilt

To present less movement and focus on the individual blocks, work up a layout that alternates pattern and solid blocks. Not only does this provide more quilting space, but the overall design is airy.

With sashing and coordinating corner blocks

More to think about!

Corn and Beans blocks may also be used to create center motifs. In this layout, a gathering of five blocks form center motif to draw the eye. Additional blocks are arranged moving diagonally away from the center to bring additional interest.

Center motif quilt

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