Get the Skinny on Units


Often,the first part of constructing a quilt is to create a unit. Units are the little parts that go together to create a block. Half Square Triangles are among the first of the units learned in quilt construction, but there are several others that we frequently encounter: Quarter Square Triangle, Flying Geese, Square in a Square, Snowball, Half Quarter Square, Nine Patch, and Four Patch to name a few.

Last week, we asked about your favorite units of construction and gave you this list from which to select. Here are the results!

What units do quilters feel the most confident making?

#1 – Half Square Triangle 

#2 – Nine Patch Unit

#3 – Four Patch Unit

#4 – Flying Geese

#5 – Snowball Unit


When not making quilts, quilters are looking at quilts. Which unit catches your eye and makes you smile?

Here’s what the quilters responding said…

Overwhelmingly, Half Square Triangles!

Next were Flying Geese, followed by the ever beloved Nine Patch.


Then there are the units we avoid. When asked which unit they would banish from the face of the earth, most quilters responded with a resounding NONE! while professing their love for all the little units. 

Those that did respond felt that these three units stood out above the rest as irritants…

The most challenging was identified as the Flying Geese, followed by the Quarter Square Triangle, and Snowball.

Those who wrote in answers identified units with curved pieces or y-seams as particularly pesky.


When units don’t cooperate, it can throw off the whole block. So we asked you to identify which units you struggle with consistently coming out the right size? 

Flying Geese takes First Place.

Next there’s…

Quarter Square Triangle 

Square in a Square

Half Quarter Square

Snowball brings up the pack.


When constructing a sizable quilt, there can be hundreds of units to prepare for the blocks. We asked quilters to share their favorite shortcut for piecing units while keeping them accurate.

The favorite way is to oversize the unit and trim it to size.

Next, is strip piecing, followed by its cousin, sew and cut into multiple units.


Need help getting your units to come out the right size? Take a look at these great tip videos at QuiltTV!

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