How to Inset a Square With No Visible Seams

 Just before QuiltCon I posted a pic on Instagram of a new little zipper pouch I’d made just for the trip that had a slightly wonky log cabin block inset into the side. One of my followers thought it looked like some sort of magic trick with no outside seams and I promised her I’d do a tutorial for it. Six weeks later, ahem, it’s finally here.

This is a free-form sort of project and one that will require you to figure out the size that’s best for your project (3 inches is great for a zipper pouch, but maybe you’d want a 6-inch square for a tote bag… that sort of thing).

You’ll need a few things:

  • a quilt square (I’m just using a plain square for the tutorial to make it easy to see)
  • main fabric
  • Pellon ShapeFlex (SF101)
  • snips with sharp tips

I’m going to start with a 7″ square of my background/main fabric. I want a 3″ block in the center. I fold the square in half and half again the other direction, then give it a little press to find the center.


Then using a square ruler, mark a 3-inch square.  Stitch along line using a short stitch (1.5 or 1.8) about 1/2″ away from each corner. You can use a 2.o or 2.2 stitch length for the sides.

Drop a dot of Fray Check at each corner. Mark a line 1/4″ away from your stitching line, inside the square.


 Cut out inside square along those lines. Snip into corners, right up the the stitching, but do NOT cut it.  Set aside.


 Knowing I want a 3″ block and since I just gave myself a 1/4″ seam allowance, I’m going to cut a 3 1/2″ square.  Mark wrong side with dots at the corners, 1/4″ from each edge. These are the start/stop point.


With right sides together, lay quilt square on top of main fabric, lining up the edges and corners carefully and pin.

Stitch from one dot to the other on one side only. Trim threads.


 Repeat on the other side of block.

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2 thoughts on “How to Inset a Square With No Visible Seams”

  1. I’m here reading again, and realized I forgot to comment the first time around. I’m going to do this- and soon! I hope.

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