I have an extreme love of small squares - perfect for making the Granny Square block. There are so many free tutorials on-line for a variety of methods with square sizes ranging from 1.5" to 3.5".
This is how I lay out the design portion of my Granny Squares, which for this project are 2.5" squares.
Let's begin to transform a spare piece of foam core into a mini design board.
1.) Decide how many 'rounds' your Granny Square has. Mine has 4 'rounds' plus the background fabric.
2.) Decide how big your unfinished squares will be. Mine are 2.5"
3.) Count the longest row of squares - and multiple by the size of your unfinished square.
My longest row is 7 squares x 2.5" = 17.5"
So - my piece of foam core (or stiff cardboard) must be at least 17.5" x 17.5" to layout my squares and not fall off the edges!
4.) Take a scrap of batting and tape it to the foam core on the back, nice and tight.
5.) Mark the squares according to your square size. I write on the batting how many granny squares of each fabric I will need.
Example: 2nd row needs 4 units, 3rd row need 8 units and the last row needs 12 units.
6.) Put the cut squares on your mini design board and take a picture in case they happen to fall off or you forget the pattern. Lastly, add the background squares or rectangles according to what method you like when you sew everything together.
The rest is up to you depending what tutorial you are following. The biggest discrepancy for most tutorials is how to cut those outside 'background' squares and/or rectangles. But no matter which technique you choose for your background square sizes - the inside design portion is done and you have a nice visual of what the finished block will look like. It's craft camp for those of us who love small squares!
Thanks to these sources for their tutorials on how to make a Granny Square block:
and there are lots of YouTube videos as well if you are curious to explore
Great Granny Squared book by Lori Holt
Foam Core or cardboard/batting/measuring tape