Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Shoo Fly...the quilt block

shoo fly block rock n romance

I love working with old fashioned quilt blocks.  Especially when they're as easy to put together as this one.  It's called Shoo fly and it comes together quickly and simply.  It's a good one for beginners as you really only have to work a bit on getting your points to match up.  I also think it looks so cute and it's very graphic.  Perfect for a quilt you're going to put on a bed or even just hanging casually over your sofa so you can wrap up on a cold winter's eve.

I mentioned this block in my x's and o's Valentine Pillow post and said that I would be doing a little tutorial on it.  Well, here goes.  I am using the lovely Rock N Romance Fabric by Pat Bravo that I won from Hawthorne Threads.  Yay.  I am also using 4 different neutrals....gray, dark gray, cream and black.  I didn't want to take away from the fun patterned fabric, but still wanted to add a little flair.

This is also a good block to use with Fat Quarters.  So, go get yourself some pretty fat quarters and some neutrals and let's get started!  It makes a 9.5" X 9.5" block.  I am going to refer to the different fabrics from here on out as Solid and Patterned.

1.  Cut 2 strips of Patterned fabric 9.5" X 3.5" and cut 2: 3.5" X 3.5" squares using patterned
   Cut 5: 3.5" X 3.5" squares of Solid Fabric

2.  On 4 of your solid squares, draw a line diagonally from corner to corner.

3.  Place these 4 squares on the corners of the 2 large patterned strips and pin in place.  It is very important for you to place the lines going the correct direction.  You want them to go in towards the middle of the 9.5" X 3.5" strip. 

4.  Now, sew directly on each of the drawn lines.

5.  Using your ruler, you want to cut a 1/4" seam allowance along each of those lines.  So, you aren't going to cut directly on your sewn line, that would be bad.  Put your rulers 1/4" on the drawn line and cut with your rotary cutter.   Now go press your seams.

Save those triangles, and sew them across the bottom using a 1/4" seam allowance and press....and save for a project at a later time.  You have just made 4 half square triangles using fabric that you would have otherwise thrown away. 

Now take your 3 remaining squares and sew them together with the solid square in the middle using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Make sure to put front sides together!!  Press.

When I press my blocks, I typically choose either solid of pattern and press that directions.    So in this case I would have pressed everything towards the solid fabric.

This is what you'll end up with.  Now, sew them together, again front sides together using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press and you have your very first shoo fly block.  And darned if it isn't super fly!

Love it!!

I've got four done so far.  This fabric is so quirky and yet fun.  I don't know if I would have chosen it myself, but as I won it...I am very pleased to use it.  My early childhood....late 70's early 80's just manifests itself to me in it.  In fact,  when I first won it, I was inspired to sing!

So, hopefully you will be inspired to make this quilt block. 

Thanks for reading!



  1. Beautiful as always Heather and it looks complicated to me even though you say it's a beginners! I look forward to the day I have a better handle on this stuff...which should be soon!

  2. I have to bookmark this one! I know where to go if I ever want to try quilting! Great tutorial...I think this is something I may be able to tackle one day! Nat is right, you are too talented!


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