{Classic Quilt Blocks} Shoo Fly - Block Variations and Layout Options

Classic Quilt Blocks have been sewn for centuries, are easy to recognise and are every quilters favorite. Let's celebrate these gorgeous blocks and add them to our sewing projects!

Welcome to Week Three of my Shoo Fly Classic Quilt Blocks series. My goal is to inspire you to create your own Shoo Fly quilt, so I've put together some variations of the block and some layout options for setting the blocks to use as ideas - these are for inspiration purposes only, no patterns!

Let's be honest, the Shoo Fly block is pretty darn cute, and it doesn't need a lot of tweaking, so I have two block variations for you. Next week I have one more variation, and this one is scrappy and fun, and it needs a post of its own - plus I'll give you the pattern! :)

In these block variations, I've altered them just slightly to add a focal point to the design. Sometimes when you're sewing larger blocks, you'll find they look a little plain and they need something to make them pop without changing the charm of the original design.

Here's what I came up with:
A subtle tweak can really lift a simple block and in these examples, I've added a four patch to the one on the left and an economy block to the one on the right. These tweaks allow you to inject more colour into the block and they're great for scrappy quilts.

Have a play around with different options and use the Cutting Charts from other Classic Quilt Blocks to mix and match and create a block unique to you.

Ready to be inspired with some layout options? Here we go:

The classic horizontal setting with sashing and cornerstones looks lovely, and it allows those gorgeous Shoo Fly blocks to shine. This would work with scrappy blocks or identical blocks like these and playing around with the sashing size adds even more interest:

Isn't that sweet? You could add four patches to those cornerstones to add another pop of colour or use a solid sashing without cornerstones to really hug those Shoo Fly's.

I love a traditional on point layout, and it's a pretty way to showcase the Shoo Fly block. I've added sashing and cornerstones to this example as well, and it separates and defines the design of the block. You could also try adding some alternate solid blocks like this example:

The Shoo Fly blocks dance in this layout and it gives the quilt an antique or mosaic feel. You could also play around with alternate blocks and create a lovely secondary pattern like this example:

This one is so pretty, but the possibilities are endless and only limited by your creativity. Add blocks that create links like the Irish Chain block or the Jacobs Ladder block just to name a few.

Let's get really creative and try a layout that's totally different:

Mix and match different sized Shoo Fly blocks and create something modern and unique! I love this one - it's fun and creative!

So, there's a few layout options to inspire you to plan your own Shoo Fly quilt. Sometimes it's hard to know where to start but seeing how the blocks work in a quilt setting creates lots of possibilities. I hope these diagrams have helped you imagine a quilt of your own using this Classic Quilt Block.

As I mentioned at the start of the post, I have a scrappy variation of the Shoo Fly block for you next week. It's a fun little twist that I'm sure you'll love. Stay tuned!

Happy quilting :)
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  1. Just discovered your "Classic Quilt Block" blog and had to go back to all the previous posts--amazing! Thank you so much for doing this--clear, concise, and so helpful!

    1. Thank you! That's wonderful. I hope you continue to enjoy the series :)


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