{Classic Quilt Blocks} Shoo Fly - A Tutorial

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 quilting projects!

Welcome to Week Two of my Shoo Fly Classic Quilt Blocks series. Today we're sewing a 6" finished block in my step by step tutorial, and if you haven't sewn one of these blocks before, you're in for a real treat!

Hopefully you had some time last week to plan a block using my colouring sheet and pull some fabrics so we can sew together. 

The Shoo Fly block is quick to sew and very addictive - I predict a stack of these little cuties in your immediate future. :) To help you plan for other projects, at the end of this post I've included a Cutting Chart for six sizes of this block for you to download and keep.

The Shoo Fly block is made up of squares and HST's and I wanted to quickly chat about the HST's. My preferred method is to cut the original squares larger than required and then trim the HST's to the required size. There is a little waste, but your HST's won't be wonky and they'll be accurate and square every single time.

You need four HST's for the Shoo Fly Block and if you're looking for a shortcut you could sew them all at once using just two squares. It's quicker and there's less cutting and I have a whole post HERE complete with chart of various sizes for you to use - make sure you choose the 2 1/2" unfinished size for this 6" (finished) block tutorial.

For this tutorial, I'm doing the HST's from diagonally cut squares, so let's go:

From your background fabric cut:
  • 4 x 2 1/2" squares (A)
  • 2 x 3 1/4" squares cut diagonally to yield 4 triangles (B)
From your print fabrics cut:
  • 2 x 3 1/4" squares cut diagonally to yield 4 triangles (C)
  • 1 x 2 1/2" square (D)

  • Sew a background (B) triangle to each of the four print (C) triangles, along the long sides and pressing seams towards the print fabric.
  • Using the centre seam to square up the HST, carefully trim each of the four HST's to 2 1/2" square.

  • Arrange the four HST's, the four background (A) squares and the print (D) square into three rows of three units, using the photo above to ensure correct orientation of HST units.

  • Sew the units together into the three rows, pressing seams towards the print fabrics for nesting.

  • Carefully matching all seams, sew the three rows together to complete your Shoo Fly Block. You can either press the seams open or away from the centre row.

And that's it! One perfect Shoo Fly block which should measure 6 1/2" square. Did you have fun? I'm sure you'll want to sew more and more of these gorgeous blocks now that you've tried one.

To make it easy for you, I've put together a Cutting Chart for six sizes of the Shoo Fly block, so you can use them in other projects without having to worry about all the math. I've also included the trimming sizes for the HST's as a quick reference.

Simply click on the link to download and print your chart or right click on the photo below and save it to your computer. 

I hope you enjoyed today's tutorial and if you have any questions please leave me a comment or shoot me an email - I'm always here to help!

Next week in my Shoo Fly Classic Quilt Blocks series I'm going to show you some variations of this classic block plus inspire you with some gorgeous quilt layout ideas.

Thanks for sewing along with me today!

Happy quilting :)
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  1. These look like they might be fun to do with my oldest granddaughter!! Thank you for this post, and I will certainly try to read your blog often!!

    1. You’re welcome 😊 I hope you both have fun with them 😊


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