This month we are focusing on Shoo-fly quilt block which is a simple and quick quilt block to make. Many quilt histories say that the Shoo-Fly quilt block originated in the mid-1800’s and was sometimes called “hole in barn door” quilt block. It was named after the “hole in the middle of the quilt block” or the place where flies could easily get in the house. Some other quilt enthusiasts believe that the Shoo-fly block could also have been named after the shape of the Clover bloom flower, which was often mixed with milk and attracted flies to a dish instead of the house. Either way the “Shoo-fly” block became very popular in the late 1800’s and is still a popular quilt block today. It is often used as a beginning quilt block because it is essentially a nine-patch quilt block made up of squares and half square triangles. There are multiple layouts to make a shoo-fly block but I am going to show you a simple one today.
So, let’s get started making one….
I made this shoo-fly block quite large because I want to do a large lap sized quilt out of 16 blocks (4 blocks in 4 rows). This finished block will be 14 inches square, but you can make them any size from one inch up to much larger blocks.
Materials: 1 fat quarter for each 14 inch block of printed fabric, and 1 fat quarter of white for the background
Cutting: Cut four 5″ squares of the print fabric and one 5″ square of the white fabric. Cut two 5 7/8″ squares of white and two 5 7/8″ squares of the printed fabric.
Step 1: Make four half-square triangle blocks according to this tutorial out of the two white and two prints that measure 5 7/8″ by 5 7/8.” Trim your HST blocks to 5″ square.
Step 2: Lay out all of your blocks as a nine-patch quilt block like the illustration below.
Step 3: Stitch together row 1 using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Repeat for rows 2 and 3. Your quilt block should now look like this….
Step 4: Now take each row to the ironing board to press. The first and third rows should be pressed with the seams toward the inside of the block.
The second row should be pressed toward the outside of the block toward the darker print.
Step 5: Now you are ready to stitch the three rows together, nesting your seams like shown below. The seam allowance will also be 1/4 inch as before.
Trim and square up quilt block to 14 inches by 14 inches and you are done!!!