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Brave World Quilt Block
From our Free Quilt Block  Patterns Library

Brave World quilt block tutorial

The Brave World quilt block—a variation of a Pinwheel— is a three fabric patchwork design made from one unit repeated four times and rotated a quarter turn as it makes its way around the block.

Skill Level: Confident beginner

Grid: 4x4

Technique: Foundation Piecing

It is common to a number of other blocks (none of which look anything like a Pinwheel) including...

Aunt Dinah quilt block

Aunt Dinah

Morning Star quilt block

Morning Star

Album quilt block


'Brave World' is also known as 'Brown World'.

For this block, paper-piecing instructions and their corresponding downloadable patterns are supplied in three different sizes.

Let's get busy quilting!

Construction Instructions

Brave World quilt block design

Block Size: 6"(6-1/2" unfinished)

Grid size: 1-1/2"

When you are instructed to press, first press the pieced unit flat to set the seam. Then open the patch, pressing from the front.

I do not use steam for paper piecing. Instead I like to use our Best Technique for Pressing Quilt Blocks. The results are the absolute flattest (even with the paper) that you'll ever see. And that's a promise!

Click here for cutting instructions for additional block sizes.

Step 1: Download paper piecing patterns

You'll need Adobe Reader (the latest version is recommended) installed on your computer in order to open and print these quilt block units. Click here to get Adobe Reader (a new window will open so you can download it without leaving this page) if you need it.

Click here for our free downloadable pattern for the 6" finished block.

In order to print, open the downloaded file, and select the "Print" option.

Remember, you must set 'page Scaling' to 'None' in your printer's setup menu to ensure these blocks print at the proper size.

Other Sizes to Download (finished block sizes)

Step 2: Cutting

Our fabric choices for this Brave World quilt block sample are in ().

Fabric A

Fabric B

Fabric C
(dark-red print)

Four 2-1/4" squares

Four 2-7/8" squares, cut once on the diagonal

Two 4-3/8" squares, cut once on the diagonal

Step 3: Create the units

Cut the pattern into individual blocks. This is a rough cut, don't worry about cutting exactly on the line. You'll do that when you trim your blocks to size.

Use the dashed lines inside the block to position Patch 1 (turquoise). This positioning automatically creates a quarter inch seam allowance—perfect for positioning #2 (black&white).

I use a little dab of Elmer's Glue Stick (the kind that goes on purple and dries clear) to hold the #1 in place. 

Line up Patch 1 with the placement lines

If you think the image is curved a bit—you're right—this patch is on
top of my lighted magnifying glass so that you can see the fabric! :D

With right sides together (RST), layer #2 with the cut edge of #1, aligning the edges as shown below.

Align the edges of Patch 1 and 2

Stitch starting before and ending after the solid stitching line. These stitches will be secured by the next line of stitching that crosses them.

Stitch the first seam

Press. Repeat for Patch #3 (black&white).

Align Patch 3 and stitch


Now we'll trim the diagonal edges to create a line to align our next patch  with.

Match the edge of your ruler with the solid, diagonal line separating Patch 4 from the rest of the block.

Align the edge of the ruler with the seam line

Use the ruler edge to crease the pattern along this line. You will need to free some of the stitches in your seam allowance from the paper to do this. Just give them a little tug.


If you accidentally rip the paper in a big way—and I do every once in while—you can repair the tear with Magic Tape (Scotch Brand).

You won't ever press from the paper side so there's no worry about melting it. The Magic Tape seems to hold up nicely, though, to the heat of the iron.

For small tears, most times you won't need the tape. The tear doesn't effect the accuracy of your piecing.

Fold the pattern back along this creased line.

Now align the 1/4" line of your ruler with this fold and cut with your rotary cutter.

Trim the seam allowance

You've now created a quarter inch seam allowance.

Align Patch 4 (red print), RST with this cut edge and stitch.

Align Patch 4 and stitch

Align the cut edge of Patch 4 with the edge you just trimmed


Trim the unit to size by matching the 1/4" line on your ruler with the solid outline of the block. Cut. Repeat for the three remaining sides.

Trim units to size

Remove the paper and press.

Step 4: Assemble the Brave World quilt block

Lay out the trimmed units. Each is rotated a quarter turn as you go around the block.

Arrange the unit for the block

Stitch into rows. The seam allowances will nest making it easier to match the triangle points in the center.

Press seam allowances toward the HSTs


Stitch the two rows together. Again, the seam allowances nest making it easier to get a nice match in the center of the block. For an even flatter center, I've twirled the seam allowances to reduce the bulk.

Twirl the seam allowances in the center

Your Brave World Quilt Block is finished!

Brave World Quilt Block is finished

A variation on the color placement...

The Spinner quilt block

The Spinner

The color placement has all been switched. It looks like a basic Pinwheel quilt block decorated with rick-rack, don't you think?

Cutting Chart for Other Block Sizes

Finished Block Size
Fabric Qty4”5”Subcut
A – Medium41-3/4”sq2”sqno
B – Light4 2-3/8”sq2-5/8”sq Symbol for a half square triangle
C – Dark23-3/8”sq3-7/8”sqSymbol for a half square triangle
Grid Size1”1-1/4”n/a

Ready to Brave more Blocks?

Quilting world

Your Brave World quilt block is finished and now it's time to fill your world with all sorts of other fun blocks.

Click here for your passport to our Free Quilt Block Pattern Library!

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