Brave World Quilt Block

From our Free Quilt Block Pattern Library

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Skill Level: Confident beginner

Technique:

Foundation Piecing or traditional piecing

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.

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

Brave World quilt block tutorial

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

On this page you'll find:

If you find this tutorial helpful, please 'Like' it at the bottom of this page.

Let's get busy quilting!

General Instructions

Several abbreviations are used in this tutorial:

  • BW - Brave World
  • SA - seam allowance
  • RST - right sides together
  • HST - half square triangle

When you are instructed to press, first press the pieced unit flat to set the seam. Then open the patch, pressing from the front. Paperpieced patches are always pressed toward the patch last added.

Sometimes I use steam; sometimes I don't. Just know that if you do, the steam has a tendency to curl the paper pattern.

I also like to use our Best Technique for Pressing Quilt Blocks. The results are the absolute flattest (even with the paper) blocks that you'll ever see.

And that's a promise!

Step 1: Download paper piecing patterns

You'll need the most current version of Adobe installed on your computer to download the pattern.

Print the paper piecing patterns you need

On the Adobe Print Menu page, under 'Page Size and Handling' set 'Custom Scale' to 100% before printing for accurate results. Click here to see what it looks like on the Print Menu page.

Choose your Finished Block Size from the chart below and print the number of copies needed.

Print the Brave World Paper Piecing Units

Click on the
Finished Block Size
Print
this many copies
for each block
4" 1
5" 1
6" 1
8" 2

After printing, use the 1" square graphic on the printed pages to confirm they are printed accurately.

New fabric to drool over!

Click any of the images below to see the full collection with bigger pictures and find pricing/ordering information.

Check out ALL the current fabric lines displayed on this site in one place.

Step 2: Cutting for a Brave World quilt block

Brave World quilt block designBrave World design

Sample Size: 6" finished / 6-1/2" unfinished

Grid: 4x4

Attribution: Farm Journal

AKA: Brown World (Nancy Cabot)

Design Type: Pinwheel, basic quilt block unit

Three fabrics—a light, a medium and a dark are all you'll need to complete this block.

As always make sure there's enough contrast between the fabrics so that your piecing shows.

Label your patches. We refer to them throughout the tutorial.

Click here to download and print the cutting chart and block design to use at your cutting table. Use the blue cutting chart.

Generations Quilt Patterns logo

Cutting Chart for a
Brave World Quilt Block

~Paper Piecing ~

PatchFabricQtyFinished Block SizeSub
Cut
4" 5" 6" 8"
1 Med 4 1¾" x 1¾" 2" x 2" 2¼" x 2¼" 2¾" x 2¾" ---
2, 3 Light 4 2⅜" x 2⅜" 2⅝" x 2⅝" 2⅞" x 2⅞" 3⅜" x 3⅜" Symbol for a half square triangle
4 Dark 2 3⅜" x 3⅜" 3⅞" x 3⅞" 4⅜" x 4⅜" 5⅜" x 5⅜" Symbol for a half square triangle
Unfinished Block Size 4½" 5½" 6½" 8½" ---
Grid Size 1" 1¼" 1½" 2" ---
Flea Market fabric line by Lori Holt for Riley Blake Designs. Available from Fat Quarter Shop.

Step 3: Paperpiece the Brave World units

General Sewing Machine Setup for Paperpiecing

  • Reduce your stitch length to 16-20 stitches per inch (1.3-1.6mm). This perforates the paper. It also stabilizes the seam when you remove the pattern. [Learn more about stitch length here.]
  • Reduce your machine's speed or just plain slow down when you stitch. Sew only as fast as you can stay on the stitching lines.
  • Install an open toe applique foot (sometimes called an 'embroidery' or 'satin stitch' foot) if you have one (it's easier to see where you're stitching with one installed). 
  • As you stitch each seam, start and stop a generous 1/4" before and after the solid stitching lines. ALWAYS. Future lines of stitching secure the ends.

After adding each patch, press the unit as it was sewn to set the seam. Then press it open. The SA is automatically pressed towards the last patch added.

Steam is optional and usually curls the pattern. 

If that bothers you, don't use steam. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't.

It really just depends on my mood.

Remember as you follow this paper piecing tutorial, the printed and the fabric sides of this block are mirror-images of each other.

At last!

Let's sew!

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 BW-1 (turquoise). This positioning automatically creates a quarter inch seam allowance—perfect for positioning BW-2 (black&white).

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

Line up Patch 1 with the placement linesIf 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 BW-2 with the cut edge of BW-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 BW-3 (black&white).

Align Patch 3 and stitch

Press.

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 BW-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.

Helpful Hint:

If you accidentally rip the paper in a big way—and I do every once in a 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 BW-4 (red print), RST with this cut edge and stitch.

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

Press.

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.

Remove the paper and press.

Return your sewing machine to your everyday settings.

The remainder of the block is stitched with traditional techniques.

Install your favorite quarter inch presser foot. Adjust the needle position if needed. Increase to your normal piecing stitch length.

Step 4: Assemble your Brave World quilt block

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

Arrange the unit into rows

Stitch into rows. The SAs of the HST nest making it easier to match the triangle points in the center.

Press seam allowances toward the HSTs

Press.

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 finishedOur Brave World is complete!

A variation on the color placement...

The Spinner 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?

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!

Share your work to inspire other Quilters!

If you use our tutorials to make your blocks and quilts, there are some easy ways to share your creations so other quilters (including me!) can enjoy the fruits of your labor:

  • On Instagram please tag your blocks and quilts with the hashtag #GenerationsQuiltPatterns.
  • Visit our Show n'Tell page on the website. Click here to share photos and tell your own story, just start typing at 'The name of your quilt is...'. If you'd prefer to submit more photos than the form allows, simply email them to me at julie@generations-quilt-patterns.com.

I love seeing your work!

Our readers do, too!

For even more blocks to make...

Click here to learn about my favorite quilt book resources that inspire my patchwork designs.

For you, are quilt block patterns like potato chips...

...you can't have just one?!!

Check the amazing resources I rely on for the majority of the quilt block designs you see on this website. 

To see if they're worthy of spot in YOUR quilting library, read about them HERE.

NOTE: All the attribution and alternate names shared in the Free Quilt Block Patterns Library came from these four resources.


This article was printed from Generations-Quilt-Patterns.com

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