Skill Level: Confident beginnerTechnique:
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'.
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!
Several abbreviations are used in this tutorial:
When you are instructed to press, first press the pieced unit flat to set the seam. Then open the patch, pressing from the front. Paper pieced 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!
Highlighted in yellow, pressing instructions are easy to spot.
First press the patches in the closed position as they came off your sewing machine. This sets the seam, melding the fibers of the threads into the fibers of the fabric.
Then press the SA to the dark unless otherwise noted.
You'll need the most current version of Adobe installed on your computer to download the pattern.
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 for a total of 4 Brave World units.
Print the Brave World Paper Piecing Units
| Click on the|
Finished Block Size
this many copies
for each block
After printing, use the 1" square graphic on the printed pages to confirm they are printed accurately.
Sample Size: 6" finished / 6-1/2" unfinished
Attribution: Farm Journal
AKA: Brown World (Nancy Cabot)
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 the points in your piecing show.
Label your patches. We refer to them throughout the tutorial.
Cutting Chart for a~Paper Piecing ~
|Patch||Fabric||Qty||Finished Block Size||Sub|
|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"|
|4||Dark||2||3⅜" x 3⅜"||3⅞" x 3⅞"||4⅜" x 4⅜"||5⅜" x 5⅜"|
|Unfinished Block Size||4½"||5½"||6½"||8½"||---|
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.
With right sides together (RST), layer BW-2 with the cut edge of BW-1, aligning the edges as shown below.
Stitch starting before and ending after the solid stitching line. These stitches will be secured by the next line of stitching that crosses them.
Press. Repeat for Patch BW-3 (black&white).
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.
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.
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.
You've now created a quarter inch seam allowance.
Align Patch BW-4 (red print), RST with this cut edge and stitch.
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.
Stitch into rows. The SAs of the HST nest making it easier to match the triangle points in the center.
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.
Your Brave World Quilt Block is finished!
The color placement has all been switched. It looks like a basic Pinwheel quilt block decorated with rick-rack, don't you think?