From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library
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
Technique: Foundation Piecing
It is used in a number of other blocks (none of which look anything like a Pinwheel) including...
'Brave World' is also known as 'Brown World'.
On this page you'll find:
Let's get busy quilting!
Hate paper piecing? Not to worry. Click here for instructions for traditional piecing techniques to make this block.
Sample Block Size: 6"(6-1/2" unfinished)
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. 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lay out the trimmed units. Each Brave World unit is rotated a quarter turn as you go around the block.
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?
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!
These are my go-to resources for quilt block ideas. Click the images to learn more.
It's in color.
It's got a ton of blocks.
What's not to love?
Next on my 'must-have' list is Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
Unlike the Maggie Malone book, the blocks in this volume are hand-drawn and in black and white—no color.
Personally, I prefer colored drawings to work with.
This book is no longer in print. If you can come by a copy expect it to be wickedly expensive.
BlockBase is the computerized version of the Encyclopedia.
It can be used with Electric Quilt and is a Windows based program.
Finally there is The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer.
Lots of detail and in color, it is a beautiful volume. That said, I check it out of my local library on a regular basis instead of purchasing it.
Why? Simply because I own the previous three references and find this the least user-friendly of the group.
It would make a fabulous coffee table book.