Flying Squares Quilt Block

From our Free Quilt Block Pattern Library

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A Flying Squares quilt block is a little bit of whimsy that's easy to stitch.

Just squares and rectangles.

Fast. Easy.

Beginner friendly.

On this page you'll find instructions to make it in four different sizes.

There are also links to different blocks using the same partial seams technique.

Ready?

Let's cut up and sew!

General Instructions

The following abbreviations are used in this tutorial:

  • SA - seam allowance
  • RST - right sides together
  • BAC - background fabric

SA are 1/4" and pressed towards the darker fabric unless noted otherwise.

I like to starch my quilt fabric before cutting—even with a block as simple as this. I believe both the cutting and stitching is more accurate with starched fabric. 

[Learn more about starching here.]

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Click the images below to see the full collection and any commercial and/or free patterns that showcase them (for inspiration, of course!)

Step 1: Cut patches for your Flying Squares block

Flying Squares patchwork designFlying Squares design

Sample Size: 5" finished / 5½" unfinished

Grid: 5x5

Attribution: Ladies Art Company

This design requires only two fabrics (as in our 5" sample block). It can also  be pieced all in scraps.

If you choose a scrappy fabric pull make sure your backgrounds are close in value. Darks should also be close in value. But there should be high contrast between light and dark.

If you are a lover of 'leaders and enders' quilting, you'll recognize this as a perfect block for the technique.

Not sure what leaders and enders are?

Check out any of Bonnie Hunter's books to learn more—either Adventures with Leaders and Enders or More Adventures with Leaders and Enders.

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Cutting Chart for a
Flying Squares Quilt Block

~Traditional Piecing ~

PatchFabricQtyFinished Block Size
5" 7½" 10" 15"
1 BAC 5 1½" x 1½" 2" x 2" 2½" x 2½" 3½" x 3½"
2 Dark 8 1½" x 1½" 2" x 2" 2½" x 2½" 3½" x 3½"
3 BAC 4 1½" x 3½" 2" x 5" 2½" x 6½" 3½" x 9½"
Unfinished Block Size 5½" 8" 10½" 15½"
Grid Size 1" 1½" 2" 3"

Step 2: Assemble the units

Center

Center

Make 1

Arrange five #1 and four #2 patches into a checkerboard design. #1s are in the corners.

Cut squares for the center

With RST, stitch a #1 to a #2 in each row, pressing afterwards toward the #2 (pink in our sample).

Add the remaining patch to each pair so that you have two #1/#2/#1 units and one #2/#1/#2 unit, pressing the SAs again toward the #2 (pink) patch.

Four-patch rows ready to join

With RST, join the rows together, pressing after the addition of each row. Press SA toward the center row(the one with two #2s).

After stitching this unit measures 3-1/2" for a 5" finished block. 5" for a 7-1/2" one. 6-1/2" for a 10". Or 9-1/2" for a 15" block.

Sides

Make 4

With RST, sew a #2 square to a #3 rectangle. Press SA toward the #2.

Sew a #2 to a #3

Step 3: Assemble your Flying Squares quilt block

Arrange the units into the Flying square design. 

Arrange the sewn units into the designNothing seems to line up here, but it'll work out as we sew.

To stitch the units together, we use the 'partial seams' or puzzle piecing technique. In this technique the first and last seam are sewn approximately half way.

With RST position a #3/#2 patch on top of the center unit. Start your stitching at the top white arrow (shown below) and end at the edge of the #2 square.

Add the first #3/#2

This is what it looks like as you sew.

Sew the first partial seamThe #3/#2 unit is too long for the center. That's exactly how it should be for now.

With RST, add another #3/#2 unit to the side of your center that has four squares. 

Below you can see that I've chosen to stitch this step with the center unit on top. Pins to help keep match points and edges aligned as I stitch.

Add another side unit

Press this SA toward

Continue adding a #3/#2 to the side with four squares, pressing SA toward the outside edge each time.

After adding a #3/#2 to all four sides, our sample block looks like this. From the white arrow to the left edge of the block is all that's left to stitch.

Almost done

Pin the last half of the first seam and stitch. I like to overlap my stitches a bit for security.

One final press with the SAs toward the outside edge. Our Flying Squares quilt block is ready for a quilt.

The finished sample Flying Squares quilt blockVoila!

More blocks made with 'partial seams'

Several blocks on this site use this technique. Click any image below to go to that tutorial.

Bright Hopes quilt block tutorial Double Star quilt block tutorial Flying Squares quilt block Night Vision quilt block

If you need a different size block...

For a list of all the quilt block patterns on this site, start here.

If you know the name of the block, you can shorten your search by using these alphabetical links:

A-D

E-M

N-Z

Click here if you're looking for blocks with at least some paper piecing.

Click here if you're looking for the basic building blocks of quilting, i.e. Flying Geese, half square triangles, quarter square triangles, etc., along with several techniques to make each.

And finally, use these links to find blocks in these finished sizes:

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

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