Flying Squares - free block

Posted by Ruth on 12 March 2013 | 1 Comments


Last week I shared a 5-patch block with you called Four-X Star block. This week I have another 5-patch block but this one is a little more tricky to construct. I love the name of this block - Flying Squares.

Flying Squares Block

The pieces are easy and you only need two fabrics. The background fabric is cut into squares and rectangles, the contrast is cut into squares - that is unless you want to make a lot of blocks, then I'd use strip piecing instead. Let's talk about that in a moment.

Pieces required

So here's what you need to cut:



5" finished

7.5" finished

10" finished

Background Fabric



1 1/2" squares

3 1/2" x 1 1/2" rectangles

2" squares

5" x 2" rectangles

2 1/2" squares

6 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangles

Contrast Fabric


1 1/2" squares

2" squares

2 1/2" squares

Start my making the nine-patch block in the middle. Lay out the squares and then join them together into rows. Press toward the contrast squares.

nine-patch rows

Then join the rows together to make the nine-patch. 


To make a lot of these, join strips together in sets. Background-contrast-background for one set and contrast-background-contrast for the other.

strip piecing: background-contrast-background

strip piecing 2: contrast-background-contrast

From these you can cut the rows. For more information about this technique see my nine-patch tutorial.

Add the remaining contrast squares to one end of the rectangles. You'll need four of these. Again, press toward the contrast squares.

side units

You can strip piece these units too if making a lot. This speeds things up tremendously.

Now lay them out on the board. Take a careful look. How are you going to piece these easily?

sections laid out

The solution is easy. We start by sewing the first section on using a partial seam. In the photo above, I will start with the piece at the top and sew from the contrast square, but stop midway along the strip. You can see this on the wrong side in the photo below. It's the top seam and I've sewn through the first two squares on the nine-patch block leaving the remainder of the seam unsewn.

wrong side showing partial seam

Here you can see the front side, pressed in place with the next piece ready to add. Now it will be easy to add that to the right side of the block. No need to do a partial seam here.

add the side next

Add the other two strips now starting with the bottom one and then the left one.

now all that is left is that partial seam to finish off

The last step is to finish off that partial seam. Now you have a completed block.

completed block: Flying Squares

That was fun!

quilting classes available at the Academy of Quilting

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  • Great block Ruth.

    Posted by Jen, 12/03/2013 6:34am (8 years ago)

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