Saturday, March 17, 2018

Spinning Boxes tutorial

Today is one of my favorite days of the year, National (or Worldwide) Quilting Day. I have very little planned for today other than spending as much time as possible playing with fabric in my sewing room!

Besides that, it is also St. Patrick's Day. That works out perfectly with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, where our March color assignment is light/ bright greens. Last Saturday I shared my two bright green Spinning Boxes blocks, along with the Squared Away sampler blocks. This week I have more of the Spinning Boxes together up on the design wall. I'm loving these blocks set on point!

Spinning Boxes, 10" blocks

Last week Paula B. asked about a pattern for the Spinning Boxes block. There isn't really a pattern, but I can share enough information for you to get started on making these fun and easy blocks.

Peaches and Dreams, 12" block

My block design was originally inspired by Judy Laquidara's pattern Peaches and Dreams, which is still available for free on her website. I made one block from her pattern (shown above), but didn't like the way it looked in my fabrics. I ended up eliminating the largest unit and combining the other units in a different layout for the Spinning Boxes block.

Spinning Boxes, 10" block

To make the Spinning Boxes block, you will make two each of two different rectangular units. The next photo shows two of Unit A at the top, and two of Unit B at the bottom.

Cutting for each Unit A:
Center: cut 1 rectangle @ 1.5" x 3.5"
Sides: cut 2 @ 2" x 3.5"
Ends: cut 2 @ 2" x 4.5"

Cutting for each Unit B:
Center: cut 1 rectangle @ 2.5" x 4.5"
Sides and ends: cut 4 @ 1.5" x 4.5"

Block center:  cut 1 square @ 2.5"

Piece the A and B rectangle units, pressing all seams away from the centers.
Units should measure 4.5" x 6.5" including seam allowances.

Lay out your four rectangular units around the center square, alternating A's and B's. They will be joined together starting with a partial seam.

Partial seam

Place the center square at the upper right  corner of any of the rectangular units as shown above. Stitch 2/3 - 3/4 of the way down the side of the square.

Finger press seam away from center square. Lay the next unit to the left and stitch to the previous parts.

Continue to add the rectangular units around the center square, being sure to alternate A and B units. 

After all of the A and B units have been stitched to the center square, the only remaining stitching is to finish the rest of the original partial seam. Press all seams away from the center square.

Wrong side showing direction for pressing seams

You have completed your first Spinning Boxes block! Your block should measure 10.5" including seam allowances, and will finish at 10".

I am linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge on Saturday and at Oh Scrap! over at Quilting is more fun than Housework on Sunday. I'm also linking up to share this tutorial with the Hands2Help quilters. Be sure to check out all of the wonderful projects that everyone is sharing! 

Julie in GA


  1. That would be a great Block Lotto block. Lots of fun! Great for scraps. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

  2. Thanks for sharing, but I'm allergic to partial seams!! :P

  3. It's been a long time since I did partial seams! Thanks for sharing your tutorial!

  4. I love this! Thanks for sharing how you did it.

  5. It is such a great block. Thanks for sharing how you made it with Oh Scrap!

  6. Very cool! I like that you can take something that you didn't quite love and make it into something loveable!

  7. I love this design! I’ve done rectangle in rectangle blocks before, but your little center square is so appealing. Thanks so much for sharing your dimensions.

  8. Love your blocks and great colours - thanks for the tutorial :)

  9. Love your Spinning Boxes. Thanks for sharing directions.


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