Friday, January 13, 2012

Weathervane Block Tutorial

I seem to be going through a bit of a weathervane block kick at the moment.  I first used the classic block for my Fat Quarterly Aurifil challenge miniquilt.  It was an easy block to put together and I really enjoyed stitching it up...

Fat Quarterly Aurifil Challenge - My Results

So I stitched up five more blocks, for the gals in my hive for the 4x5 Modern Quilt Bee!  I played around a little bit with fabric placement on these variations, which will give you some alternative ideas for putting this block together.

4x5 blocks for Hive 12 - Q1

Weathervane Block Tutorial
final block size: 12.5", finishes at 12" in a quilt
all seams are a scant 1/4", unless otherwise noted

You'll need:
5 different printed or solid fabrics plus one neutral fabric

2.5” squares2.5” x 4.5”4.25” square4.5” squares
Fabric A - Yellow4
Fabric B - Light magenta4
Fabric C - Medium Purple1
Fabric D - Dark Purple4
Fabric E - Blue42


1. Cut all of your fabric as shown in the chart above.

2.  Begin by pairing up your 4.5" center square with one of the 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles of Fabric A.  Right sides together, seam one rectangle to the top of your square, then another to the bottom of your square.  Press seams open.


3. Match a 2.5" square of Fabric B on both ends of another 2.5" x 4.5" rectangle of Fabric A.  Repeat with the remaining 2.5" x 4.5" rectangle.

4. Next, take your pieced strips and add to the right and left sides of your pieced center square (or as shown below to the top and bottom).  Press seams open.

Piecing the outer ring

6. Next, let's make the outer ring for the block.  We'll first be making some flying geese, followed by some HSTs.  To make the flying geese, trace a line across the diagonal of all of your neutral squares, then place one at a time on the 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles from Fabric E, as shown below.


Stitch just a few threads to the right of your line, just slightly closer to the corner.  Repeat for all four 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles.


Fold back your neutral fabric to line up with the corner of your printed fabric.  Press well.  Trim excess seam allowance down to 1/4".


Using the remaining four neutral squares, line up raw edges and ensure that your diagonal line makes a triangle when it intersects with the existing neutral square/triangle.  Stitch just a few threads closer to the corner again, fold back, press, and trim excess seam allowance.

Flying Geese step3

7. Next, gather your 4.25" squares of blue and your neutral.  Right sides together, stitch all the way around the squares using a scant 1/4" seam.  Cut diagonally across your square twice, to create 4 HSTs.  Finger press seams open, the finish pressing with your iron.


8. Trim each HST down to 2.5" square, lining up the seam at the center of your HST with the 45 degree mark on your rotary ruler.

Trimming HSTs to 2.5"

9. Lay our your remaining pieces as shown below and seam together to complete block.  Press seams open as you go.


Ta da!  A finished weathervane block!


As always, I would love to see your blocks in my Flickr group, Stitching with Don't Call Me Betsy.  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you have a fantastic weekend :)  


  1. Great tutorial, Elizabeth! I love the fabric combinations you used for your bee blocks. I'll definitely be trying these sometime!

  2. Oh it's a lovely block! Thank you for the great tutorial!

  3. Thanks Betsy! I love your tutorials! I am going to save this for future quilts as I am busy right now but it is definitely in my future. I have some tufted tweets to play with. Sounds like fun, huh? TTFN!

  4. Crud! I called you Betsy. I'm so sorry! Please feel free to delete my prior post!

  5. Great tute Elizabeth! Might use this for the next 4x5 round :-)

  6. Beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial :)

  7. Beautiful block Elizabeth! So many possibilities for colors. I appreciate a great tutorial, since I am new to the quilting game. :) You made it easy for me to understand... Thanks!

  8. Great tute, love that block Elizabeth!

  9. Thanks for the tutorial! I really like the contrast in the colors of the blocks.

  10. Lovely block! I need to make a table runner for my sister, and I think I will feature this block in it. Will be perfect for the fabrics she chose. Thanks for the tutorial!

  11. Love the block! And really love your little chart for cutting-really makes it easier for those of us whose computers are far from our sewing machines!

  12. Lovely block and great fabric choices too.

  13. I love your tutorials, Elizabeth! They are always so straightforward and clearly explained! Thank you!

  14. Just found your blog and had to comment. My name is Lizabeth but my amity called me Betsy growing up (and continue too). I, too, always despised the nickname.

  15. Very nice! This is a top contender for my next do. good Stitches quilt.

  16. Great tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing. This might be my block for my quilt bee... hhmmm.

    Thanks :)

  17. I love this block! I posted my white and aqua-ish block in your flickr group. I wish I had more of the fabric I chose but 3 blocks will do. I'll make a runner for the table behind my desk. Thanks for doing the tutorial, I had fun. I'll post a picture when it's done next week :-)

  18. Thank you for the great tutorial! I love the traditional block in modern colors. Beautiful!

  19. This is truly a blessing! I'm making a quilt for my son who is a military weather forecaster in special ops. My husband saw a quilt at a quilt show I had dragged him to that depicted special ops in silhouette (he was also in the same job, now retired). Long story short, he wanted a quilt and one for our son, but I'm having to design it. I started looking at different blocks and this one is perfect! Thank you! I'll have to send you a picture when I finish one of them. I'm so excited!!!

  20. I used your blocks in a table runner - Thanks so much for the tutorial! It turned out gorgeous with your blocks!!!

  21. I also just made a table runner using your tutorial. I referenced your tute on FB here!/photo.php?fbid=207145526060012&set=o.175404447371&type=1&theater - hope that links works! Thanks for your hard work!!


Thank you for leaving a comment for me! I appreciate each and every one of them and try to respond when time allows. Your comments totally brighten my day :)


Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a very busy nine year old boy and a one year old baby girl and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?
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