Thursday, 15 January 2015

Roly Poly Block Tutorial

I am sure this block has another name somewhere out there but I couldn't find it so I made this to my own specifications and am calling it Roly Poly for the QCA Rainbow Bee #3 swap.

Fabric Requirements:

(4)  6.5" assorted coloured squares
(8)  3.5" low volume squares for the backgrounds

Step 1

Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of each 3.5" background square.
Mark a second line 1/2" from the first line (to yield a bonus half square triangle (hst)).

Align the square with the corner of the 6.5" square right sides together (making sure second marked line is on the outside corner.

Sew along the marked line.  Actually, I like to sew just to the side of the line rather than on the line. 

Can you see how I have sewed just next to the line?  This gives you that smidge extra room to press the triangle over the seam allowing the edges to meet.  Make sure you sew on the side of the marked line closest to the outside corner.

Sew along the second marked line and then using your rotary cutter and ruler carefully cut between the two sewn lines.

Flip the small triangle to the outside and press giving you a 6.5" square and press the hst in the manner you prefer (l pressed mine to the side of the dark fabric).

Step 2

Repeat this process for the opposite side of the 6.5" square.

And you will end up with this:

Repeat for each of the coloured 6.5" squares.

Step 3

Lay out the blocks to form a circle (low volume triangles will be on the inside and outside corners).

Sew 2 blocks together making sure to keep the alignment correct and press the seams open.
(I like to pin the intersection where the low volume edges meet to get a nice crisp point).

Next sew the 2 sections together to form completed block (this time I pin the centre intersection and the point at which the low volume fabrics meet) and press the seam open.
Pressing is a very personal preference but for these blocks can you please press the seams open when joining the 4 blocks together.

And there you have it, a complete roly poly block.

So far I have made 10 blocks and I love how they are looking together. 

Depending on how you squint you will see circles or crosses or both.  Oooh, maybe naughts and crosses would be a better name for this quilt?

But wait, there's more!!!

What about those bonus hst's?  

Don't throw them away.  You will be surprised at how they add up and what you can do with them.

Here is a pile I have waiting to be trimmed up from a recent quilt finish and from the roly poly blocks I have made so far.    

All together I have over 150 and that is after making 2 mini quilts with them.

Bonus hst's are perfect for mini quilts and for cushion covers or for the back of quilts so get into the habit of sewing that extra line when flipping corners and you will have a pile ready to use in no time.

Any queries, concerns or questions, do not hesitate to contact me.  I am more than happy to help.



  1. I love how you use low-volume background. Must start collecting! Aren't those HSTs so cute and you can do so much with them :)

  2. Do you have a tutorial for the first mini quilt shown above?