Supersize Shoo-Fly Quilt Tutorial

on April 6 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 153 Comments

Malka Dubrawsky from a stitch in dye joins us with this fun Supersize Shoo-Fly Quilt Tutorial. Read her introduction here, and look for more from Malka later in Quilting Month II when she shares tips for improvisational quilting!

A friend once said, “The problem with subtlety is that nobody really notices it.” When you’ve gone to the time and expense of crafting a quilt, you probably want that quilt to have impact and catch people’s attention. One easy way to create big impact with your quilts is to play with the scale of simple, graphic blocks. To illustrate this point, I’ve super-sized a block pattern from my book, Color Your Cloth: A Quilter’s Guide to Dyeing and Patterning Fabric.

In this version of the quilt, each of the four blocks measure about 35” x 35”, with the whole quilt measuring 70” x 70”.

For the purpose of comparison, I laid both the original quilt and its super-sized cousin out on my driveway so that their scale differences would be apparent. I like both versions, but the super-sized blocks definitely make a powerful impact.

If you’re interested in making the smaller scale version, that pattern can be found in my book, but, if the larger scale quilt is calling out to you in a loud, booming, and beautiful voice, keep reading as I walk you through the process of making your own Supersize Shoo-Fly Quilt.

Super-size Shoo-Fly Quilt Tutorial:
Finished Size: 70” x 70”

Materials:
Fabric:

  • 4, 1 yard lengths of 4 different cotton prints
    Note: This is the perfect project to explore using large-scale prints.
  • 2 yards neutral cotton or linen fabric
    Note: For variety, I used 4 different neutrals.
  • 4 yards of coordinating cotton backing fabric
  • 1/2 yard of neutral colored cotton fabric for binding
    Note: For variety, I used 3 different neutrals.

Other Supplies:

  • Air erasable fabric marker
  • Coordinating hand sewing thread
  • Coordinating machine or hand quilting thread
  • Coordinating machine sewing thread
  • Cotton batting measuring at least 80” x 80”
  • Fabric scissors
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Iron
  • Pins
  • Quilt basting materials
  • Quilter’s clear, acrylic ruler
  • Rotary cutter
  • Self-healing mat

Cutting the Fabric:
From cotton print fabrics, cut 8, 12” x 12” squares and 16, 11 5/8” x 11 5/8” squares.
From cotton or linen neutral fabric(s), cut 8, 12” x 12” squares and 4, 11 5/8” x 11 5/8” squares.
From cotton or linen neutral binding fabrics, cut strips measuring 1 1/2” wide.
From backing fabric, cut 2, 2 yard pieces.

Making the Blocks:
Note: All seam allowances are 1/4″. Press seams to one side, alternating sides where seams intersect.
1. Place one 12” x12” cotton print square and one neutral 12” x 12” square, right sides together.

2. Using a quilter’s clear, acrylic ruler and an air erasable fabric marker, mark a diagonal line from top left-hand corner to bottom right-hand corner of neutral fabric.

3. Pin fabrics together.
4. Using the marked line as a guide, sew a seam 1/4″ away from marked line.

5. Sew a second seam line 1/4″ away from marked line on opposite side of marked line.

6. Your block should look like this:

7. Using scissors or a rotary cutter cut block in half along marked line.

8. Open out both halves to reveal 2, half-triangle squares. Press seams toward neutral fabrics.

9. Repeat steps 1-8 to make a second pair of half-triangle squares.
10. On a flat surface such as a design wall, table, or floor, lay out 4, half-triangle squares, 1, 11 5/8” x 11 5/8” neutral colored square, and 4, 11 5/8” x 11 5/8” cotton print squares to create pattern as illustrated below.

11. Pin block 1 to block 2, right sides together, along common edge.
12. Sew together. Press seam.
13. Pin block 3 to sewn blocks 1 and 2 along common edge.
14. Sew together. Press seam.
15. Working with blocks 4,5, and 6, repeat steps 11-13 to sew middle section.
16. Working with blocks 7, 8, and 9, repeat steps 11-13 to sew bottom section.
17. Pin top section consisting of sewn blocks 1, 2,and 3 to middle section consisting of sewn blocks 4, 5, and 6, right sides together, along common long edges, matching seams.
18. Sew together. Press seam.
19. Pin bottom section to sewn top and middle sections, right sides together, along common long edges, matching seams.
20. Sew together. Press seam.
21. Repeat steps 1-21 to make a total of 4 super-sized blocks.

Sewing the Blocks Together:
Note: All seam allowances are 1/4″. Press seams to one side, alternating sides where seams intersect.
1. Pin two blocks right sides together, matching seams.
2. Sew together. Press seam.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to sew together second pair of blocks.
4. Pin block pairs, right sides together, along long edges, matching seams.
5. Sew together. Press seam.

Quilting the Top:
1. Pin 2-yard pieces of backing, right sides together, along long edges.
2. Sew together. Press seam open.
3. Layer backing, wrong side facing up, batting, and quilt top, right side facing up, on a flat, hard surface.
4. Baste layers together according to your preferred method.
5. Using a coordinating thread, hand or machine quilt layers, removing basting as you work.

Finishing the Quilt:
1. Trim quilted layers even.
2. Using diagonal seams, sew together binding strips.
3. Bind quilt.

(For batting, binding & quilting resources check out these Quilting Month archive links.)

Comment in any post this week for your chance to win one of these great prizes. Wow!:

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153 Responses to Supersize Shoo-Fly Quilt Tutorial

  1. Maureen says:

    This is super sized. Interesting!

  2. teresa says:

    i love the supersize quilt. the big blocks would go together quickly. thanks for sharing

  3. Dolores says:

    I was so excited when a friend told me about this quilt….I had a dream and it was to use Jane Sassaman’s Free Spirit Sunshine & Shadows….now I just need to buy some!:)
    Thanks for the great idea!!

  4. Molly Culley says:

    i LOVE this quilt! Definitely on my to-do list!
    :)

  5. Linda Denny says:

    This is a terrific pattern. Can be made up quickly for last minute gifts and also makes a great charity quilt. Using large print childrens and bright backgrounds you will have an excellent charity quilt.

    Thanks Linda

  6. gigi says:

    beautiful impact indeed!!

  7. katieQ says:

    This is a great idea. I can’t wait to try this quilt.

  8. Krista says:

    I really like the mini version, may have to buy the book!

  9. mathea says:

    I hadn’t realized just how big these blocks were until now! Amazing effect!

  10. simone says:

    Great idea! Quite simple and a stunning result!

  11. Elaine says:

    Love your BIG, BOLD fiber art!
    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Jennifer says:

    I think I am going to do one block as a wall hanging. Maybe a series of coordinating blocks…. hmmmm

  13. nikole terry says:

    Those big blocks sure would bring a quilt together quickly!

  14. pam s says:

    Wow! I love everything you do, but what a great idea. I will definitely be trying this out soon.

  15. Tina says:

    Your quilts are fabulous! Thanks for inspiring!

  16. Veronica says:

    I love this really bold design. And what a simple quilt to make.

  17. Sarah S says:

    That’s a fun idea, and an easy way to finish a quilt quickly!

  18. Kristin L says:

    I think the best thing about the supersized blocks is the contrast between them and their “normal” sized cousins. I’d be very tempted to do a traditional block size on one side of a quilt and a supersized version on the other. Supersize is also a great way to showcase all those large scale fabric patterns that have been so popular lately.

  19. Krystina says:

    I love this tutorial! I am thinking about this for my next quilt.

  20. Kristine says:

    I love Malka’s work! Love the Shoo Fly block, too!

  21. Cinnamon Sangria says:

    This pattern really speaks to me. Maybe this will be my next quilt. Thanks for sharing. :)

  22. Debra says:

    Looks great!

  23. tscd says:

    I really like Malka’s fabrics

  24. Tara says:

    I love both shoo flies shown. Too easy. Thanks for exact measurements saves time.

  25. Amber W says:

    love this block. Im definitely going to have to give it a try.

  26. Linda says:

    I really like this quilt and may actually try it. Thanks!

  27. JenD says:

    Thanks for the awesome directions…you make the process sound easy even though I know its not!

  28. Kirsten says:

    I’ve been following a Stitch and Dye for a while. What an inspirational artist!

  29. Anne D says:

    Wow what a great idea. I love it.

  30. Victoria says:

    Hey, I think I could actually do that! Thanks for the tutorial!

  31. Christina says:

    Great idea, I think I’ll try it with huge sawtooth stars

  32. Serena says:

    What a great idea – and how did you take a picture so high? I wonder what the quilt looks like on a bed, hmmm, I’ll have to try it.

  33. Alexandrea Nelsen says:

    wow! that quilt really makes a statement! love it.

  34. Marijke van Swaaij says:

    As always: sparkling fabric and a joy to see your clour combinations. I’m in awe when i see that ONE little grey block in the smaller version of the shoo-fly quilt!

  35. Sara says:

    I like the idea of less measuring, cutting and piecing as well! Thanks for the idea!

  36. Greeblygreebly says:

    Oh my gosh, that is so cool and modern looking!

  37. Deb V says:

    Thanks for a great tutorial. I want to give it a try.

  38. Mikaela says:

    Those are huge blocks! One block with a border could be a baby quilt.

  39. Marsy says:

    I was just looking for something to do with some of my large scale prints, and I think I’ve found it! Love love love it. Thanks!

  40. Rachelle says:

    Thanks for a great tutorial. It really gives me some fun ideas for other quilts I have seen.

  41. Brooke says:

    Love this pattern.

  42. Donette says:

    Do you think if I added a third row it would be big enough for a king size quilt?

  43. paula says:

    What an exciting concept – turning small blocks into oversize ones! I love the tutorial !

  44. Barb B says:

    wouldn’t it be interesting to have supersized blocks on the back of a quilt with the mini version on the front or vice versa??
    I love this idea!!!!!

  45. Kerri says:

    Perfect~going to use this to sew something for my little friend Olivia!

  46. Holly Atherton says:

    The oversized quilt would look great in a more modern home – I can think of lots of friends who would love this in their bedroom. Those same people may not have been a good match for a more traditional quilt but the oversized one is such an amaizing blend of old and new styles! Thank You!

  47. Ethne says:

    I’m keeping this page bookmarked

  48. Nichole says:

    Fun idea- you can’t help but notice this quilt with the size impact. Love it!

  49. Margaret Hurst says:

    Really nice tutorial – so many quilts, so little time.

  50. Faith says:

    Wow. I love those!

  51. alison says:

    Adding to my list now. Love it!

  52. Christine says:

    I never knew what that pattern was called before today! It is definitely an eye-catcher in the supersize and the fabric used is lovely.

  53. Candy says:

    What a great pattern! I’ll be adding it to my list of quilts to make.

  54. Muriel says:

    This is so cool!!!

  55. Puk says:

    Even though I see the coolness of the quilt in big scale I like the small scale the best.

    If I should be so lucky to win, I think I would like the “200 Quilting Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets” or the FQ pack.
    Thanks for the opportunity! – and inspiration :)

  56. Sue Morrison says:

    Love this idea. I hope to use it for a backing on a scrap quilt I just did.. Thanks

  57. PeachRainbow says:

    Thank you!

  58. Katrien says:

    Great idea. And perfect for impatient crafters like me:-)

  59. Sylvie says:

    Thank you for the tutorial!

  60. Monika says:

    How wonderful! This is one of my favourite patterns by Malka… thank you so much – I´ll definitely try it out.

  61. Aniza says:

    Fantastic! I like to make changes in pattern to suit my personal preference but to totally turn into a supersize block is something interesting. I like that!

  62. Cathy M says:

    Sure – the inducement of potentially winning a sensational book got me over the line to post.

    I’ve started collecting some lovely largescale handprinted Australian fabrics to make something for our bed. And this largescale desin looks great!

  63. Jenny says:

    WOW! Impact indeed! :)

  64. Bec Clarke says:

    Wow I love the idea of these really big blocks, I am going to find some fabric right now.

  65. alisha says:

    I love it!

  66. susan h says:

    the polka dots look like so much fun! will definitely give this quilt a try :)

  67. Jan says:

    Thanks so much for the wonderful tutorial! The large blocks are really interesting and would be a really good plan for some large prints that I have!

  68. Jody Johnson says:

    I love the graphic, clean lines of the fabrics in the quilts. Totally my style!

  69. Rachel says:

    Bold, contemporary, and (I assume) good for the time-pressed quilter! I had Malka’s original shoe-fly quilt on my list, but I think I prefer this one.

  70. Thanks for the size comparison visual. Those are some BIG blocks. But FAB – U – LOUS!

  71. Rachel says:

    Very nice pattern – it looks so complex until I saw the tutorial! I think I could manage it!

  72. mommymae says:

    the 2 quilts are so striking when put together. i could see using them together, one as the front & one the back

  73. I’m very excited to try this, since I always wanted to make those triangles but I’m very new at quilting.

  74. Melissa says:

    Love it! Thanks for the info!

  75. bruinbr says:

    Love this! Thanks for such a great tutorial!

  76. Ann says:

    Love this – big and bold. I am definitely going to try a version of this.

  77. Suzanna says:

    Gee, I still can’t wrap my head around a block that’s a yard long! Supersizing’s a great idea, although I might start with an 18″ or 20″ super block.

  78. jane says:

    That is so neat. great fabrics too

  79. Patti M says:

    Love the bigger block! Such a statement! Plus, I think it would be easier for a beginner like me! Thanks for the detailed instructions. I read through the whole thing and think I got it! The backing part at the end wasn’t quite clear, but think if it was laid out in front of me, I’d see how to finish.
    I really want to try machine quilting. Love the free form look. Beautiful quilt. Thank you!

  80. Nezabudkina says:

    Great tutorial! Thanks you Malka!

  81. DebbieKL says:

    At first it looks like a ton of pieces, but I love how you put it all together!

  82. Rachel says:

    that’s a new way to look at things!

  83. Kathy says:

    Thanks Malka! This is so fun. When I first saw the picture of the two quilts I thought one was the front and the other the back. I like the idea of using the big squares for the back of a quilt.

  84. Joan says:

    Can you say “fearless quilting”? Beautiful large-scale prints would shine in these big blocks. Great idea.

  85. Liz says:

    i love that little quilt!

  86. Annette says:

    Now this is something worth super-sizing! Love it!

  87. Katrina H says:

    pictures make everything easier to understand! thank you…

  88. Becky says:

    That super-sized version is amazing. It really does scream “MAKE ME!”

  89. Katie says:

    Looks like this could be a quick quilt. Who doesn’t loooove those?

  90. Kaye Prince says:

    Beautiful, I’m definitely going to have to try this out!

  91. Laura says:

    I think I like the small one best, but both are nice.

  92. Katie says:

    Wonderful block, can’t wait to try something like this.

  93. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial!

  94. susan says:

    What a great way to make a traditional block look very modern. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration!

  95. Jacqui Stocker says:

    Good on you Malka! It’s so refreshing to see a new idea, or a new take on an existing quilt. I like the mini and the super-size versions of your quilts and you have inspired me to think outside the size!

  96. Barb in MI says:

    I never thought of such big blocks, but they or rather the fabrics speak for themselves. Thanks for sharing!

  97. Angela says:

    oh i love the big one!!!! Thanks so much for the instructions!

  98. Rebecca says:

    Great idea! I will have to try this with other patterns as well.

  99. Mary M says:

    I’ll have to try this.

  100. Gracie says:

    I really wanna try this!

  101. delitealex says:

    I love the fabrics. Great tutorial.

  102. sharon says:

    Great tutorial, very clear instructions! Thanks Sharonj.

  103. Sequana says:

    It’s shouting WOW so loudly, I wonder how you’d ever get to sleep under it. *L*

  104. Cathy A says:

    What a neat idea!!

  105. Amy says:

    What a neat quilt. I’ve started looking at challenging quilts differently than I used to and now I break them down into little pieces. So fun!
    Amy

  106. Melissa says:

    This would be so great for humanitarian quilts. I try to find things that are nice to look at but don’t take me forever to put together. Thanks!

  107. Aimee says:

    Wow! This is great! I really want to try this!

  108. peggy somers says:

    What a great block. I love the big version. Bigger gets results quicker.

  109. ~Helena~ says:

    I’m going to make some time soon to make this quilt. I love the large scale too. Thanks fo sharing.

  110. Becca says:

    Great colors. Thanks for the super-clear tutorial!

  111. Andi says:

    I can’t wait to try this! I am definitely adding it to my ever-expanding list of things to make. I love the idea of switching up the background fabric too, I’ve never tried that on a quilt before.

  112. Megan Presley says:

    That is just neat! Although I must be honest in saying I prefer the original size better!

  113. Sara R. says:

    Wow! Think this might be the way for me to quilt! Less is more…lol. Or, maybe bigger is better?

  114. Debra says:

    Now that is one super sized item I can agree with!

  115. Joan says:

    Those colors are FABULOUS!!! I love the fabrics used. What a wonderful tutorial. Thanks so much for sharing.

  116. sarah says:

    This is great and looks like it would come together rather quickly!

  117. Leah says:

    Wow. Each block, quilted and finished individually would look really cool in a series, whether on the wall, table, put into a sampler type setting on a throw.

  118. meg says:

    This is a great quilt, and goes along so nicely with yesterday’s triangle quilt-along. Now to decide which way to try this out first: regular, or super sized? Decisions, decisions!

  119. Southern Gal says:

    I love this. Thanks for spelling it out so simply.

  120. Tabitha says:

    I love the idea of making blocks bigger–great for us impatients.

  121. Elizabeth says:

    This is really beautiful! I think it would look cool to scale it so the smal blocks were on the front and the large ones on the back.

  122. Cristi says:

    I love the super-sized look!!!

  123. Jessica says:

    I like the quilt pattern

  124. Care says:

    Gorgeous — the FABRICS are my favorite part of BOTH quilts! You do beautiful work, Malka!

  125. Fran says:

    Love the supersize concept….
    great impact ! Also very fun
    fabrics & I like the idea of
    using 4 different neutrals…
    adds interest ! Beautiful !

  126. Sarah says:

    I really like this quilt, and it looks like it would be quick to make too! Will definitely try this out.

  127. elle says:

    ohKAY! This is definitely going on my spring list!

  128. Emily Malsam says:

    Oh my! How simple and what a statement! This would also make a beautiful wall hanging. I may just have to make one of these for my daughter’s nursery! Thanks for posting the tutorial!

  129. Marty Mason says:

    Wonderful quilt. Love the crisp, modern look. Now I’m off to find just the right fabric!

  130. Sally says:

    Wow, they really do pack a wallop!

  131. Karo says:

    i’m a huge malka fan and all about some fun statement pieces. this would make a gorgeous quilt!

  132. Amy says:

    Wow! I like the idea of the large scale. Maybe I will try this one when I get a chance.

  133. Pamela S says:

    What a great tute and wonderful look – thanks for sharing, Malka!!

  134. Upstatelisa says:

    Gotta try this!

  135. Manda says:

    Oooh it is wonderful. I will have to try this out!

  136. Rachel says:

    I love this strategy. The card trick is one of my favorite blocks. Now I need to make an over sized version.

  137. peggyann says:

    so much fabric and quilty love. Wonderful.

  138. Kelly says:

    Great tutorial. I have been toying with the idea of supersizing some traditional blocks and this has given me the push to do it!
    Thanks!

  139. Jeni says:

    Great tutorial! A very fun quilt!

  140. Erin says:

    I love this idea! Makes a traditional pattern much more modern–and it’s quick! And really, you could do this with any type of block and it would look great.

  141. Katie B says:

    Cool tutorial. I’ll definitely try that!

  142. Wendy says:

    Very cool pattern! I have trouble finding quilt patterns I like, and this one fits the bill. Thanks for sharing!

  143. Kelli says:

    Wow! I’d definitely say that quilt has some impact! It would most certainly get attention with the boldness of the size. Thanks for the great ideas!

  144. Lee says:

    super cute

  145. kriswithmany says:

    It’s huge! fun idea with enlarging the blocks by large amounts. I wonder what other patterns would look like.

  146. Erin says:

    I’m a fan of the larger scale. Thanks so much for this clear and simple tutorial. I can’t wait to make this quilt!

  147. I really like the idea of large scale – it definitely has a modern flair to it!

  148. Julia says:

    Yeah! This is just the thing for one of my new couch cushions!!Thanks so much!!

  149. amy says:

    I absolutely LOVE both versions of this block! I think I’ll put both on my quilt list. Thanks for sharing!

  150. Kolleen says:

    Too cool! I love the variation on the shoo fly AND the super size. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  151. DebbieB says:

    I’d have never thought to super-size a design. I really like the way it turned out, and like seeing it in comparison to the smaller pattern.

  152. Ramona says:

    I love this! I’m definitely going to try this. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  153. I love Malka’s Fabrics!! They’re so vibrant. She’s so fearless with her use of color and design!

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