spool-along: block 1

Spool-Along blocks by Laura West Kong

Spool-Along block 01 The spool-along is here! An entire year of easy, fun spool blocks, a new one each month. Twelve months from now we’ll sew them together into whimsical, scrappy spool quilts, a perfect gift for yourself or your BQF (best quilty friend).

Make a single block or a bunch each month. Round up 3 quilty friends and exchange blocks. It’s up to you! Scroll down for directions for four identical blocks, perfect for swaps.

To make one block:

Cut the following (great for using up scraps!):

  • Light/neutral background fabric: (1) 6-1/2″ square and (2) 1-1/4″ x 5″ rectangles
  • Striped “thread” fabric: (1) 5″ square
  • Contrasting “spool” fabric: (2) 1-1/4″ x 6-1/2″ rectangles

block01-photo01 (all seams are 1/4″)

  1. Sew a 1-1/4″ x 5″ background rectangle to each side of the 5″ thread fabric. Make sure the stripes are going the correct direction as shown at right. Press toward the thread fabric. This unit will measure 6-1/2″ x 5″.
  2. Sew a 1-1/4″ x 6-1/2″ spool fabric rectangle to the top and bottom of the unit as shown. Press toward the spool fabric. It will now measure 6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″.
  3. block01-photo02 Sew the 6-1/2″ background square to the top of the 6-1/2″ unit and press toward the spool fabric as shown in the completed yellow block above. The final size is 6-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ unfinished, 6′ x 12″ finished.


To make four identical blocks:

stripes Cut the following*:

  • Light, neutral background fabric: (1) 6-1/2″ x 28″ strip and (2) 1-1/4″ x 21″ strips
  • Striped “thread” fabric: (1) 5″ x 21″ strip with the stripes going across the 5″ side as shown at right.
  • Contrasting “spool” fabric: (2) 1-1/4″ x 28″ strips

*includes a little extra fabric “insurance” for trimming errors.

(all seams are 1/4″)

      1. Sew a 1-1/4″ x 21″ background strip to each side of the 5″ x 21″ thread fabric strip as shown in A. Press toward the thread fabric. This will give you a unit 6-1/2″ x 21″. Subcut into (4) 6-1/2″ x 5″ units as shown in B. photo A-B
      2. Sew the bottoms (one of the 6-1/2″ sides) of all the units to one of the 1-1/4″ x 28″ strips, assembly-line log cabin-style: Place the strip face up and one of the units face down with the 6-1/2″ side lined up along the long edge of the strip. Feed them into your machine as shown in C. When you sew past the end of the first unit, repeat three more times as shown in D to finish all four units. 28″ gives you 1/2″ space between units. Press towards the spool strip, picture E. photo C-D photo E
      3. Sew the remaining 1-1/4″ x 28″ spool strip to the 6-1/2″ x 28″ background strip to make a 7-1/4″ x 28″ strip unit. Press towards the spool strip.
      4. Sew the tops of the units to the spool side of the background-spool strip unit in the same assembly-line log cabin-style as in step two/picture F. Press toward the spool fabric, picture G. photo F-G
      5. Subcut into (4) 6-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ blocks by first trimming one side of all the blocks, picture H. Then trimming the other side of all blocks, picture I. The final size is 6-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ unfinished, 6″ x 12″ finished. photo H-I

Leave a comment and say hello if you’ll be joining me for the Spool-Along. Also be sure to subscribe to my blog at the top of the right column so you won’t miss any blocks. We’ll have some super prizes every now and then. After all, you’ll probably need more fabric and thread to keep sewing spool blocks for a whole year.

To share your spool blocks with other spool-along-ers use hashtag #spoolalong on Instagram. Tag  me on IG, too (@laurawestkong) I’d love to see your spool blocks. Or request to join the Spool-Along Facebook group where you can share photos, talk blocks, or set up a swapping group.

{Shared at: My Quilt Infatuation’s Needle and Thread Thursday, Richard and Tanya Quilts’ Link a Finish Friday, Sew Many Ways’ Find A Friend Friday}


  1. Too cute!! Think I’ll give one of these a try today!

  2. oh that’s so cool, may have to add this to my to do list :) .

  3. Wonderful idea for a block!

  4. Great tutorial to make these cute blocks! Thanks so much for sharing at Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly

  5. These are cute will have to think about giving this a try.

  6. I plan to try to follow along. I am following your blog through email now so that I can be sure to keep up with your posts.

  7. Adela Wiley says:

    u have so much on ur blog….thanks for all the free patterns…Love them..

  8. Just found these spool blocks this morning, now I am looking for some local friends to share with. Very cool spools!

  9. MaryAnn Perry says:

    I just love your spools! I love any spools! My guest bedroom guilt is spools. I am going to follow you and make your blocks. Thank you for the great patterns.

  10. MaryAnn Perry says:

    I also collect wooden spools.

  11. Brenda Hulsey says:

    What cute blocks! I think I’ll make a wall hanging for my sewing room with these!

  12. Pat Williams says:

    I would like to convert your spool blocks to quilt in the hoop digitized blocks for those of us that quilt on our embroidery machines. I sell my embroidery designs at http://www.embroidery designs.com. Is there a way for me to purchase rights to the artwork for these blocks?

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