April Block of the Month: Thread Spools

Happy April everyone! This block is a fun one, and a simple sew! Thread spools are a classic block that were sometimes sewn using “y” seams. Luckily this block pattern is made with regular seams!

The cutting instructions are pretty simple as well. You will want to use the medium and dark fabric as well as accent #1 and #2 fabric. For the fabric requirements for this year’s block of the month, click here

Background Fabric Medium Fabric Dark Fabric Accent #1 Fabric Accent # 2 Fabric
(16) 2” squares (1) 3  ½ ” square (1) 3  ½ ” square (1) 3  ½ ” square (1) 3  ½ ” square
(8) 2″ x 3 ½ ” rectangles  (2) 2″ x 6 ½ ” rectangles  (2) 2″ x 6 ½ ” rectangles  (2) 2″ x 6 ½ ” rectangles  (2) 2″ x 6 ½ ” rectangles

To make the thread spool block, take one 3 1/2” colored square and (2) 2” x 3 1/2” background rectangles. Sew the background rectangles to each side of the colored square.

Repeat with all the colored squares and background rectangles. Set them aside.

Next, draw a diagonal line corner to corner on the wrong side of all the 2” background fabric squares.

Take (1) colored 2” x 6 1/2” rectangle and (2) 2” background squares. Place the background squares right sides together on each end of the colored rectangle. Make sure that the drawn diagonal lines are opposite from each other as shown.

Sew on the drawn diagonal line. A helpful hint is to sew about a needle width away from the drawn diagonal line. This helps with the next step where you press the triangle back down and gives just a bit of wiggle room to ensure the edges match up as they should.

After you press the background fabric down and you are satisfied with how the edges line up, you can trim the excess fabric off. Trim 1/4” away from the diagonal seam.

Repeat with all of the background squares and the colored rectangles.

Next, layout the block with the colored rectangles above and below the center colored square.

Sew together with a 1/4” seam. You will notice that the diagonal seams on the colored rectangles are a bit more narrow than the center square. This is on purpose!! The diagonal seams will match up once you sew the 1/4” seam. If you are having trouble match up the diagonal seams with the straight seams, try using a scant 1/4” seam. Playing with your seam allowance can often give you better points in your quilt blocks!

Repeat to complete all four thread spools.

To layout the block, alternate the directions of the spools so that the top left and bottom right look like they are laying on their sides.

Sew the top two blocks together, pressing your seam toward the darker block. Sew the bottom two blocks together in the same way. Sew the top and bottom rows together, pressing the final seam open.

A note about pressing…

Pressing is a personal preference!! Some people say that it makes the seam stronger to press one way more than another. And while I’m actually working on getting the research and science to back this up, I’m not convinced one way is stronger than another. So press as you please!!

If you do want specific pressing instructions, I’ve given more direction in the written pdf pattern. Just click the button at the bottom of the post to download the pattern!

– The last three month block patterns all together

And there you have it! A bundle of thread spools! I love to see all the blocks you make, so make sure to tag me or use the hashtag #seweasybom – and happy quilting!

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Shauna Westergard - Longarm Quilter