Quilt Block of the Month: May

Have you ever wanted to make a quilt but couldn't find just what you had in mind? The editors of Quilter's World magazine have compiled some block patterns, from the thousands of traditional blocks available, that you can download for free. With a few basic skills and a variety of block patterns, you can create countless designs in no time.

A new 8" x 8" finished block will be available each month along with helpful hints, tips and tricks. We will also give you ideas for block combinations and possible quilt settings from time to time to help you create fabulous quilted projects. We hope these blocks will inspire you to experiment with quilt design and create your own layouts. So get a binder and some page protectors to fill with block patterns and samples to fuel your creative juices.

Electric Fan

Finished Block Size
8" x 8"
Electric Fan


From Light Fabric:

  • Cut 2 (5 1/4") squares. Subcut each square on both diagonals to make 8 A triangles.

    Electric Fan

From Medium Fabric:

  • Cut 1 (5 1/4") square. Subcut on both diagonals to make 4 B triangles.

From Dark Fabric:

  • Cut 1 (5 1/4") square. Subcut on both diagonals to make 4 C triangles.


  1. Stitch an A and B triangle together along a short edge referring to Figure 1; press. Repeat to make a total of four A-B units.

    Electric Fan

  2. Referring to Figure 2, stitch A and C triangles together to make four A-C units; press.

    Electric Fan

  3. Stitch A-B and A-C units together matching seams to make four square units (Figure 3). Press seams open.

    Electric Fan

  4. Refer to Figure 4 for placement of square units into rows and stitch together to make the block.

    Electric Fan

Helpful Hints

  • Choose light and dark fabrics for this block. Use scraps from other projects or purchase fat eighths (9" x 22") or fat quarters (18" x 22") to make one sample block.
  • Cut individual pieces from scraps or cut strips and then individual pieces from strips if using yardage or large pieces of fabric. For example, to cut several 2 1/2" squares, cut a 2 1/2"-wide strip the width of the fabric. Subcut the strip into 2 1/2" squares.
  • Use a 1/4"-wide seam allowance for all seams and stitch right sides together.
  • Use common sense and press seams to cut down on bulk. Traditionally, quilters press seams toward the darker fabric. However, some blocks may benefit from pressing seams open. Pressing tips are often given in the pattern.


Pressing blocks where lots of seams come together, like Electric Fan, can be, well, interesting if we want to be kind. If not done well we end up with huge lumps that defy the penetration of any needle!

Traditionally, quilter's press seam allowances toward the darker fabric. Still mostly sound advice for many construction reasons. But, with today's better fabrics and the modern quilter's use of machine piecing, pressing seams open isn't the quilting no-no it used to be.

In the case of a block, where there are lots of points coming together in one place, pressing seams open helps solve that nasty lump problem.

Be proactive and check out a complete quilting guide for detailed tips on pressing all kinds of seams and intersections for accuracy to cut down on bulky seams.

Copyright © 2015 Annie's. All rights reserved.

For more detailed help with quilting techniques, view our Quilting Lessons or consult a complete quilting guide. Your local library will probably have several on hand that you can review before purchasing one.

Click here to download the PDF (302.0 KB)

Other quilt blocks in the series:

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