A Traditional Wheel of Fortune Quilt Block Tutorial

Posted by Elaine Huff on

The center of this Wheel of Fortune block is a great place to showcase a special fabric or embroidery design. This version also creates a secondary diamond shape in between blocks. The block also goes by the names Rising Sun, Wheel of Luck, and Buttons and Bows. And other blocks go by this name - confusing! Let's get started!

wheel of fortune quilt block

Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished Wheel of Fortune Quilt Block:

  • Light/Ivory: 1 - 5" squares*, 2 - 4" squares, and 8 - 2" x 3.5" rectangles
  • Medium/Green: 2 - 5" squares*, and 8 - 2" squares
  • Medium/Focal: 1 - 6.5" square
  • Dark/Brown: 1 - 5" square*, and 4 - 2" squares
  • Dark/Red: 2 - 4" squares

* The picture is incorrect in the number of squares needed. You'd think by this time, I'd be able to figure out how many squares are needed!

wheel of fortune fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Center Unit:

Step 1:

Basically all you are doing for this unit is "snowballing" every corner of the Medium/Focal square with the Dark/Brown 2" squares. You can find the tutorial for making a basic Snowball block at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-snowball-block. In the picture below you can see each step starting at the top left corner and moving clockwise around the square.

After you've trimmed the seam allowance, press the seam allowance toward the center of the unit.

wheel of fortune 1

Half Square Triangle Units:

Step 2:

Using the Light/Ivory 4" squares and Dark/Red 4" squares, make four Half Square Triangles like the ones shown in the picture below. You will find the tutorial for making Half Square Triangles at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-half-square-triangle-block. Trim/square up the units to 3.5" square.

wheel of fortune 2

Hourglass Units:

You can find more detailed steps for these units in my tutorial for making a basic Hourglass block which can be found at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-hourglass-or-quarter-square-triangle-block. The units you'll be making for this block are three-colored. 

Step 3:

Using the Light/Ivory 5" square, the two Medium/Green 5" squares, and the Dark/Brown 5" square, make Half Square Triangle patches as shown in the picture below. Press the seam allowance toward the Medium/Green fabric.

Wheel of Fortune 3

Step 4:

Using the Step 3 units, make four Hourglass units as shown below. You can see that I've pressed my seam allowance using the twirl method. Trim/square up the units to 3.5" squares.

wheel of fortune 4

Step 5:

Using four Light/Ivory 2" x 3.5" rectangles and Medium/Green 2" squares sew together four of the units shown in the picture below. First mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of the 2" square and sew to a rectangle (top image). Match up the corners and press (2nd image). Trim off the excess seam allowance (3rd image). Finished unit (bottom image).

wheel of fortune 5

Step 6:

Repeat Step 5 with the remaining Light/Ivory rectangles and Medium/Green 2" squares only changing the orientation of the Medium/Green square as shown in the picture below.

wheel of fortune 6

Step 7:

Here you can see the completed patches - 4 of each orientation.

wheel of fortune 7

Step 8:

Match up a Step 4 Hourglass patch, a Step 5 patch, and a Step 6 patch as shown in the top image below. Sew the patches together (middle image). Press the seam allowances away from the Hourglass patch (bottom image). Repeat for a total of four units.

wheel of fortune 8

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Putting It All Together:

Step 9:

Lay out the Center unit, the four Half Square Triangle units, and the four Step 8 units as shown in the picture below.

wheel of fortune 9

Step 10:

Sew the units into three rows as shown below.

wheel of fortune 9

Step 11:

Press the seam allowances away from the Step 8 units as shown in the picture below.

wheel of fortune 11

Step 12:

Sew the three rows together and ...

wheel of fortune 12

Step 13:

Press the seam allowances toward the center of the block as shown below. You're done!

wheel of fortune 13

Here's an example of the traditional two-color block. You know me - I had to mix it up!

wheel of fortune two color

Layout Options:

Here's the standard 4 x 4 layout. I like the secondary design that appears with the diamonds.

wheel of fortune quilt 1

Here's that same layout but with sashing and cornerstones. Also pretty!

wheel of fortune 2

Here's an on point layout. 

wheel of fortune quilt 3

Here's another on point layout but with setting triangles so you don't have to make crazy half and quarter blocks.

wheel of fortune quilt 4


While this wasn't a super easy block to sew together, I did enjoy it. I was happy that my seams matched up pretty good so that I didn't loose points. It is a beautiful star block.

hope you've enjoyed this quilt block tutorial. If you liked this post and want to see more quilting tutorials like this, simply click here to sign up for my newsletter and also receive a free PDF.

Happy Quilting!


P.S. To print a PDF of this tutorial, check out the free app at https://www.printfriendly.com/

P.P.S. To figure out yardage for a quilt, check out this post: https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-much-fabric-do-i-need

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