Today let's sew together an Arkansas Traveler quilt block. This Ladies Art Company block is a spool-type block and is an easy block to put together. Of course, there are other Arkansas Traveler blocks out there - one has a lovely diamond shape design. But let's get started on this one!
Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished Arkansas Traveler Quilt Block:
- Light/Ivory: 8 - 2.5" x 6.5" rectangles
- Medium/Coral: 16 - 2.5" squares
- Dark/Teal: 4 - 2.5" x 6.5" rectangles
Flying Geese Variation Units:
Using the eight Light/Ivory 2.5" x 6.5" rectangles and the 16 Medium/Coral 2.5" squares, sew together eight Flying Geese Variation units. The unit is essentially a Flying Geese block but a longer rectangle is used. You can find my tutorial for making a Flying Geese block at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-flying-geese-block. Here's a pictorial rundown of the steps.
Then you repeat Step 1 on the other end of the rectangle so that the finished unit looks like the picture below. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for a total of eight Flying Geese Variation units.
Lay out two of the Flying Geese Variation units and one Dark/Teal 2.5" x 6.5" rectangle as shown in the picture below.
Now sew the units together as shown below, and
Press the seam allowances toward the center. Repeat Steps 3 - 5 for a total of four Spool units.
Putting It All Together:
Lay out the Spool units as shown in the picture below. From here, the Arkansas Traveler block goes together like a typical Four Patch block.
Sew the units into two rows as shown below.
Press the seam allowances toward the Light/Ivory fabric as shown in the picture below.
Now you can sew the two rows together to complete the block!
Just remember to press the seam allowances. I've used the tweak/twirl/furl method for pressing as you can see in the picture below.
I told you the Arkansas Traveler quilt block was easy! It was fast to put together too. The center pinwheel is a nice touch. I really enjoyed sewing it together - all the seams nest nicely so that the center of the block comes out looking good.
You could sew this with Half Square Triangles and squares to make the Flying Geese Variation unit but the way I have shown has fewer seams - less bulk and faster sewing!
I can totally see this block being made scrappy by using various prints for the Medium/Coral 2.5" squares. Or, with some planning ahead, you could sew it so that the pinwheels that appear at the intersections are the same color. Or, swap the placement of the Light/Ivory and Medium/Coral fabrics and get a totally different look.
I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial for the Arkansas Traveler quilt block. 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 quilt pattern called Chained Weathervane.