Free Traditional Pieced Butterfly Quilt Block Tutorial

Posted by Elaine Huff on

This Butterfly quilt block is a pieced quilt block that is fairly easy to sew together. Most butterfly blocks are paper pieced or applique, so this one is different! Let's get started.

butterfly quilt block

Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished Butterfly Quilt Block:

  • Light/White Print: 2 - 4" squares
  • Medium/Blue Focal: 1 - 6.5" square, and 2 - 3.5" x 6.5" rectangles
  • Medium/Blue: 2 - 4" squares, and 4 - 3.5" squares
  • Dark/Burgundy: 2 - 3.5" x 6.5" rectangles, and 8 - 3.5" squares

butterfly fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Half Square Triangle Units:

Step 1:

Using the picture below for a reference, mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of the two Light/White Print 4" squares. Match one up with a Medium/Blue 4" square and sew 1/4" on both sides of the marked line. Then cut along the marked line. You can find a detailed tutorial for making Half Square Triangle blocks at and

butterfly 1

Step 2:

Now you can open up the Half Square Triangle unit and press the seam allowance toward the Light/White Print fabric. Then trim/square up the unit to 3.5" square as shown below.

butterfly 2

Center Unit:

Step 3:

Mark a line on the back of the Dark/Burgundy 3.5" squares. Set aside four of the squares for later use. Place one of the marked squares in a corner of the Medium/Blue Focal 6.5" square and sew very close to the marked line as shown in the picture below. Then match up the corners of the Dark/Burgundy squares and press. This Center unit is basically a Square in a Square block and you can find a detailed tutorial for it at

butterfly 3

Step 4:

Now unfold the Dark/Burgundy square, trim away the excess seam allowance and refold as shown below.

butterfly 4

Step 5:

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for all four corners of the Medium/Blue Focal square to complete the unit as shown in the picture below.

butterfly 5

Flying Geese Units:

Step 6:

Using the 2 Medium/Focal Print 3.5" x 6.5" rectangles and four Dark/Burgundy 3.5" squares, sew together two Flying Geese units as shown in the picture below. You can find my no-trim method for making Flying Geese blocks at

butterfly 6

Step 7:

Repeat Step 6 using the Dark/Burgundy 3.5" x 6.5" rectangles and the Medium/Blue 3.5" squares as shown below.

butterfly 7

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Putting It All Together:

Step 8:

Now you can lay out the Half Square Triangle units, the Center unit, and the Flying Geese units as shown in the picture below.

butterfly 8 

Step 9:

From here the Butterfly block goes together like an uneven Nine Patch block. First, sew the units into three rows as shown in the picture below.

butterfly 9

Step 10:

Press the seam allowances toward the Flying Geese units as shown.

butterfly 10

Step 11:

Then sew the three rows together and...

butterfly 11

Step 12:

Press the seam allowances away from the center of the block. You're done!

butterfly 12

Layout Options:

Here's a plain 4 x 4 layout. Very geometric looking!

quilt 1

And with sashing and cornerstones added:

quilt 2

Here's an on point layout. It always amazes me how different on point quilts look!

quilt 3

In this example, I changed up the coloring of the block:

quilt 4

And added sashing and cornerstones:

quilt 5

In this example, I rotated every other block. I like this one!

quilt 6


This Butterfly block was fun to piece together. While you have to use your imagination to see a butterfly in it, it is a cute block. The squares and rectangles are large which makes it easier to sew together too!

hope you've enjoyed this Butterfly 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. Check out my PDF patterns in the Etsy shop at

P.P.S. To figure out yardage for a quilt, check out this post:


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