Free Tutorial - Flight of Fancy Traditional Quilt Block

Posted by Elaine Huff on

Hi Everyone! Today I'm going to show you how to piece together the traditional quilt block called Flight of Fancy. I really had fun putting this block together and I hope you do too. Let's get started!

flight of fancy quilt block

Fabric Requirements for a 12" Flight of Fancy Quilt Block:

  • Light/White: 4 - 4" squares, and 8 - 2" squares
  • Dark 1/Red & Pink Print: 4 - 4" squares
  • Medium 1/Blue, Pink & Green Print: 4 - 5" squares
  • Medium 2/Soft Pink & Blue Print: 4 - 3.5" x 5" rectangles, and 1 - 3.5" square
  • Dark 2/Blue Print: 12 - 2" squares

fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Square in a Square Unit:

Step 1:

Using the Medium 2/Soft Pink & Blue 3.5" square and four Dark 2/Blue Print 2" squares, make a Square in a Square unit for the center of the block. You can find my tutorial for making a Square in a Square block at

square in a square unit

Rectangle Snowball Unit:

Step 2:

Make four Rectangle Snowball units using the Medium 2/Soft Pink & Blue Print rectangles, Light/White 2" squares, and the Dark 2/Blue Print squares. This unit goes together just like a Snowball block except that you use a rectangle for the base. Also note that the Light/White 2" squares go on one end of the rectangle and the Dark 2/Blue Print 2" squares go on the other end. You can find my tutorial for making a Square in a Square block at

rectangle snowball unit

Half-Square Triangle Units:

Step 3:

Using the Light/White 4" squares and the Dark 1/Red & Pink Print 4" squares, make 8 Half-Square Triangle (HST) units. Trim/square up the HSTs to 3.5" square. You can find my tutorial for making HSTs at

half square triangle units

Corner Units:

Step 4:

Mark a diagonal line perpendicular to the seam line on the back of the HST units you made in Step 3 like in the picture below.

corner unit 1

Step 5:

Place one HST in a corner of a Medium 1/Blue, Pink & Green 5" square as shown in the picture below and stitch on (or close to) marked line. To get a bonus patch, you can sew again about 1/2" from the first stitching line. I've marked that stitching line so you can see what I'm talking about.

corner unit 2

Step 6:

Using the picture below for a reference, match up the corners of the HST and press.

corner unit 5

Step 7:

Unfold the HST and cut in between the two seam lines as shown in the picture below.

corner unit 7

Step 8:

Here's a picture showing the Corner unit half done plus the little 2.5" bonus patch that you can use in some other project or maybe incorporate into a border for your quilt?

corner unit 8

Step 9:

Repeat Steps 5 through 8 on the opposite corner of the Medium 1/Blue, Pink & Green 5" square. Make sure to get the orientation of the HST right as shown in the picture below. 

Repeat Steps 5 through 9 for a total of four Corner units.

corner unit 9

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Putting It All Together:

Step 10:

Using the picture below, lay out the center Square in a Square unit, the four Rectangle Snowball units, and the four Corner units. The block will go together just like a Nine Patch block would.

flight of fancy 10

Step 11:

Sew the units together in three rows as shown below.

flight of fancy 11

Step 12:

Press the seam allowances away from the Rectangle Snowball units as you can see in the picture below.

flight of fancy 12

Step 13:

To complete the block, sew the three rows together and ...

flight of fancy 13

Step 14:

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

flight of fancy 14

In Conclusion:

I really had fun sewing this traditional Flight of Fancy quilt block. I did make a color change from original block because I wanted to have the star design show up in the center of the block. Traditionally, the Dark 2/Blue Print I used would have been the Medium 2/Soft Pink & Blue Print and no star shape would show.

So we have a star and cross design in the center and when blocks are sewn together, an X and an on-point square underneath the X would appear at the junction of the blocks. How fun to get a secondary design! I might have to do a post showing what a quilt of this block would look like. I also might have to actually make a quilt with this block!

I hope you enjoy the Flight of Fancy block as much as I did! If you liked this tutorial and want to see more like it, click HERE to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free PDF pattern called Chained Weathervane!

Happy Quilting!


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