How to Create the Orion's Wheel Quilt Block - Free Tutorial

Posted by Elaine Huff on

Let's sew together an Orion's Wheel block today! The block is fairly easy and uses only half square triangles, flying geese and squares in its construction. Let's get started!

orions wheel quilt block

Fabric Requirements for a 9" Finished Orion's Wheel Quilt Block:

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  • Light/Gray: 2 - 4" squares, and 20 - 2" squares
  • Medium/Green: 4 - 2" x 3.5" rectangles
  • Dark/Purple 1: 2 - 4" squares
  • Dark/Purple 2: 4 - 2" x 3.5" rectangles

orions wheel fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Half Square Triangle Units:

Step 1:

Using the Light/Gray 4" squares and the Dark/Purple 1 4" squares, sew together four Half Square Triangle units like the ones in the picture below. You can find my detailed tutorial on how to make 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.

orions wheel 1

Flying Geese Units:

Step 2:

Using the Medium/Green 2" x 3.5" rectangles and eight of the Light/Gray 2" squares, piece together four Flying Geese units as shown in the picture below. You will find the tutorial showing my no-trim method for making flying geese blocks at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-flying-geese-block

orions wheel 2

Step 3:

Repeat Step 2 only substituting the Dark/Purple 2 rectangles for the Medium/Green rectangles. 

orions wheel 3

Corner Units:

Step 4:

Lay out one Half Square Triangle unit, one Medium/Green Flying Geese unit, one Dark/Purple 2 Flying Geese unit, and one Light/Gray 2" square as shown in the picture below.

orions wheel 4

Step 5:

Sew the units into two rows and press the seam allowance away from the Flying Geese units as shown in the picture below.

orions wheel 5

Step 6:

Now you can sew the two rows together to complete the Corner unit. Press the seam allowance away from the Half Square Triangle unit as shown in the picture below. Repeat Steps 4 through 6 for a total of four Corner units.

orions wheel 6

Putting It All Together:

Step 7:

Lay out the four Corner units as shown in the picture below.

orions wheel 6

Step 8:

Sew the units into two rows as shown below. This is just like sewing together a basic Four Patch block.

orions wheel 8

Step 9:

Press the seam allowances in opposite directions as shown in the picture below.

orions wheel 9

Step 10:

Now you can sew the rows together and...

orions wheel 10

Step 11:

Press the seam allowance. You can see in the picture below that I used the tweak/twirl/furl method for pressing so that the block will lay flatter. All done!

orions wheel 11

Layout Options:

Here's the basic 4 x 4 layout of the block:

orions wheel quilt 1

And here it is with a simple sashing and cornerstone layout:

orions wheel quilt 2

Then I had to try it with colored sashing - much better.

orions wheel quilt 3

And how about a pieced border?

orions wheel quilt 5

Then there's an on-point layout:

orions wheel quilt 6

And another on-point with alternating large hourglass blocks:

orions wheel quilt 6

Another on-point layout:

orions wheel quilt 7

And here's the same layout but with colored setting triangles:

orions wheel quilt 8

Conclusion:

The Orion's Wheel block was pretty easy and went together fast and fun! I probably should have used a lighter purple for the Dark/Purple 2 so that there was more distinction between the two purples. Hindsight being 20/20!

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!

Elaine

P.S. Check out my PDF patterns in the Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/fabric406?mcnav&section_id=29739767

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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