How to Sew the Easy Night Vision Quilt Block

Posted by Elaine Huff on

The Night Vision block is quick to sew together. It uses only Flying Geese units and a center square and features partial seam construction (don't worry, it's not hard). Traditionally, Night Vision is made with three distinct shades of the same color (dark, medium and light). But once again I had to do it my way. The block first appeared in the Quilters Newsletter publication and Nancy Zieman used it in a block of the month program many years ago. Let's get started!

night vision quilt block

Fabric Requirements for a 9" Finished Night Vision Quilt Block:

  • Light/Gray: 4 - 3.5" squares
  • Medium/Purple: 4 - 3.5" x 6.5" rectangles
  • Dark/Purple: 5 - 3.5" squares

night vision fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Flying Geese Units:

Step 1:

  • Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of a Dark/Purple 3.5" square.
  • Sew the Dark/Purple 3.5" square to a Medium/Purple 3.5" x 6.5" rectangle along the marked line as shown (top image). You can also sew a second seam about 1/2" away from the first and when you trim, you get a bonus Half Square Triangle. See the picture further down for an example.
  • Match up the corners of the Dark/Purple square and press (second image).
  • Trim away the excess seam allowance (third image).
  • Refold the Dark/Purple fabric to complete the unit (bottom image).

night vision 2

Step 2:

  • Substitue a Light/Gray 3.5" square for the Dark/Purple square and repeat Step 1 on the other end of the Medium/Purple rectangle.
  • Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for a total of four Flying Geese units.

night vision 1

Bonus Half Square Triangles:

Here's a closeup of the stitching lines. Cut in between the lines when you trim away the excess seam allowance.

night vision bonus 2 

And you'll get eight bonus Half Square Triangles like the ones below which nicely trim up to a 2.5" square. Here's a link to a post about what to do with them:

night vision bonus

newsletter signup

Putting It All Together:

Step 3:

Lay out the four Flying Geese units and the Dark/Purple 3.5" square as shown in the picture below.

night vision 3

Step 4:

Sew the top rectangle to the center Dark/Purple 3.5" square using a partial seam. In other words stop sewing the two pieces together when you have about 1" to 1.5" inches left as shown below.

night vision 4

Step 5:

Press the seam allowance. I've pressed toward the center square, but you can press either direction.

night vision 5

Step 6:

Moving clockwise, sew the right Flying Geese unit to the Step 5 unit as shown in the picture below.

night vision 6

And press the seam allowance. Once again you can see I pressed toward the center of the block but the other way might have been a better option.

night vision 7

Step 7:

Moving along - sew the bottom Flying Geese unit to the Step 6 unit as shown below.

night vision 7-1

And press the seam allowance.

night vision 7-2

Step 8:

Sew the last (left) Flying Geese unit to the Step 7 unit as shown in the picture below.

night vision 8-1

And press the seam allowance.

night vision 8-2

Step 9:

Now finish sewing the partial seam you started with in Step 4.

night vision 9-1

And press the seam allowance. You're done! That was fast!

night vision 10-2

Layout Options:

Here is your basic 4 x 4 layout. Notice the Friendship Star that appears at the intersections.

night vision quilt 1 

The example below shows a scrappy version where the Medium/Purple fabric is substituted with a variety of medium-toned colors.

night vision quilt 2

Here is another semi-scrappy version with sashing and cornerstones added.

night vision quilt 3

Here's an example using Flying Geese in the sashing.

night vision quilt 4

For something different - every other block is substituted with a dark blue square.

night vision quilt 6

And here's an example with different colored blocks set off with rows of Flying Geese.

night vision quilt 6


This block was fun to sew together! Because you are working with larger pieces, the partial seam construction is easier and it's just a nice block.

hope you've enjoyed this Night Vision 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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