How to Sew the Traditional State Fair Block - a Free Quilting Tutorial

Posted by Elaine Huff on

Today let's look at this lovely star quilt block called State Fair Block. There are several blocks that go by the same name but we'll look at this older one. Traditionally, it is paired with another block which will become my next tutorial. Let's jump in!

state fair quilt block

Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished State Fair Block:

  • Light/White: 2 - 1.5" x 2.5" rectangles, and 2 - 1.5" x 4.5" rectangles
  • Light Blue: 4 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles
  • Medium/Peach: 8 - 2.5" squares
  • Medium/Aqua Print: 8 - 2.5" squares
  • Dark/Aqua: 4 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles, and 8 - 2.5" squares
  • Dark/Red: 1 - 2.5" square

state fair fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Center Unit:

Step 1:

Sew the two Light/White 1.5" x 2.5" rectangles to opposite sides of the Dark/Red 2.5" square as shown in the picture below.

state fair 1

Step 2:

Press the seam allowances away from the Dark/Red square as shown.

state fair 2

Step 3:

Sew the two 1.5" x 4.5" rectangles to each side of the Step 2 unit as shown below.

state fair 3

Step 4:

Press the seam allowances away from the center of the unit as shown in the picture below.

state fair 4

Corner Units:

Step 5:

Using two Medium/Peach and two Medium/Aqua Print 2.5" squares, sew together a basic Four Patch unit. In the picture below you can see that the squares are sewn into two rows and the seam allowances are pressed toward the Medium/Aqua Print squares.

state fair 5

Step 6:

Now sew the two rows together and press the seam allowance to one side as shown below.

state fair 6

Step 7:

Repeat Steps 5 and 6 for a total of four Corner units.

state fair 7

Flying Geese Units:

Step 8:

Next, sew together a Flying Geese patch using a Light/Blue 2.5" x 4.5" rectangle and two Dark/Aqua 2.5" squares. You can find my detailed tutorial using my no-trim method for making Flying Geese at In the picture below you can see the first four steps.

state fair 8 

Step 9:

And here you can see the last four steps.

state fair 9

Step 10:

Sew a Dark/Aqua 2.5" x 4.5" rectangle to the Step 9 patch as shown in the picture below. Press the seam allowance toward the Dark/Aqua rectangle.

state fair 10

Step 11:

Repeat Steps 8 through 10 for a total of four Flying Geese units.

state fair 11

newsletter signup

Putting It All Together:

Step 12:

Lay out the Center unit, the four Corner units, and the four Flying Geese units as shown in the picture below.  From here the block goes together like a typical Nine Patch quilt block.

You will need to rotate the Corner units so that your seam allowances will nest together nicely. You can see how that looks in the Step 14 picture.

state fair 12 

Step 13:

Sew the units into three rows as shown below.

state fair 13

Step 14:

Press the seam allowances away from the Flying Geese units as shown below.

state fair 14

Step 15:

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

state fair 15

Step 16:

Press the seam allowances away from the center of the block as shown in the picture below. 

state fair 16

Layout Options:

Since is block one of two, I'll show layouts in the next tutorial.


While the individual components of the block were relatively easy, I had trouble with color placement. The original coloring of the block has the Dark/Aqua star being white but I felt the star got lost because of the Light/Blue triangles.

Additionally, I originally picked a different colorway for the block. When it was sewn together, there wasn't enough contrast between colors and everything got muddy!

state fair odd block

I'm excited to show you the block that alternates with this block to create a great design. Look for that in the next tutorial! (Edit: Here's the link for that block:

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. If you like it and want to see more, just click HERE to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free PDF quilt pattern called "Chained Weathervane".

Happy Quilting!


P.S. Check out a variation of this block at

P.P.S. In case you missed it, check out my roundup post of other star quilt blocks at

P.P.P.S. Check out my patterns I have for sale on Etsy at


Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →