Swing in the Center Quilt Block Free Tutorial

Posted by Elaine Huff on

Today let's look at this lovely Swing in the Center quilt block. Well, Swing in the Center is one of the names it goes by - there's also Dumbbell Block, Mrs. Roosevelt's Favorite, and Roman Pavement! No matter the name, it is a pretty block. Here I've made it with three colors and a light background. Let's get started!

swing in the center quilt block

Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished Swing in the Center Quilt Block

  • Light/Ivory: 24 - 2.5" squares, and 4 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles
  • Dark 1/Green: 4 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles
  • Dark 2/Blue: 5 - 4.5" squares
  • Dark 3/Red: 8 - 2.5" squares

swing in the center fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Center Unit:

Step 1:

Using one of the Dark 2/Blue 4.5" squares and four Light/Ivory 2.5" squares, make a Square in a Square block for the Center unit. You can find a tutorial for a basic Square in a Square block at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-square-in-a-square-block

square in a square block

Corner Units:

Step 2:

The Corner units are basically the same as the Center unit except that one corner isn't snowballed. Using the remaining Dark 2/Blue 4.5" squares, and 12 Light/Ivory 2.5" squares, sew together four Corner units.

swing in the center 2 

Flying Geese Units:

Step 3:

Using the four Dark 1/Green 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles, and eight Light/Ivory 2.5" squares, make four Flying Geese units as shown in the picture below. You will find my tutorial for sewing a Flying Geese block at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-flying-geese-block

swing in the center 3

Step 4:

Now you can repeat Step 3 using the four Light/Ivory 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles, and the eight Dark 3/Red 2.5" squares as shown in the picture below.

swing in the center 4

Step 5:

Pair up a Step 3 unit and a Step 4 unit as shown below.

swing in the center 5

Step 6:

Sew the two units together and press the seam allowance toward the Dark 1/Green fabric as shown in the picture below. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 for a total of four Flying Geese units.

swing in the center 6

Putting It All Together:

Step 7:

Lay out the Center unit, the Corner units, and the Flying Geese units in a typical Nine Patch configuration as shown below.

swing in the center 7

Step 8:

Now you just sew the units together in three rows...

swing in the center 8

Step 9:

And press the seam allowances. In the picture below you can see that I pressed the seam allowances away from the Flying Geese units. Hindsight being 20/20, I probably should have pressed the other way but either way works.

swing in the center 9

Step 10:

All that's left is to sew the three rows together, and

swing in the center 10

Step 11:

Press the seam allowances toward the outside of the Swing in the Center quilt block as shown in the picture below. You're done!

swing in the center 11

Conclusion:

The Swing in the Center quilt block (or Dumbbell, or Mrs. Roosevelt's Favorite or Roman Pavement) is quite pretty and makes a nice secondary design when multiple blocks are sewn together. There are a lot of seams coming together where the Flying Geese units and Corner units meet but my points came out okay - just a little bulky. All in all, I'm pleased with it.

I hope you've enjoyed this Swing in the Center quilt block. 

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 quilt pattern.

Happy Quilting!

Elaine

P.S. You can find the fabrics I used in this block at https://fabric406.com/search?q=spirit+of+america


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3 comments

  • So happy I found y’all. LOVE the patterns. And the prices

    Lisa Reese on
  • I LOVE this pattern and also Contrary Wife. More please! K

    Kathy Oneill on
  • Olá! Lindo quilt block. Obrigada!

    Iêda Maria João on

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