Sunday, August 12, 2012

Honeycomb Quilt Block Tutorial

EDIT: This block was featured on Sew Mama Sew's 22 Favorite quilt blocks for their Do Your Own sampler quilt series. 

I really enjoyed designing and writing up a tutorial for this block. If you use it, I'd love to hear about it. For more versions of the block in different colorways see this post.

The specs

12.5" x 12.5" finished block
intermediate skill level
template for corner squares (print out two per block)
All seams are 1/4 inch

The Steps

Step 1. Cut the fabric

4.5" square for the center
4 side squares:
          1.75" x 19" inner fabric (yellow dots)
          2.75" x 19" background fabric (gray)
          1.5" x 19" outer fabric (hexagons print)
4 paper pieced corner squares:

These are the recommended cuts for piecing the corners. 

Step 2: Sew together the strips for the side squares. Sew the 1.75" x 19" inner fabric (yellow dots) to the 2.75" x 19" (gray) background fabric. Sew the 1.25" x 19" outer fabric (hexagon print) to the other side.

Cut the rectangle into 4 squares 4.5" x 4.5" making sure that the inner fabric piece is 1.25" wide.  Sorry I forgot to take a picture for this step.

Step 3. Paper piece the corner pieces. If you haven't paper pieced before here is a great tutorial.
Here is what it should look like after adding the corner piece and pressing

Back of the corner piece

Step 4. Trim the paper pieced corner block. I found that just trimming the two edges that will be used to connect to the other blocks worked best for me. Since I am only an aspiring perfect piecer, I found that if I trimmed the block down to a 4.5" square right now my block would be just short of 12.5"once I had sewn all of the pieces together. Make sense? Don't remove the paper yet.

See I only trimmed the two sides that have the polka dot fabric.
Step 5. Sew the rows. 

Ok, this is the trickiest part but as long as your seams are accurate it should go together perfectly. Sew one corner to a middle square. You can see when the pieces are next to each other the lines are offset by 1/4". As you may notice, these pictures are from another block I was making at the same time.

side by side view
Top down view. You can see that the edge of the pressed-opened seam of the bottom piece
 matches up with the seam of the corner piece 

another view showing how the seams match up
Pin and sew with the corner piece on the top so you can follow the seam line printed on the paper. Seam ripper standing by, but thankfully not needed for this one!
ta da!
Sew on the other corner piece lining it up as before

As an aside, designing a block is harder than I thought. Here is what happens when you design your subblocks so that the fabrics meet BEFORE you sew the seam. They are offset by 1/4" because, duh, I didn't account for the seam allowance. This pretty much rendered my first attempt useless so I tried piecing it together backwards and got this weird spider-looking thing. Needless to say, there will not be a tutorial anytime soon for this fugly block.

Anyway back to the tut...

Sew the center piece to the two side squares and press the seams open.

Step 6. Sew the rows together. This step is easier than sewing up the rows. Just align everything together and pin, pin, pin where the points meet. 

Just a final press and, voila, you are done! Now admire your work and go make more. I made several for my quilt block bee here.

Here is a markup of a quilt layout using this block.

And here are some alternatives for using arranging the block.

Just flip around the corner blocks for this one:

Just sew together corner blocks to get this fun effect. It may also look great to use these as a border for the hexagon quilt above.

Please message me if you have any questions and if you do make a block or a whole quilt from this tutorial I would love to see it.


  1. Love this! I'm pinning it for later!

  2. Great block! Thanks for adding to the Block Library at Gen X Quilters!