Hi Everyone! I am so excited to show you how to make a classic quilt block, the sailboat block. The sailboat block is easy and fun.
You can use the sailboat block in a quilt, wall hanging, pillow or other projects. It's an easy block to personalize in a number of ways to create an awesome baby quilt, boy quilt or nautical themed nursery. To make a quilt using this block, check out our sailboat quilt tutorial.
Have fun choosing the fabric for the colorful boats. This block can be used as a fabric scrap stash buster since the boats and the sails can be any color.
New to quilting? Check out our Beginner Quilting Series and Four Patch Quilt Tutorial.
Learn how to make the sailboat block by watching our video or keep reading this post for a photo tutorial with step-by-step instructions.
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Want to make a sailboat quilt but you don't have time to piece the blocks? No problem! You can purchase original sailboat quilt blocks from an Etsy crafter.
how to make a sailboat quilt block
Finished Block Size: 10 inches
Use an accurate 1/4" seam allowance throughout the construction of the block.
- Cotton Fabric
- Sewing Machine
- Quarter Inch Presser Foot
- Mary Ellen's Best Press
- Rotary Cutter, Ruler and Mat
- Iron & Ironing Board
free sailboat quilt block pattern instructions
STEP 1: Cutting Fabric
Before cutting the quilt fabric, I suggest you use Mary Ellen's Best Press. It removes wrinkles and gives the fabric a soft but firm texture which makes cutting and assembling of the block easier. It can be purchases at Amazon and many quilt and sewing shops.
The fabric requirements are a background fabric, boat fabric, and sail fabric. As mentioned earlier in this article, an assortment of different fabrics can be used. For the block, cut the following pieces:
3 - 3 1/2" squares
2 - 3" x 5 1/2" rectangles
1 - 3" x 10 1/2" rectangle
1 - 3 1/2" square
1 - 3" x 5 1/2" rectangle
2 - 3 1/2" squares
STEP 2: Assembling the Sails
To assemble the sails, you will need two 3 1/2" squares of background and two 3 1/2" squares of sail fabric. You will be making half-square triangles with these squares.
To make the first half-square triangle, with a pencil on the back of the lighter fabric draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.
With right sides together, lay one background fabric and one sail fabric together aligning all raw edges. At the sewing machine attach the quarter-inch piecing presser foot. Then, sew two seams by stitching one-quarter inch away from the drawn diagonal line on each side.
If you don't have a quarter-inch piecing foot, simply draw two more lines, each 1/4" away from the original diagonal line.
A quarter-inch presser foot is an essential tool for quilters. Interested in purchasing a quarter-inch presser foot, Amazon has many at reasonable prices just be sure to purchase one that fits your sewing machine.
Repeat with the other two squares.
With a scissor or rotary cutter, cut along the marked center line. With an iron, first press to set the seam and then press the seam allowance toward the darker fabric. You now have four Half-Square Triangle blocks.
With a ruler, trim each half-square triangle to a 3" square.
Still unsure how to make half-square triangles? We have a half-square triangles video tutorial showing this technique.
You will be piecing the four blocks together, by making a four patch block with the sail pieces. To do this, before you begin to sew the blocks together, lay the blocks on the table so all the sails are going in the right direction.
Begin with the top two squares, place them right sides or pretty sides together matching the raw edges. Sew along one edge. Repeat with the other two squares. Press the seam allowance toward the background fabric.
Now take the two rows of two blocks and sew them together. The four-patch square is finished.
After finishing the four patch block, sew a 3" x 5 1/2" rectangular piece of background fabric to each side.
STEP 3: Boat Assembly
To make the rectangular boat strip, make half-square triangles with the final 3 1/2" square of background fabric and the 3 1/2" square of boat fabric. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the lighter fabric. With the right sides together, lay the pieces together aligning the raw edges. Stitch one-quarter inch away from the center drawn line on each side.
As previously explained, cut on the drawn line, press the seam allowance toward the darker fabric and trim the half-square triangles to a 3" square.
Sew one half-square triangle to each side of the boat hull which is the 3" x 5 1/2" rectangle. Press the seam allowance toward the boat.
STEP 4: Sewing Block Together
To sew the block together:
Sew the sail section and boat section together. Then sew the 3" x 10 1/2" background strip to the bottom of the block. Press the seams to one side.
The sailboat quilt block is finished.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to sew the sailboat block. Interested in more quilt projects and tutorials? Check out our Quilting Projects Pinterest page.
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
Here are some quilting tips
Seam Allowance Tip - Learn how to mark a specific seam allowance on your sewing machine.
Fabric Washing Tip - Washing fabric can cause the cut edges to fray. Learn how to prevent it.
Batik Fabric - Which is the right side?