| |

Riley Blake Block Challenge, Shoo Fly Quilt Block Tutorial

This week for the Riley Blake Block Challenge it’s my turn to share a project. Today I have a tutorial for a 6″ and 12″ finished size Shoo Fly Quilt Block for you.

Who has been playing along with the Riley Blake Block Challenge? I have been and it’s turned out to be one of my favorite projects recently!

What is the Riley Blake Block Challenge?

Riley Blake has been hosting a block challenge on their Instagram page. Each week a different quilt block is featured!

This week the featured block is a Shoo Fly Block. A Shoo Fly block is also sometimes called a Monkey Wrench block and is a 9 patch block made using both squares and half-square triangles. It’s similar to a Churn Dash Block but does not feature the “stripe” that you get on a churn dash block.

How to Participate

You do not need to use the block tutorial I’ve mentioned in this blog post. You can use any quilt block tutorial that you like. Just make a block! If you have an Instagram be sure to share the block on Instagram with the #RBDblockchallenge. You can find me on Instgram too! I’m @polkadotchair

To play along visit the blog of a Riley Blake designer to get a free pattern for a 6″ and 12″ version of the block. Then just sew the block. How you put the blocks into a quilt is up to you. I plan on sewing along with the challenge and will share with you how I completed my quilt at the end if you need ideas.

I am making 2 quilts. One with the 6″ blocks and one with the 12″ blocks. My quilt with 12″ blocks is going to have a “rainbow” theme. Since the project began because of current events, I thought a rainbow theme would be nice as a reminder that there is still good ahead of us.

All of my quilts are going to be scrappy as I’m taking a “use what you have” approach to most things right now.

For my quilt sewn from 6″ blocks, I’m using my new fabric line Santa Claus Lane. It’s due to release this month by Riley Blake. I was able to get my hands on some small strike offs of the prints and have been making quilt blocks with them.

I’m really excited to see how this turns out! I’m not sure yet if I’ll make a mini quilt or a pillow, I guess I’ll decide at the end.

Block Schedule

(Previous block tutorials are linked)

  1. Churn Dash Quilt Block
  2. Log Cabin Quilt Block
  3. Friendship Star Quilt Block
  4. Economy Block
  5. Nine Patch Quilt Block
  6. Shoo-Fly Quilt Block
  7. Sawtooth Star Quilt Block
  8. Bear Paw Quilt Block
  9. Maple Star Quilt Block
  10. Bow Tie Quilt Block
  11. Pinwheel Quilt Block
  12. Maple Leaf Quilt Block

Shoo Fly Quilt Block Tutorial

Melissa Mortenson
How to create a Shoo Fly Quilt Block in 6" or 12" finished size. The finished size of a quilt block refers to the size the block is after it is sewn into a quilt. These blocks will measure 12 1/2" & 6 1/2" square after you are done constructing them.
4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


12" Finsihed Quilt Block

  • 2 pieces Fabric 5" x 5" for Half Square Triangle
  • 2 pieces Background Fabric 5" x 5" for Half Square Triangle
  • 4 pieces Background Fabric 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"
  • 1 piece Fabric 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" For Center of Block

6" Finished Quilt Block

  • 2 pieces Fabric 3" x 3" for Half Square Triangle
  • 2 pieces Background Fabric 3" x 3" for Half Square Triangle
  • 4 pieces Background Fabric 2 1/2" x 2 1/2"
  • 1 piece Fabric 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" for Center of Block


Create the 12" Finished Block

  • Create 4 Half Square Triangles from your 5" fabric pieces.
  • To create the Half Square Triangles, layer one 5" fabric piece with one 5" background fabric piece, right sides facing.
  • Draw a diagonal line down the center of the block on the wrong side of the fabric
  • On your sewing machine, sew 1/4" on the outside of the line you just drew on both sides of the line.
  • Cut the piece apart along the line you drew.
  • Press the seams towards the darker fabric.
  • Trim and square up the block to 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"
    Repeat with the other two 5" fabric squares.
    You should now have 4 sewn Half Square Triangles
  • Arrange your sewn half square triangles and squares of fabric as shown in the diagram. You will have 3 rows with 3 blocks in each row.
  • Sew the blocks of row 1 together, press the seams toward the center of the block.
  • Sew the blocks of row 2 together, press the seams towards the outside of the block.
  • Sew the blocks of row 3 together, press the seams towards the center of the block.
    The February Block of the Month on polkadotchair.com - A free pattern for a Shoo Fly Quilt Block
  • Sew the rows togther.

To Create a 6" Finished Block

  • Repeat the steps above. You will use the 3" pieces to create your half square triangles. After they are sewn, square them up to 2 1/2" x 2 1/2".
  • Complete the rest of the block using the cut 2 1/2" square pieces of fabric.
Love this tutorial? Get the behind the scenes on Instagram

If you love to quilt then you might also like:

How to Make a Quilted Pillow from Half Square Triangles

Choose Happiness 2020 Quilt Block of the Month Pattern

Beginner Quilt Resources

Similar Posts


  1. Thank you for the Shoo Fly block pattern and having a convenient format to print and save! I appreciate that so much.

4.84 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Was this article helpful? We love 5 star ratings!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.