Sew the cutest thread spool quilt with my free Spool Quilt Pattern, and guess what – you can use pre-cut charm squares!
This fast and easy throw quilt pattern is perfect for beginner quilters or someone like me (ahem!) who picked up a darling charm square bundle at the quilt shop and needs to make something with it!
This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The free Charm Square Spool Quilt Pattern is included in the blog post below and is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $3 is totally optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library for you to access anytime you want? Check it out.
Of all quilt block designs, I think the darling spool block is my favorite. It’s just so fitting for quilters! This particular block is smaller than the standard 12” quilt block in order to make it fit the charm square. I shared instructions for a 12” Spool Block a few years ago.
Check out all my free quilt patterns here!
If you love to use your AccuQuilt fabric cutter like I do, I’ll share the optional cutting die numbers to make this pattern Accuquilt-friendly. Using an Accuquilt is optional, but I love it! See all my Accuquilt-friendly quilts. Look under the cutting dimensions below for a list of fabric-cutting dies you may use instead.
How to Sew a Spool Quilt
Finished quilt size: 71” x 71”.
Finished block size 8 1/2” x 8 1/2”.
This quilt top is so easy that I actually sewed it together while on vacation with my family. Yes, it’s kind of a habit of mine to bring my sewing machine on vacation along with the pieces of a quilt that I have cut out. That way I can sew in our down time in between other activities.
The great things about this easy charm square spool quilt pattern are:
- There are only 36 super easy and quick blocks.
- All of the pieces are squares, rectangles, and half square triangles (HSTs) and I’m going to show you my shortcut HST method for sewing two at a time.
- This quilt is perfect for beginner quilters making their first quilt
- As written, this quilt pattern is the perfect size to snuggle with on the couch, but you could easily add more blocks to make it bigger.
- This size is great to practice free motion quilting
How to Choose Fabrics for your Spool Quilt
This spool quilt tutorial requires 36 five-inch square pieces of fabric that become the beautiful spool blocks that everyone admires. You can cut 36 squares from your fabric stash, or pick your favorites from a charm square bundle. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, a charm bundle is a package of 42 5” squares from a coordinated fabric collection. It’s a great way to get one or two pieces from each print in the collection without spending a fortune. Here’s where I often buy charm bundles when I shop for fabric online.
The only other fabrics you need for this quilt are a solid or blender fabric for the spool pieces (I chose solid black) and a background fabric (I chose Kona Snow). If you choose solid fabrics for these like I did, this quilt is very budget friendly!
You will need:
- 36 squares of fabric 5” x 5” (don’t worry if you have repeats – use your favorite scraps or choose from a Charm Bundle that has 42)
- 1 1/4 yards contrasting fabric for the spool pieces (suggested: black, dark gray, or dark brown)
- 3 1/2 yards background fabric (suggested: cream or white)
- 1/2 – 5/8 yard binding fabric
- 4 1/4 yards backing fabric, or enough to piece together a 76” x 76” square
- a 76” x 76” piece of quilt batting
- a rotary cutter, acrylic ruler, and mat
- sewing machine
- thread (I suggest thread matching the background fabric)
- For a scrappy quilt, choose lots of different contrasting fabrics for your 5” squares!
- For best fabric usage, cut your pieces in the order listed below.
For the spool centers, cut 36 squares 5” x 5” (or choose your favorite 36 pieces from a precut Charm Bundle).
Black (or other contrasting fabric for the spool pieces):
- 72 strips 2 1/2” x 5”
- 72 squares 3” x 3”
Cream colored fabric (or other background fabric):
- 60 sashing strips 2 1/2” x 9”
- 72 block background strips 2 1/2” x 5”
- 72 squares 3” x 3”
- 25 cornerstone squares 2 1/2” x 2 1/2” for the sashing
- 2 border strips 5 1/2” x 61 1/2”*
- 2 border strips 5 1/2” x 71 1/2”*
* Border tips:
- You will need to piece strips together to make the border.
- I highly recommend that you do not cut your border strips now. Instead, wait until the center of the quilt top is finished so you can measure it and sew accurate borders. See how to measure and cut accurate quilt borders.
- 7-8 strips 2 1/2” x width of fabric (40-42’’)
If you have an Accuquilt cutter, you can quickly sew the half square triangles together without using the shortcut method below. The following dies will work with this quilt pattern:
- 2” finished HST 55063
- 4 1/2” finished square 55010
- 2 1/2” strip die 55017
- 5 1/2” strip die 55026
How to Sew an Easy Spool Quilt Block:
Use a scant 1/4’’ seam allowance and a medium stitch length such as 2-2.5.
Make 144 Half Square Triangle Units (HSTs)
Note: The fabric pieces shown in these photos are not the exact same as the HSTs that I used in my quilt (they are a bit larger), but the technique for making them is the same.
1. Use a pencil, pen, or fabric pen to draw a diagonal line across the back of all of the background colored 3’’ squares. This is a cutting line – not a sewing line.
2. Place a background fabric square right sides together with a black square. Sew in a straight line a scant 1/4’’ away from either side of the drawn line.
If you have an even feed or walking foot, you might like it for this step – I do!
3. Cut the half square triangles apart along the drawn line.
Press each one open and trim to 2 1/2’’ square. Repeat to make 144 black and white half square triangles.
Tip: BlocLoc HST Rulers are fun to use and make trimming HSTs a breeze.
Assemble the Spool Blocks
1. Lay out 9 pieces for each a spool quilt block as shown above. You’ll need:
- 4 black and white HSTs
- 2 black 2 1/2” x 5” strips
- 2 white 2 1/2” x 5” strips
- 1 5” square for the center
2. Sew the pieces together in three rows. Press.
3. Sew the three rows together to make one block. Press.
Tip: To make this quilt even faster, I chain pieced all of the 2 1/2” x 5” background fabric strips to either side of my 5” print fabric squares first (and pressed them). Then I chain pieced a HST unit to either end of my 2 1/2” x 5” black fabric strips (and pressed them). Then all I had to do to finish the blocks was sew a top and bottom row to each center row.
Repeat to make 36 spool blocks.
Trim and square your blocks to 9”, if desired.
Assemble the Quilt Top
1. Lay out your quilt blocks on using a quilt design wall, on a bed, or on the floor.
There are 6 rows, each with 6 blocks. Notice that every other spool is turned sideways to add visual interest.
2. Sew 6 blocks into a row with a 2 1/2” x 9” sashing strip in between each block.
Sew 6 rows in this manner. Make sure to alternate the direction of the spool blocks that begin each row too!
3. Sew six 2 1/2” x 9” sashing strips with 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch squares in between. Press the seams toward the sashing strips. This is a sashing row.
Make 5 sashing rows.
Note: You may use a 2 1/2” x 61 1/2” strip instead of a sashing row, but I do not recommend it. Sashing rows with cornerstone squares make it much easier to keep your blocks in even rows and columns without using pins because you can nest the seams!
4. Sew the 6 rows of blocks together with the sashing rows in betwen.
4. Attach the borders. Sew the 5 1/2” x 61 1/2” border strips to the sides of the quilt. Sew the 5 1/2” x 71 1/2” border strips to the top and bottom edges of the quilt.
Tip: Instead of using the specified lengths for the border strips, I recommend measuring your quilt and using the actual measurements as I show in this blog post. This helps to prevent wavy quilt borders or puckering where the borders are attached.
Finishing your Charming Spool Quilt
1. Cut or piece together a 76’’ x 76’’ piece of backing fabric and make a quilt sandwich with the backing, batting, and top.
3. Quilt as desired. Straight line quilting with your walking foot would be fast and easy.
4. Cut 7 binding strips and bind using your favorite method. This is my favorite quilt binding method. Add one more binding strip if needed.
Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂