Box-in-a-Box Variation

It’s July again and now that I’ve completed Old Glory, my patriotic sampler quilt, I am going to blog a few more quilt block tutorials this month.

This quilt block is a box-in-a-box variation, colored out so that it looks like a mini spool or hourglass.

My mother-in-law and I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out if it were possible to paper piece this block. At least the way I’ve colored it, the answer was no. Instead we broke it down into squares, rectangles, and half square triangles (HSTs).

(I apologize for the photo below, evidently I didn’t take a photo of the finished block. This photo will be updated with a better photo as soon as I can!)


Here is the how-to for a Box-in-a-Box Variation quilt block:

Note: These measurements are for an 8″ block. Sew using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance. 

Cut fabric:

  • 1 square 3 1/8″ red
  • 2 rectangles 3 1/8″ x 1 7/8″ red
  • 2 rectangles 3 1/8″ x 1 7/8″ white
  • 2 squares 3″ red
  • 2 squares 3″ white
  • 2 rectangles 5 7/8″ x 1 7/8″ red
  • 2 rectangles 5 7/8″ x 1 7/8″ white

Use the 4 squares of 3″ red and white to create 4 HSTs trimmed down to 1 7/8″. Click here for my tutorial on how to make Half Square Triangles.

Lay out the HSTs and other pieces of fabric into the box-in-a-box variation quilt block:

box-in-a-box quilt block tutorial

The center spool (or hourglass) is a 9-patch. Sew that 9-patch together:

box-in-a-box quilt block tutorial 2

The remaining patches form another 9-patch. Sew the 9-patch together. You now have a box-in-a-box variation.

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