Pencil Quilt Block Tutorial

Friday, May 2, 2014

As promised, it's time to show off my newest creation: this adorable pencil mini quilt I made for the HMQG swap this month. I just joined the guild in April so this will be my first swap. As such, I wanted to make something unique and original that other members would enjoy. I sketched up some ideas and this one seemed too cute to pass by. My first practice block turned out so well that I included it in Patty's Scatterbrain Quilt No.2

I decided to share the cuteness of this block and make a tutorial/pattern for you to make your own! Let's get going!

*~Pencil Quilt Block Tutorial~*

To make one 4 x 8” finished (4.5 x 8.5” unfinished) pencil block you will need to cut the following pieces as shown.

For the body of the pencil, you will need two different fabrics of the same color, preferably with one being a bit darker than the other to give your pencil some depth. The color you choose for the center portion of the pencil body (I’ll call this your main color fabric or MCF) will also be used to make the tip of your pencil. I’ll refer to the darker fabric as your shading color fabric or SCF. If you want to use a print fabric for both your MCF and SCF, you will want to use something with a very small-scale print and/or relatively low-volume.

For the exposed wood part of the pencil, you will need a light brown fabric, preferably one with a woodgrain design. I use Patty Sloniger’s “Faux Bois” from her Les Amis collection. Lastly you will need a solid (or near solid) background fabric. Use a .25“ seam throughout.

Making Your Pencil Tip

1. Sew the 1.5 x 4.5” pieces of your wood fabric and MCF together along the long edge. Press seam towards the dark. 

2. Using the two 2.5” squares of your background fabric and the piece from step 1, make a flying geese with your MCF on top to form the tip. This finished piece will be referred to as your pencil tip.

Making Your Sharpened Edge

3. Using one of your 2.5 x 1.5” wood fabric pieces, one 1.5” square of each your MCF and SCF, make a flying geese as pictured, pressing towards the dark.

4. Make a duplicate flying geese, but this time, make sure you swap the positions of your MCF and SCF squares  so that when you put your finished flying geese side by side, the MCF portions will touch. 

5. Sew the two flying geese together along the short edge with the MCF portions. Press seam open to reduce bulk. You now have the sharpened edge of your pencil. 

Assembling Your Pencil

6. Sew the two 5.5 x 1.5” pieces of your SCF to either side of the 5.5 x 2.5” MCF piece along the long edge. Press seams towards the dark.

7. To assemble you pencil, sew the pieces together as pictured, pressing however you wish. 

What to do with this block is up to you! You can add borders made of your background fabric like I did with my practice block, or piece your pencils together in an interesting design. They would be adorable sewn end-to-end to make a border for a quilt. I have a few ideas floating around in my head for some quilt patterns and other projects. 

my practice pencil block
If you use the pencil block in any projects, share a link in the comments or email me at I'd love to see what you come up with!

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