Building Foundations Sampler QAL – Block 11


January 15th already; Spring will be here before we know it (Thank goodness!) Trina finished quilting our prototype for Pattern #6 last week (Coming Early 2014) and it is stunning! I’m going to be finishing the binding tonight. I may show you some sneak peeks here next week.

But today it’s time for your next quilt-along block:

Spool Block nancy Cabot Building Foundations Quilt Along

Block #11, the Spool Block, is very similar to the currently popular x & + block. The middle bar is the only difference.  The original design is by Nancy Cabot, first published in the Chicago Tribune on April 1, 1938. It’s reappearance at a recent Japanese Quilt Festival in this quilt by Setsuko Inagawa brought about the contemporary interest in it.


From background, cut 8 – 2 5/8″ squares.

From accent fabric #1 (X-piece, dark green in my block above) cut 4 – 4 1/4″ squares.

From accent fabric #2, cut 5 – 2 1/4″ squares.

From accent fabric #3, cut 4 – 2 1/4″ squares.



1. On the wrong side of each 2 5/8″ background square, draw a line diagonally from one corner to the opposite corner. 

2. Place a background square atop one of your 4 1/4″ squares, right sides together (RST).


3. Stitch on the diagonal line you drew in Step 1. Trim the excess from the corner, press seam open.

4. Repeat Steps 2 & 3 on opposite corner to finish the corner unit. Make 4 corner units.


5. Lay out 4 Corner Units and 9 – 2 1/4″ squares as shown below. NOTE: Take care to sew a scant 1/4″ seam allowance. If your seam allowance is too large or inconsistent, your block will not come out to 9.5″ unfinished.


6. Join into rows, join rows to complete Spool Block.


And here are out finished blocks again, side-by-side:

Nancy Cabot Spool Block x & + block QAL

Notice Trina (her block is on the left) used her background fabric as her accent fabric #3, too; which yields a slightly different, cleaner look. It makes her other two fabrics really pop!

Remember to share your pics with us via the Facebook page or the Flickr group!

Happy Sewing,

Doris & Trina

4 thoughts on “Building Foundations Sampler QAL – Block 11

  1. Pingback: It’s a Quilt-Along! | row house creations

  2. Fun to see this, as I’ve got to start work on a set of them for our Friendship Swap on Flickr. I love these blocks–great tutorial (you linked over to an image on my blog, so I found you!)

    • Elizabeth, I’m glad you have that image available on your blog because the Flickr links to it don’t seem to work anymore. Thanks for the nice comment; glad you found us!

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