The Swallows are Flying!

I have always drawn the most inspiration from vintage and traditional quilt patterns. Flying Swallows is one of those. There are several variations of both pieced and appliqué blocks, but I'm talking about the one based on an 8 Pointed Star, as seen here by one I created in 2002 for Quilt Magazine.

Flying Swallows, 2002

I have designed a few digital quilts since then for a few fabric companies. Here's one I used for Blank Quilting in 2008:

Flying Swallows using the Fun Dip Collection

This was a class I was supposed to teach in 2020 for the Sewing Expo. Nope - all cancelled! I'm sitting on all the printed patterns, but I also have them as digital pdfs in my Etsy shop. Here is one of my class samples:
Flying Swallows. 24" center. 38" x 38" quilt

Oh. Don't get nervous! There aren't any y-seams, I promise! Here is another of my class samples. I made it in bright colors. First - the 45 degree diamonds. 

45 degree diamonds in bright colors

Let's see the quilt, ok? It's still a quilt top so that any students who take the class can see the seams from the back.

Flying Swallows

Here is just the block center. Notice how I used 2 different colors for the background (the white and the light blue). All of the fabrics are Michael Miller Fairy Frost!

24" Flying Swallows block

I created one using the Jamestown Collection by Windham in 2018. This is a simple digital rendition, but those outside setting triangles and squares are pieced !

Flying Swallows for Windham Fabrics

Now, I want you to go back and look at the centers of these quilts. Notice in the first one, that black fabric resembles a crab that is anxious to jump out and bite you with its claws! It's the placement of the fabrics.

In the three (minus the red one), I changed out the colors of the background for those diamonds, and now you see a pinwheel (without those crab claws!)

Here's a page of the way it's put together. Does it look too hard? Remember: no templates; all rotary cut AND no set-in seams.

Check out my 7 page pdf pattern in my Etsy shop. Or, if you prefer a printed copy that I can mail to you, send me an email ( and I'll tell you how to get it. It includes a coloring chart and lots of process shots!


  1. I love the flying swallows and the different fabrics used.

    1. Thanks! The original/vintage method was to use a lot of y-seams! This way it's doable. Obviously, I liked it because I made several! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I've always liked this pattern. The Sioux have a similar one that's quite large, and the symmetry always appeals to me. Thanks for the directs that avoid the y-seams. =)


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