Friday, 19 April 2013

Five Yen Fortune Block - Tutorial (2 1/2" Strip Pieced)


I just returned from a wonderful vacation in Japan, where inspiration flowed.  I have a collection of Japanese fabrics in my stash and added to this with "bento box cloths".   These little cloths are available at many of the shops and are meant to cover the container that you take your lunch in.  They are approximately 20" x 20" and as a quilter I looked at them as fat quarters. 

The 5 Yen Coin is considered good fortune and my quilt block is based on the inspiration of the beautiful bento cloths combined with the 5 Yen Coin. 

5 Yen Fortune Block:


2 WOF (width of fabric) 2 1/2" Dark Strips (or 4 strips cut from a fat quarter).
1 WOF 2 1/2" Light Strip (or 1 strip cut from a fat quarter).

A dark fat quarter will produce 2 of these blocks. 


Dark Fabric:
4 - 6 1/2" rectangles. 
4 - 12 1/2" rectangles. 
Important for Fat Quarter strips: cut one 6 1/2" and one 12 1/2" rectangle from each strip. 

Light Fabric:
8 - 2 1/2" squares.

Important for Fat Quarter strips: cut one 6 1/2" and one 12 1/2" rectangle from each strip. 

Here are your cut pieces. 
Now draw a diagonal stitching line of each of your squares as illustrated in these photos, watching your angles.   

Sew the corner triangles to the rectangles. 

 Sew the middle section together first,
using a 1/4" seam allowance.

A note about pressing:

Pressing seams open will reduce bulk.

Pressing seams to one side (normally the dark side) will add durability to your finished quilt. 

In the case of this block, please decide on your preference.  I prefer to press to one side as I like the idea of a durable quilt.  
The bulk tends to get hidden in the quilting process. 

Sew the remainder of the strips together 
to complete your block. 
Square to 12 1/2".  

The complete "Five Yen Fortune" Block.  

May you find good fortune :)

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Here is another free pattern tutorial! 
Strip Quilt Variation


  1. Thank you very much for nice block and great Tutorial! Have a nice day!

  2. You're most welcome. I will be posting another new 2 1/2" strip pattern soon.

  3. Just caught this tutorial as a click thru. Very nice. Like the cultural info as well. Thanks

  4. Thank you very much for the very nice block and tutorial.

  5. Thank you very much! I like this excellent Japan block!

  6. That seems like doing it the hard way. So many strips, so many seams!

    1. A lot of people like to work with 2 1/2" strips. This is an option to work with a jelly roll or 2 1/2" scraps rather than squares.