Nero's Post II (2013-2015)

by Teje Karjalainen

Fair Isle Reindeer – Tutorial


Hi dear friends! Time to show you how you can make your own, Rudolf Reindeer! This was the first Fair Isle block I made and it’s my favourite.

Fair Isle Reindeer - Tutorial

Here is the drawing with few shades to help you to see how it’s separeted in sections.




1 x [10.5″x 4.5″], 1 x [4.5″x 2.5″], 1 x [2.5″x 2.5″]

3 x [6.5″x 1.5″], 1 x 4.5″x 1.5″], 1 x [3.5″x 1.5″], 7 x [2.5″x 1.5″], 13 x [1.5″x 1.5″]


1 x [7.5″x 6.5″], 1 x [6.5″x 5.5″], 1 x [5.5″x 2.5″], 1 x [4.5″x 3.5″], 1 x [4.5″x 2.5″], 1 x [3.5″x 2.5″], 3 x [2.5″x 2.5″],

1 x [6.5″x 1.5″], 1 x [5.5″x 1.5″], 3 x [3.5″x 1.5″], 8 x [2.5″x 1.5″], 12 x [1.5″x 1.5″]

FINISHED SIZE: about 17.5″ x 16.5″

reindeer tutorial

Here are the pieces we need. Seam allowance is 1/4″ so each square measures 1″x 1″when finished. This helps you to create your own Fairl Isle patterns. If you need for example retangle 4″ x 3″ you will cut 4.5″ x 3.5″ piece.

Sew in sections. First I sew the smallest squares together. You can consider this one kind of log cabin block. When you have sewn small squares, you can add the next bigger piece etc.


When you look Fair Isle pattern, find the places where you can draw straigh lines to share it in sections.

There is many ways to share the pattern in smaller pieces. I try to create as big as possible pieces to make it easy and quick. I still like also the idea to make this kind of pattern using only 1″x 1″ squares, but that takes a lot of time.

Below you see the legs of the reindeer.


You can press the small seams first with your nail. When you have made some bigger pieces, press the seams with iron. I like to press very often, because it gives better result. When there are lots of little seams, I do like this to save time.


sewing reindeer

Keep the pieces all the time in order on their places because it’s very easy too mix them or to sew them upside down.


When you have the sections ready, press them well and trim a little bit if needed.

reindeer quilt block

And voila! You have made the cutest Reindeer! Now you can use it for a quilt, pillow, wall hanging, table runner or for any other great idea you have! HERE is the pillow I made with the reindeer.

If you like to make Fair Isle Man and Woman, HERE is my tutorial.

North Star quilt project

I hope you find this tutorial easy and helpful to create your own Fairl Isle quilt blocks! If you have any questions, I’m happy to help!

Happy quilting!



Author: Teje

I am a Finnish woman living in Crete in Greece. Quilting, sewing, knitting, crochet and if there is still time, reading and painting, with happy company of our two sweet dogs and one cat!

17 thoughts on “Fair Isle Reindeer – Tutorial

  1. That is very cute Teje! I am working on a pixel quilt, and it is the same process and small pieces. I like to press seams as I sew.

    • Thank you Maryse! That sounds exciting! I prefer to press often, but sometimes my iron board is loaded with fabrics or Hanna sleeps front of it. Hmm, pixel quilt sounds very inspiring. x Teje

  2. Very nice Teje. Lots of tiny pieces but perfect for the finish ; )

  3. I love this block! I’m Danish living in Canada and this is perfectly Scandinavian and Canadian at the same time 🙂

  4. Another adorable project. Thanks for doing all the tricky work for us. Now we need only sew.

  5. Fabulous! I’m a huge fan of Scandinavian designs, Teje, so I now have a crush on this sweet fellow. ;o) Thanks for sharing him with us!

  6. Thank you for sharing these patterns. Excited to start a project for me.

  7. I love your animals and this one! Thank you for the tutorial. Perhaps, this week-end, I’ll sew one! Have a nice week-end.

  8. I just found this wonderful reindeer, it would be perfect for a gift (or maybe for me). Thank you for sharing.

    Janet from Virginia USA (it’s rather warm here right now)

    • Thank you Janet! This reindeer was fun to make and I’m looking for to make other things with this same technic. Here in Crete it’s not really hot and high humidity, too. Can’t wait to get to autumn and be able to sew more again. Have a lovely day! x Teje

  9. Pingback: bee à la Française: septembre – Atelier de Cocopatch

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