Tag Archive for quilt block template

Square in Square Quilt Block (Paper Piecing Tutorial)

I recently made a quilt block for my do. Good Stitches charity bee, and I had so much fun making this block. So, I decided to take photos and put together a square in square quilt block tutorial!

Tutorial for a Square in Square quilt block (paper pieced)

This is a paper-pieced (foundation pieced) quilt block pattern that works great with all kinds of fabrics. You can use these blocks to make a pretty paper-pieced pillow, a whole quilt or just make one block to practice your paper piecing.

PTS6

This is a pillow made using the same square in square block pattern, made by Tamiko of Patchwork Notes! She has put together a free paper-piecing pattern for this block, which you can download here.

Foundation Piecing Tips

Here are a few things to remember when sewing foundation-pieced blocks:

  1. Print out your foundation pattern once for each block you’d like to make. For the 8 blocks pictured, I printed off 8 sheets! I used regular computer paper.
  2. Shorten your stitch length to 1 or 1.3. This will allow you to tear off the paper easily when you’re done sewing.
  3. Place your fabric on the non-printed side of the paper. The pretty side of the fabric should face out toward you.
  4. When sewing a foundation pieced quilt block, always sew directly through the paper on the printed side of the paper. The fabric will be underneath the paper as you stitch, so use a glue stick and/or pins to hold it in place.
  5. For another little primer on how foundation piecing works, you can visit my New York Beauty block tutorial! Once you get used to placing fabric on one side of the paper and sewing the other, you should have no problem with this technique.

Square in Square Block Tutorial

Pattern makes a 6″ finished (6.5″ unfinished) block. Download the free template and print one copy for each block you’d like to make.

For each block, cut the following:
– 1 square 3.5″ x 3.5″ for center
– 2 squares 3.5″ x 3.5″ for center ring. Cut squares in half once diagonally to make 4 triangles total.
– 2 squares 4.5″ x 4.5″ for outer ring. Cut squares in half once diagonally to make 4 triangles total.

Here are two of my printed templates, side by side:

1. To make 1 block, take the 3.5″ x 3.5″ fabric for your center square. Place it on the wrong side of your paper, so the edges overlap the edges of the center box on your printout. You can hold up your paper to the window to see the lines. Use a glue stick to dab just a dot of glue to hold the fabric in place.

2. Next, take two of your triangles (cut diagonally from the smaller 3.5″ squares), and place them right side down on the fabric square as pictured. Align the long straight edges of your triangles with the top and bottom of the square. Center and pin in place. (The photo to the right shows what it will look like after stitching.)

3. Flip the paper and take it to your sewing machine so the printout is facing up at you. Peek under your paper to make sure the fabric has not shifted, and stitch the two lines where you’ve pinned the wide end of your triangles. Backstitch at end edge.

4. Open up the triangles you’ve just sewn and press. Repeat by pinning the long edge of two triangles to the opposite sides, taking the paper to your sewing machine, and stitching along the left and right sides of your center square.

5. Here’s what the triangles will look like stitched. Again, fold the triangles open and press with your iron.

6. Next, it’s time to trim! Take the block to your cutting mat. With the printed side of the paper facing up, fold along one of the diamond edges (diagonal lines) as pictured.

7. Fold the paper corner completely down, so you see the edges of fabric poking out. Lay your ruler on top of the paper, and measure out 1/4″ from the edge of the paper. Trim the fabric that pokes out past a 1/4″ seam.

8. Unfold the paper corner, and repeat with the other 3 corners to trim each of the edges.

9. Here is what the block looks like trimmed. So pretty!

10. Since I was making 8 blocks, I went ahead and assembled the centers and first row of triangles up to this point. You can see that I left the papers full-size, but you may wish to trim yours at this point or before getting started! Just be sure to leave on the outer printed border, which is the seam allowance.


11. To make the outer border, take two of the triangles cut diagonally from your 4.5″ squares. Pin the long edges of each triangle along the top and bottom of your patchwork square (pictured, left). Stitch in place along the printed lines. Press the triangles open.

12. Take your final two triangles, and pin the long edges along the left and right sides of your patchwork square (pictured, right).


13. Stitch in place. For this entire step, you will be stitching around the lines of the diamond (the second shape from the center), as pictured.

14. Press the entire block. Get excited, because you are almost done!


15. Flip the block over, so the paper side is facing you. Trim along the edges of the paper, again leaving the 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around the edge.

16. Flip over the paper and admire your pretty square in square quilt block!

17. When you are joining your blocks, it’s helpful to leave the paper on. I know… it seems funny. But it makes it very easy to get an accurate seam allowance and line up all the points.

18. All of your previous seams will naturally be pressed to the sides. For the seams between each block, I like to press the seams open.

do. Good Stitches {imagine} April for Toni

I can’t wait to see the quilt that Toni makes from these charity blocks! If you make any blocks based on this or any of our tutorials, we’d love to see them! Please add them to the Craft Buds Flickr group or share a link in the comments.

Have you tried foundation piecing or another type of paper piecing before? What’s your favorite method (or tools and tricks) of paper piecing?

Whirligig Quilt Block Tutorial

This tutorial will show you how to make a 12.5″ square whirligig block, alternating colorful scraps of fabric with your background or focus fabric. This is the perfect size for many quilting bees – I hope you find it helpful!

4x5 Bee (4th Qtr) for Elizabeth

To begin, make a template from cardboard (like a cereal or pasta box). Cut a cardboard rectangle that is 2.5″ x 3.25″.

With the rectangle positioned longways, mark 1.25″ from the top left and 1.25″ from the bottom right. Cut a straight line connecting these dots. In other words, you will slice the rectangle on a slight diagonal right through the center of the longer edges.

You now have a cardboard template that is 2.5″ (left side) x 1.25″ (skinny top) x 2.5″ (diagonal right edge) x 1.75″ (wide bottom). Discard the half of the template; you will only need one side.

From your white background fabric, cut 18 rectangles that are 2.5″ x 3.25″ (your original rectangle size). Now use your cardboard template to slice your rectangles on the same diagonal as your template, creating 36 individual pieces. Set aside.

Next, sort your scraps and locate 9 different fabrics. Each fabric scrap should be large enough to cut 4 pieces directly from the cardboard template. Cut and arrange your whirligig “wings” so that like fabrics are grouped together.

Pair each white background piece with a colored piece, right sides facing. You’ll be stitching pieces together along the diagonal.

Here’s another view showing how the white and colored fabrics should go together. As you can see, I let the top corner of the white piece stick out a bit (about 1/16″ to 1/8″), just as I let the bottom corner of the bottom piece poke out. This will actually help your blocks to be even when you stitch them together.

Use a scant 1/4″ seam allowance. This is just a hair smaller than a true 1/4″. You’ll probably want to chain-piece these fabrics to save time and thread. (See below.) Back-stitch at the beginning and end of each piece. After chain-stitching the blocks, snip the connecting threads to separate.

With the back of each block facing you, use the back of your fingernail to press each seam open. The other option is to push your seam over to the patterned side; however, I find that pressing seams open makes the patchwork look more exact. Arrange your blocks as shown.

To join these blocks, stitch the two left blocks together, then the two right blocks, using your scant 1/4″ seam allowance. Chain stitch as before, and snip the threads, to save a few steps.

Again, press the seams open, then join the left and right sides with your scant seam allowance. Make sure the center seam from each side matches up in your whirligig block.

Carefully trim edges even. You should barely need to trim off anything, but trim up to 1/8″ if anything is hanging over. This will help make your final block easier to stitch. Repeat this process for your other 8 whirligigs, being sure to trim as needed.

To join your whirligig blocks together, change your seam allowance to a true 1/4″. (I slid my needle just one place to the left.) If you forget this step, your block will be closer to 13″ square when finished.

Arrange your 9 whirligigs so you have a good balance of colors, then pin together and stitch the first two blocks from each row. Join the third block to each row, making sure each point matches up with the seam from the next block. Press the seams open, and trim each row up to 1/8″ to even up the long edges.

To join your rows, match up seams, pinning together at each intersection. Stitch slowly, slightly pulling the fabric as needed when you approach an intersection. No matter how carefully you measure, you’ll need to push and pull fabric slightly to match seams perfectly.

Using these recommended seam allowances, you should now be able to trim the block to an even 12.5″ square.  I made these blocks in assorted colors for a quilt bee on Flickr, based on this fun variation by Jessica. This is a great block to make in a variety of colors and patterns for your quilting bee.

If you make any blocks using this tutorial, feel free to send us a link, or share it in the Craft Buds Flickr pool.

 

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