New to Quilting?

If you are brand new to quilting and don't know where to begin, start with the posts in September 2011 (look in the blog archive). The first four posts cover basics such as choosing equipment, choosing colors, how to sew 1/4" seams, how to use a rotary cutter, and how to press (not iron) your block during construction.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Around the Corner - Quilt Block Tutorial

Sorry for the delay. I didn't get a block up at all in February. Things sometimes get busy on the farm and at work so I don't get the time to update as often as I want to.

I also have to apologize for the photos. I can't seem to get the lighting right!

Around the Corner
8" finished quilt block

Step 1: Cutting the Fabric 

Fabric A: background fabric

  • A1- cut two 3 1/2" squares (not shown in photo below)
  • A2 - cut six 3" squares
  • A 3 - cut four 2 1/2' squares 
Fabric B: Blue (dark)
  • B - cut two 3" squares 
Fabric C: Grey (medium)
  • C - cut two 3 1/2" squares

Step 2: Sewing the Half-square Triangles
Draw a line through each A2 piece.

Draw a line through each A1 piece.
Pin two A2 pieces right sides together with a B (blue) piece.

Sew 1/4" seam on both sides of the drawn line.

Cut along the drawn line.

Hubby was able to find a wall paper seam roller at Lowe's for a few dollars. I used this to "finger press" my seams open. I love it! Finger pressing will sometimes stretch the bias, the roller doesn't.

Trim each square to 2 1/2".

Step 3: Sewing the Quarter-square Triangles
These technically aren't quarter-square triangles because they don't have four triangles, but I'm not sure of the real name for them, so just follow along...

  • First make four half-square triangles

Match each C square to an A1 square, right sides together.
Sew a 1/4" seam on both sides of the diagonal line drawn on the back of the A1 square.
Cut along the diagonal line.
Press seams open
Do not trim the half-square triangle!

  • Finishing the Quarter-square triangles
Match the other four A2 squares with the C/A1 half-square triangles.
Make sure the four corners line up (they won't match up, the A2 square will be slightly smaller) and the diagonal line is bisecting the seam.

Sew a 1/4" seam along each side of the diagonal line.

Carefully place your ruler matching the horizontal seam with the ruler and the vertical seam with the ruler. Trim the square to 2 1/2".
You will end up with eight quarter-square triangles.

Step 4: Sewing the Block
Sorry about the lighting! The fabrics look much better in real life, not yellowed and awful like the photo!
Place all your squares (which should have been trimmed to 2 1/2") according to the photo.

Check very carefully to make sure your quarter-square triangles match up correctly.

I like to fold the right column over the column to the left, then pin pieces together.

Sew down the column. Repeat for the last seam in the middle. You will end up with four rows.

Sew each of the rows together matching the seams.

I am still having a little trouble getting all the seams to match up when they are pressed open. Pressing open reduces the bulk, but takes longer than pressing to the side, and it makes it harder to match up the seams.

I should have changed my needle (that's why there is so much puckering..... the needle was not doing a great job sewing, but I was in too much of a hurry to get this tutorial up to change it.)

Between the puckering and the points not matching I was thinking about ripping the whole block apart. Over the last few weeks I've listed to some quilting lectures.  A reoccurring theme came up: While perfection is always a goal,  A finished quilt is better than a perfect top, done is better than perfect.

If I have time I may make the block again, but for now it's good enough.

Everyone loves "Show and Tell!" Please feel free to send me a photo of your block. I'd love to see what colors you are using, so would everyone else!

Update: Reader photos!

Dawn's block. I love the way she changed the colors!

Jaime's block.I love all the polka dots!