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Block 11 – Read Books all Summer
This week’s block is Read Books all Summer. It has five quarter square triangle (QST) units and four squares. The QST unit is often referred to as an hour glass block. Here’s a scrappy hour glass quilt I made for my sister a few years ago:
A note about block colours: I chose to represent this block in 3 colours; however, you could make your QST units scrappy if you wish.
Beginner’s Lesson: Quarter Square Triangles
You may notice that there are three different sets of photos for this tutorial. My apologies, as the camera seems to have eaten some of my photos and I had to reshoot them using different fabrics.
Making QST units is similar to what we’ve been doing for our HST units. We start with larger squares, draw diagonal lines, sew 1/4″ on both sides of that line, press, cut apart and trim.
To determine the starting square size, the math for QSTs is unit finished size + 1.25″. However, I prefer more wiggle room and like to trim my units to the exact size I need, so I add 1.5″ to the finished size. For our block, that’s 4″ + 1.5″ = 5.5″. Each pair of squares will yield two QST units.
Follow the same steps we’ve been doing for our HSTs. Layer your two squares right sides together. On the back of one of the squares, draw a diagonal line corner to corner and stitch 1/4″ away from that line on both sides. Press to set your seams and cut your HSTs in half. When you open up your HST units, be sure to press both pairs toward the same fabric.
Layer your two HST units right sides together, with your fabrics on opposite sides. Run your finger along the middle seam to ensure that the two units are nested together nicely. They should fit nice and snug.
Draw a diagonal line, corner to corner, in the opposite direction of the first line. Stitch 1/4″ from that centre line.
Press your block, then take a peek to make sure your intersections look good.
Cut in half. You now have two QST units.
To press these units, I like to use a trick I first learned from Billie Lauder. If you ever have an opportunity to attend a class or lecture with her, do so. She’s a riot. Ok, back to the trick. Our QST unit is considered a four-patch, because it has four seams that meet together. In order to have a nice flat block, we’ll spiral the seams. This is what it looks like when we’re done:
Here’s a video that shows how it’s done:
Unfortunately, that video makes is sound more confusing than it really is. What you want to do is lay your block down on your ironing board, and lightly push the seams in opposite directions. The center section should open up and form that cute four patch in the centre.
It might take a bit of practice, but once you get it to work, you’ll see how valuable this technique is for other units too. Once you have the seams going in the directions you want, finger press your unit, then carefully press from the back with the iron. Turn your block over and press from the front.
Trim and square up your units to the unfinished size, in our case 4.5″. On the first cut, line up the diagonal line on your ruler with your block, with extra fabric to be trimmed on all four sides. Trim the right side and top of your block.
When you make the second cut, you’ll line up the two sides you just cut at your 4.5″ mark on your ruler plus the diagonal line in the centre. Trim.
In Block 6, I featured June Tailor’s Perfect Half-Square & Quarter-Square Triangles Ruler. I prefer to use this ruler for trimming QSTs as it makes lining up the two diagonal lines very easy. I used this ruler exclusively for the hour glass quilt I featured above. Here’s a video for this ruler.
Here’s a very short video on making quarter square triangles:
I’m curious, do you spiral your four patch seams? Let me know in the comments, please.
Tutorial: Block 11 – Read Books all Summer
(4) 4.5" squares light grey
(3) 5.5" squares black
(3) 5.5" squares white
In my photo, light grey is the blue swirl, black is the purple swirl and white is the purple flower.
Piecing the block:
With the 5.5" squares, create six hour glass/QST units following the tutorial above. Be sure to trim your units accurately to 4.5″ square. You’ll only use five of the six created.
Lay out your units in order following the block diagram.
Stitch your units together in three rows. For rows 1 and 3, press the seams toward the centre block. For the middle row, press the seams away from the centre unit.
Sew rows 1 and 2 together, pinning at the seams and ends to keep things aligned nicely. Press towards row 2. Then stitch row 3 and press towards row 2.
Your completed block should be 12.5″:
Download this week’s tutorial here: Beginner’s Quilt-Along – Block 11
Any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments. Don’t forget to share your completed block in the Flickr group by next Wednesday, August 22nd at 2:00 p.m. for a chance to win this week’s prizes featured below.
Prizes for this Week
We have two prizes to give-away this week.
We have a lovely 10 Little Things charm pack from Moda to give-away:
Block 10 Winners
If you’re a winner, please check your photo on Flickr for instructions. I have not heard from wenine9 who won last week. Please email me.