Saturday, March 3, 2018

Squared Away Block 3

Hi everyone, and welcome back to the Squared Away quilt!  We are all the way up to block 3! If you've just found this quilt along, come on and jump right in.  It's not too late to start!  This quilt was designed by me and Angela of soscrappy as a fun, free project, so there are no signups or fees.  Just start sewing and you'll fit right in.

Our colors for this month are bright and light greens, just to get us in the mood for spring. Here is our block for this month:

Believe it or don't, this block is called Red Cross and was in the 1897 publication of the Ladies' Art Company catalogue.  This is one of those blocks that can look very different depending on your fabric choices.  I've tried  different colorways and you can see those pictures near the end of this post, so be sure to read all the way through before you start cutting.

On to the tutorial for the block!

Cutting for 10-inch blocks

This block is something of a magic block.  It requires 16 half-square triangles, but if you have an Easy Angle ruler, this entire block can be made from one 2-1/2 inch by width of fabric strip of green (like those in jelly rolls) and one 2-1/2 by width of fabric strip of background.  This is the way that I made my blocks.  If you want to make your half-square triangles a different way, I've listed some cutting instructions by block component, not color, so you can mix and match depending on how you want your block to look.

As always, if you already have squares cut, use those! No need to let good scraps go to waste.

To make a 10 inch finished block the way I made mine, cut:

1 2-1/2 by width of fabric strip of green
1 2-1/2 by width of fabric strip of background

Alternate cutting instructions to use other sizes of scraps:

For the hsts:

To use the Magic 8 method:
2 5-3/4 inch squares of green* 
2 5-3/4 inch squares of a background or accent color *
(can both be oversized and hsts trimmed to size if desired)

For use the more traditional method for hsts:
8 2-7/8 inch squares to make 16 hsts

For the crossbars:

4 2-1/2 by 4-1/2 inch rectangles of green or background

For the center:

1 2-1/2 inch square of green or background


This block is very easy to make.  First, make 16 half-square triangles using whichever method you prefer.  Your hsts should measure 2-1/2 inches to finish at 2 inches in the block. To make them from the 2-1/2 inch strips, follow these steps.  HERE is an old video from Bonnie Hunter that explains a lot better than I could, if you find videos helpful. (My pictures are a little different from hers.)

First, put your two strips right sides together and align the edges carefully.  I found it helpful to press the strips together.  Trim off the left selvage so that you start with a nice square end.

Using the Easy Angle Ruler, align the 2-1/2 inch line along the bottom of the strips, with the small black triangle hanging over the top edge.  Cut along the slanted edge.  You should have a piece that looks like this:

Flip the ruler around to cut the next pair, and then continue along the strip until you have 16 pairs.

After you have all of the pairs cut, stitch each of them, open, and press.  These will not require very much trimming, if any.  Once you get the hang of it, it's very easy and goes fast, but it can be unforgiving. Not aligning the pieces correctly can lead to hsts that are too small, so be sure to cut carefully.

Once you have 16 hsts, separate what remains of the two strips.  From one, cut 4 2-1/2 by 4-1/2 rectangles for the crossbars.  From the other strip, cut one 2-1/2 inch square.  You will have some leftover from one strip but very little from the other.

Arrange your hsts as shown, in four groups of four hsts each.  Pay close attention to the directions of the colors, stitch together, and press well.  You can press in any direction that the seams fit best since they won't be attached to other pieced units.

Make 4. These units should measure 4-1/2 inches square.


That is it!  Time to assemble the block--

Lay out the units you just made, the rectangles, and the center square as shown, paying attention to the directions of the hsts:

Join the units into rows and the rows into a finished block.  I found it easiest to press toward the rectangles.  Give your block a good press, stand back, and admire!

This block looks very different depending on the color choices.  Here's my first block from above along with a second block with green crossbars instead of white ones:

Whichever way you decide to distribute the colors, make sure that the center square and corner triangles form a small Shoo Fly block in the center of the block:

This insures that the hsts are in the correct orientation and your block turns out with the right effect.

Even though there are a lot of hsts in this block, it goes pretty fast.  You can also have fun choosing some different background colors to coordinate with the greens.  In the block above, I used a light purple to set off the bright green.

Our quilt is 30% finished! Here are my versions of all the 10-inch blocks we've done so far:

And for those of you who are into dark backgrounds, here are my larger blocks:

These are going to be some great quilts!  I just love seeing the pretty greens.  It gives me some hope that spring is actually on the way.  Don't forget to visit Angela's blog today to see her blocks and get some more ideas for variations and maybe some tips or tricks, too.

The next step in our quilt will be ready April 7, so meet back here for the next block!  In the meantime, we'd love to see your blocks at Angela's weekly linkup so we can all admire them. And if you're sharing pictures of your blocks on Instagram, remember to tag them as #squaredawayquilt or #squaredawaybom so that we don't miss your pretty blocks!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC18.


Jo said...

I didn't get Febs blocks done but do hope to do some sewing tomorrow...

Ivani said...

Another pretty block with clear instructions. Thanks Mari.

scraphappy said...

Your blocks are beautiful this month. PDF files for the tutorial are posted.

Quilter Kathy said...

Very pretty blocks to try! Can't wait to dig into the green scraps!

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Those are pretty! I love what happens when you reverse the colors, too.

MissPat said...

I'm in FL until March 25th, so I'll have to play catch up when I get home, but these blocks will be easy enough to make.

Bernie Kringel said...

Thank you Mari! Love the greens and looking forward to digging into my bin.

Kathy's A Quilter said...

Another fantastic block made so much easier with the Easy Angle Ruler...Thank you!

gayle said...

Oh, I like this block, too! The first three have definitely been a fun bunch - already anxious to see what's next and it's only March 3rd!

The Joyful Quilter said...

Thanks for another great block to add to the Squared Away collection!!

Cathy Tomm said...

Great sampler blocks, they look good together. Thanks for so much help to get the instructions done. I hope to get to work on mine later in the week.

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

now, I am glad I read this. I have a couple of these easy angle triangles but was never quite sure what to do with them. Love how your blocks are coming along

Preeti said...

Love all the greens and all the blocks. Oh, that navy with the bright green is so rich and handsome a block. Are you asking me to buy Bonnie's Easy Angle ruler? No? Cause it seems that you just sold it for her. See you soon :-)

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

When doing my HSTs the old fashion way I cut my squares at 3 1/8" or 3 1/4" so I have plenty of fabric to square them down to 2 1/2" I have found that the 'formula' that a lot of designers use in cutting instructions of 2 7/8" for a 2 1/2" unfinished HST just does not give any room for errors and the two triangles have to be sewn at a scant.

Thought I would just add this information. Thank you for all your hard work.

Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl said...

It's lovely to see how the block comes together and it feels like a fun detail to have the shoofly in the center. Thank you for sharing and linking up with the Tips and Tutorials Festival!