Start Square Week 1 - The Block

Let me tell you a story...

A little over a year ago I made an hourglass quilt. It is the reason I have never worked with triangles again. It was fussy cutting all those triangles, and it was fussy sewing them together. They just weren't for me. You see, I like things that are quick and easy. Then one day I stumbled on this method when I was experimenting. And from this method developed some designs that make triangles (and the hourglass) SO AWESOME that I had to make a quilt.

This post would be HUGE with all the assembly options posted, so here's what we're going to do.
I am going to post the block details today (Saturday), then I will post one assembly option a day next week (Monday through Friday).
Hopefully you'll be so intrigued that you'll come back & check on all of the options (and hopefully find one that you like)!

- rotary cutter & mat
- 13" squares of background fabric
- 13" squares of feature fabrics (more about those smaller blue squares below)

A 13" sandwich yields 8 triangles
More about each quilt design & fabric requirements will be included with each option

Cutting the fabric

Since this is week 1, lets talk about cutting these 13" squares. I chose 13" square because you can get 3 from a standard width of fabric without much waste (just the selvages).

With the fabric still folded with selvages together, cut one 13" strip. Next, trim off the selvages. Then cut 13" from the newly trimmed edge. Open up the remaining fabric and trim it down to 13".

On to the block!
1. Place one background square and one feature square right sides together. I like to pin because the pieces are so large.

2. Sew around all 4 sides with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. There are 2 methods you can use:
*You can sew one block at a time, leaving your needle down and pivoting at the corners
*Sew one side of all of your blocks with the chain method. Cut them apart and sew another side. Cut apart and repeat for the other 2 sides.

SSW1 - cutting & seams
The seams are in blue (see, go all the way around), and the cutting line are in red.

3. Lay the block on your cutting mat. Cut in in half vertically, horizontally, and on both diagonals. You could cut more than one at a time, just make sure you line them up well. Also, I try to change where I stand so that I don't have to move the block until I've made all of my cuts.

4. Press seams toward the darker color (in my case I pressed them toward the linen).

5. You will end up with 8 triangles from each pair.

** Uh Oh**
I had some fabrics that I wanted to use but didn't have 13" of width left. I cut a 6.5" width (half of 13") and them trimmed those down into 6.5" squares (6 per WOF). You'll want to sew up only 2 touching sides (form an L with your stitching, see the pink pins?). Then cut them ONCE on the diagonal between the stitching. These are still the right size to work with the rest of your pieces!

Check back this week for 5 awesome assembly ideas!!


  1. I'm quite intrigued, and curious. I promised myself no new projects this month, but I may have to re-think that! I'll be haunting your blog this week to see what your assembly ideas look like.

  2. Great idea....anything to make things simpler is fine by me!

  3. Now to give this a go :) thank you - I can see a better 'maths brain' than I have is sometimes needed for quilting! NOW if they'd told me that at school maybe I'd have paid more attention in Maths!


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