At the start of the year I decided to start putting on paper my Quilt designs – in order to one day start publishing patterns. Now I have over 30 Quilt Block Designs. So before it gets too overwhelming to write tutorials for them all I have decided to write a Tutorial each week. So today is the first one!
Coincidentally one of my favourite bloggers Alyce aka Blossom Heart Quilts has written an excellent eBook – DIY Block Design . It has great tips that are invaluable to both the beginner and the experienced Quilter. This week you get two tutorials from me, as I’m part of her Quilt Block Design Blog Hop !! So look forward to another block on Wednesday !!
My First Quilt Block to share with you is MANY FISH. I’m probably one of the few Quilters that enjoy making Half Square Triangles (HSTs), which is why they feature so prominently in my creations. Yes the trimming does get tedious for a large Quilt – but I also find something therapeutic about the repetition also. (I know truly weird !!)
The Instructions below will allow you to create one 12.5″ unfinished Quilt Block.
Fabric 1. (you will have 1 spare HST)
5 2.5×2.5″ squares
8 3.5×3.5″ squares
Fabric 2. (you will have 1 spare HST)
3 2.5×2.5″ squares
5 3.5×3.5″ squares
Fabric 3. (you will have 1 spare HST)
2 3.5×3.5″ squares
Fabric 4. (You will have 1 spare HST)
1 3.5×3.5″ square
16 3.5×3.5″ squares
The Making of 32 HSTs. On each of the 16 Background fabric 3.5″ squares draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite.
Pair each background 3.5″ square with the coloured fabric 3.5″ squares. Sew these pairs together using a 1/4″ seam allowance on either side of the marked diagonal line. (Tip 1. I tend to “Chain Sew” this step to increase the speed of construction and decrease the use of thread).
Then use your ruler to cut along the diagonal marked line.
Trimming the HSTs is the longest part of the process. I do this BEFORE pressing the seams open. Using your smallest ruler, I place the ruler onto the FOLDED triangle and place the 2.5″ ruler marks onto the sewing line (NOT THE EDGE).
Then trim the two sides. Note: you will have about 1/4″ extra on both sides of your ruler, if your sewing and cutting is accurate – this is because I still add an inch to the final square dimension I am after. Most experienced quilters will add 7/8″ to conserve fabric, I tend to still use an inch as I find it improves my accuracy and allows for working late at night mistakes !
Once you have trimmed your HSTs to 2.5″ squares – press the seams open.
Through these steps you will turn the pile of HSTs from this:
To this :
I like to layout my block beside my sewing machine so I can see the placement of the blocks.
Using the above photo as a guide to then sew the 2.5″ squares into columns using a 1/4″ seam. As pictured below.
Press the seams in each column in opposite directions. That way you can nest the seams together when sewing the columns together.
Sew the columns together using a 1/4″ seam – and congratulations you have finished your Many Fish Quilt Block.
The following diagram vies you an idea what a Many Fish Quilt (50×50″) would look like with 4 different fabrics and with 16 Many Fish Quilt Blocks (created using EQ7).
Enjoy your Quilt Block Creations !! Here I have used beautiful Kaffe Fassett Fabric – that is bold, colourful and bright.
Come and See my next blog post (7th of October) as it will tell you more about Alyce’s (aka @Blossomheartquilts) great new book DIY Block Design – that will help you with all the Quilt Math that you need to design your own quilt blocks.
Have a great start to your week.
PS My last tip is to save your left over HSTs as you will soon have enough to create your own HST Scrappy Cushion Cover !!