Friday, December 21, 2007

Ten Easy Blocks List

Today's list is Ten Easy Blocks.
I've made a quick picture in EQ6... excuse the not-so-interesting color sceme. We can talk about that another time!
Those two blocks in the center that are all one color will be mentioned at the end of this post. Otherwise, just look at the blocks from left to right!
REMEMBER to add 1/2" to each measurement for the squares and rectangles (equals 1/4" on each side for seam allowance for the unfinished or cut size needed). Triangle formulas are below.
I like to figure the finished (sewn) sizes first and then add the seam allowance.

1. Rail Fence: What could be easier than 3 strips? In a quilt they are arranged alternating horizontally then vertically.
2. Four Patch: Nice with a fussy-cut in 2 of the squares....combine several blocks to make a checkerboard border.
3. Nine-patch: The arrangement here is called an "X". Switch the lights and darks to have the "O" style. If you want to make a checkerboard with these, you must use both X's and O's.
4. Broken Dishes: This block has four Half-Square Triangle units (bias on the long side). Quick piece these by cutting two squares (one light, one dark) the finished size of the unit plus 1". Put them RS together, then draw a diagonal line (corner to corner). Sew 1/4" away from each side of the line. Cut on the line, press the units open, then trim to make them squares the unfinished size you need.
The mathematically correct formula is finshed size plus 7/8", but trimming ensures you get 2 usable units!
5. Snowball: This is good for a connecting block, between 2 others with more pieces. Cut a square the size of the block, then cut 4 smaller squares. Draw a diagonal line on WS of the smaller ones, and place one in a corner of the large square so the line goes from one side to another across the corner. Sew on that line, then press the small square up to the corner to form a triangle shape. Repeat for all the coners. Some people like to trim out the extra layers, and some just leave them alone.
6. Square-in-a-Square: The triangles are made by cutting HSTs...use the formula in #4 to cut the correct size squares, then cut on the diagonal. The important part of sewing this block is to add the traingles to opposite sides, instead of going around the square.
7. Hourglass: This block has Quarter-Square Triangles (bias on the two short sides). Quick piece it by cutting two squares 1.25" larger than the finished size. Make sewn Half-Square Triangles (HST) as in #4 above, then place those units RS together with the seams matching. Draw a diagonal line going the other way from the seam, and sew again as for a HST. Cut on the line, press open and you will have two 2-color triangles.
8. Ohio Star: Oh, look! It's four little Hourglass units and four plain squares! You will need to make two sets of different colored Hourglass units to get this coloring.
9. Flying Geese/ Wild Geese: The main thing here is the wide triangle unit (imagine a line drawn through the Hourglass block and you will see that means the big triangle is a Quarter-Square Triangle). There are eight in this block, but two will equal a square. Make it with a rectangle (for the big triangle Goose) and two squares (for the sides or "sky"). Decide on the size for the Goose rectangle, then cut two squares that are half that size. Sew them onto the rectangle like the squares for the Snowball.
10. Variable Star: The points for the star are Flying Geese (or Goose units, as I like to say!). In this block, the Goose units are half the size of the center square, and the corner squares are the same as the small squares for the Goose units.
Now you can see how knowing one things builds on to another, and by combining them you can end up with blocks that look complicated, but the parts are easy.
That's what the two un-colored blocks in the center are all can decide how to color them, and how to make them now!
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