Scrappy Flower Block or Cross Block with Bricks and Squares

Do you ever get tired of four patch blocks and want to do something different? Seems like cutting scraps into something usable often ends up in strips or squares–although sometimes I do tumblers too. The cross or flower quilt block is a classic quilt block but is usually made with all squares. Because I especially like brick quilts, I decided to adapt this block to my Qube and use the brick (Shape 8) as well as the square (Shape 2). By using the brick, one seam can be eliminated. And because I have a whole basket of 2-1/2″ strips already cut, it only makes sense to use up some of them as well as any new scraps that are cut, thus I chose the 8″ Qube Mix & Match Block set for this one. If I were starting with new fabric or scraps, I’d probably use the 6″ Qube Block set as I like smaller blocks more than larger blocks.

It’s also good to note that these blocks don’t finish at the size of the Qube because they are five “patches” across rather than four. Thus, the

  • 6″ Qube makes a 7-1/2″ finished block, the
  • 8″ Qube makes a 10″ finished block, the
  • 9″ Qube makes an 11-1/4″ finished block, and the
  • 12″ Qube makes a 15″ finished block.

If you’re making these for comfort or charity quilts like I am doing, you will need to adjust the layout so that the quilt is the right size. Just think how fun this would be for a baby quilt with four blocks and sashing using the 12″ Qube.

Here’s a picture of the individual block made with completely scrappy bricks and squares. As much as I like this block in a single color, the random scrappy look seems a little too scrappy and disorganized to me. Guess that’s my left brain kicking into gear.

So, I decided to try each block with a color theme, i.e., red, green, purple. That appealed to me much more, so this is what I got and I like this much better for a scrappy quilt and using up all those extra pieces that have been cut. There’s a lot more contrast between the background bricks and the flowers and each block has a color theme.

This is the basic unit that is a little more fun than a four patch and is nice for variety. So, it’s pretty easy to make these if you have the two patch units already stitched (which I usually do have as leaders and enders).

And then, it’s just a matter of making this block adding the colored bricks and center square. You can see that the individual unit is turned to get all the color squares around the center. I made this in three rows and then stitched the rows together. 

QUBE Tip: The nice thing about using the 8″ Qube was that when I wanted to use up pre-cut 2-1/2″ jelly roll strips, all I had to do was fanfold the strip across the Shape 1 die to make bricks and fanfold the 2-1/2″ jelly roll strip across the Shape 8 die to make squares. Just line the strip up with the blade on the long side of the strip, place the mat, and cut. Likewise, if you are using the 12″ Qube and have pre-cut 3-1/2″ strips, you can do the same thing–or the 6″ Qube and have pre-cut 2″ strips.

Here’s a picture of what the quilt would look like with sashing. I like the idea of a light flower/cross in the sashing to reflect the larger flower/cross pattern.

 
 

Using Triangle Dies with Strip Sets–Part 1

This is a quick post showing how a strip set can be used with the 8-1/2″ Quarter Square Triangle die. The strips are sewn together–either two strips or four strips into a tube. Then lay them on the die and center as carefully as possible side to side. The strips will not reach the outer blades along the long edge, but the strip set needs to be centered between them as evenly as possible. These blocks all turn out the same size–remarkably. However, the final size may not be an even number. Here are the photos that tell the story.

This is an example of a block that might be squared up using a technique shown here. And the reason is that you may want your blocks to be an exact even size.

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Strip set placed on 8-1/2″ Quarter Square Triangle Die

 

Strip set after it has been cut using the AccuQuilt GO

Strip set after it has been cut using the AccuQuilt GO

 

Triangles from the Strip Set laid out as they will be stitched together.

Triangles from the Strip Set laid out as they will be stitched together.

 
 

Many Trips Around The World

There are so many fun quilt blocks to make and never enough time. Here’s another block from Bonnie’s Quiltville Free Quilt Patterns that is so much easier using the AccuQuilt 2 1/2 inch Strip Die. Complete instructions are found on Bonnie’s website in the Scrappy Trips link of the Free Patterns tab. I used this block as a demonstration at a recent presentation and finished it in the wee hours last week just so there wouldn’t be another UFO around here.

Strips can be cut from scraps or a Jelly Roll can be used. I used some half yards and a little yardage that I had on hand. The colors are dark and not my usual preference–but sometimes we use what we have. The overall look is nice though as there are some lights in the batiks that give it a little sparkle.

Blocks were made with five strips stitched into a tube, then the tubes were carefully layered on the 2 1/2 inch strip die and subcut into 2 1/2 inch “tubes”. Once the long tubes were cut into 2 1/2 inch tubes, they were separated at alternating colors to create a block as shown.

2015-08-31 TATW block

 

Blocks were separated with sashing and the cornerstones were placed to continue the colors that were in the blocks. Click on the images for a larger view and more detail. 2015-08-31 TATW QuiltThis was a fun experiment. I like the use of sashing to provide a symmetrical design. Wouldn’t it be fun to make a scrappy one without sashing?

  
 

Strip Twist Shortcuts with AccuQuilt Dies

I love Bonnie Hunter’s Strip Twist Quilt which is a free pattern on Quiltville.com. And while getting ready for a presentation to the Foothills Quilter’s Guild, I found an even easier way to make these blocks using my AccuQuilt GO! 8 inch Half Square Triangle die.

I have made this quilt so many times that I can almost do it in my sleep. It looks complicated, but is so very easy. And when the blocks are placed on point, it is a very dramatic quilt. Here are a couple of photos of finished quilts that I have made with this pattern.

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2014-12-27 Strip Twist

Following Bonnie’s instructions for sewing strips together, you will see that she uses four 2 1/2″ strips that are 18-20 inches long and are sewn together for each strip set. These strip sets are then placed right sides together and cut into squares and then cut into half square triangles.

With the 8 inch finished half square triangle die, I was able to cut the half square triangles in one pass on the AccuQuilt Go! cutter so that it saved me a lot of rotary cutting for each square. Not only was it much faster, but the blocks stitched to a consistent size which I had never been able to achieve with rotary cutting.

Here are photos of the process:

1. Layer strip sets on the 8 inch half square triangle die with right sides together and with colors in opposite positions (strip 1 on on bottom layer facing strip 4 on the top layer).  Center strip sets with seams interlocking and strip matching exactly and leaving a small margin on either side of the strip set that will not be cut by the die.

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2. Cut the strip set. You can see in this photo that the triangles have been cut and there is excess fabric cut off only on the end.

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3. Remove triangle sets in pairs as they were cut. You can see from this photo how the block will look when it is sewn.

2015-08-23 1200(2)

 

And this is a photo of the blocks laid out into a quilt top.This looks different from the others because the first and fourth strip of the strip set are both dark. Usually the strip sets are dark light dark light. This and the black and yellow quilt picture above demonstrate the different looks you can get with this pattern just by changing color placement.

2015-08-23 07.51.02 
 

Squaring Blocks with AccuQuilt Dies – Part 2

In the previous post, the blocks that were squared had two sides that were already “square”. Today, I’ll show you how I squared blocks with a diagonal / half square triangle seam. My go to block for comfort quilts or a quick quilt anytime is the Strip Twist block from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville.com. I use jelly roll strips for it or cut strips from fat quarters. The blocks stitch up quickly and the seams always match perfectly. And while it’s a great scrappy quilt, it takes on a whole different look with coordinated colors or set on point. Here’s a single strip twist block.

01 Strip Twist Block

After the success of squaring up square blocks, I decided to see if I could do a block with a half square triangle seam. And it worked great. After stitching these blocks, for whatever reason, are just slightly wonky and no two are exactly the same size. So, I always square them up to the same size.

I used the 10″ square die for the GO! Big for these photos. But I have also squared this up with the 8-1/2″ square die and the GO! cutter.

I used my Square up ruler to measure the block when it was folded on the diagonal seam line and then I transferred those markings to my die using Painter’s tape. With the ruler on the die, I inserted pins in the foam at the end of the diagonal lines on the ruler and then stretched the Painter’s tape from pin to pin.  (Can you see my reflection on the ruler?)

Square up Ruler on Aligned on Die showing placement of Painter's tape.

Square up Ruler Aligned on Die showing placement of Painter’s tape.

Then I carefully laid two blocks folded in half in each corner = 4 layers, Do not press blocks open until after cutting. The diagonal seam is laid exactly on the line of the tape and the corners are centered beyond the blades.  This is what you have after it is cut. This is the easy peasy way to square these blocks.

Squared up Strip Twist blocks.

Squared up Strip Twist blocks.

And while I used the 10″ square die, this works well with the 8-1/2″ die too. It will all depend on your block size. 
 

Brick Tee Lap / Comfort Quilt Tutorial

I want to share one of our favorite brick quilts. Sherry wrote these instructions, and I formatted them into a nice one page handout. One of the things I like best about this pattern is the fabric placement of the bricks. The quilt looks great as a scrappy quilt with careful placement of the solid, neutral, and print fabrics. We used 3-1/2 x 6-1/2″ bricks.

Here’s an EQ version of the quilt in three fabrics:

Brick Tee Quilt in EQ

Brick Tee Quilt in EQ

Instructions (link to pdf)

Overall Size: 42” x 60”
Finished Block Size 6 x 9”

Solid:  36 each 3-1/2 x 6-1/2”

Solid Neutral: 36 each 3-1/2 x 6-1/2”

Print: 36 each 3-1/2 x 6-1/2”

Sashing: 210 inches of 3-1/2” strips sewn together

Binding: 210 inches of 2-1/2” strips sewn together.

Cutting: The bricks for this quilt are easily cut with the AccuQuilt GO! 6-1/2″ strip die (55086) and 3-1/2″ strip die (55032).

Sew two 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 bricks together along the long side. Use one print and one solid (or reads as solid).

Sew another solid/neutral to one side vertical to the seam to make a “T”.

Make 36 patchwork blocks. Note that if you want to keep the print bricks in alternating rows, you will place the “T” brick on the opposite end as you stitch as shown:

BrickTBlock2BrickTBlock1Arrange as shown in picture above, alternating the orientation of patches in every other row. Four patches across make one row. Make 9 rows.Add sashing and binding.

Alternate Option using a Jelly Roll: This can also be made with 2-1/2 x 4-1/2″ bricks using one each 42 piece Jelly Roll of coordinated fabrics and fanfolding those jelly roll strips across the 4-1/2″ AccuQuilt GO! strip die (55054). This would require seven blocks across and ten blocks down for a total of 70 blocks and 210 each 2-1/2 x 4-1/2″ bricks.

Quilt as desired.