Based on feedback from readers, I updated the Adobe file for Blocks 1-4 to show exactly which die with the item # from Accuquilt is to be used. I also added some more information about the blocks that I hope will be helpful. Please go back to the download post from earlier this week and redownload the file if it will be helpful to you. The EQ7 file has been updated too. Instead of the text tool, I used set images of the pdf instructions as photos on the quilt worktable. There is one quilt per block. Let me know if you have questions.
Today’s block is called Turnstile Pinwheel and the instructions include both a 12 inch finished block and an 8 inch finished block. I think you’re going to love sewing together these triangles because the shapes are cut so that you can match the pieces end to end and not have to worry about those pointy little dog ends getting hung in the feed dogs of your machine.
Quilting terminology is important, particularly around that quarter inch seam allowance and the finished size verses the cut size. Note that the cut size is 1/2 inch larger than the finished size. The first dies that Accuquilt released were named based on their cut size. The more recent dies have been named based on the finished block size. This has made writing instructions difficult because the names of the dies causes confusion as to whether it is a finished size or a cut size. For that reason, I have added the Item # from the Accuquilt website. This item # is also written on the label on the side of the die. It is in small print, so you may want to take a black Sharpie and write it larger on the side of the die so you can easily see it sitting in the rack.
I will use the standard quilting terminology for squares and triangles and to include the square, half square triangle and quarter square triangle. Examples of the triangles are shown below. As you can see from the images, the half square triangle is a square cut once diagonally from corner to corner and the quarter square triangle is a square cut twice diagonally from corner to corner.
I have two downloads today. One is a pdf file with the first four blocks and the other is the EQ7 file with the first four blocks. I will create a section on the side that will take you to all the downloads over time.
Please note that I updated the files AGAIN! It seems on these first four blocks that every time I look at them I see terminology or die names or something that isn’t consistent from one block or page to another. In some ways I am just too detail oriented, although in general, I’m a big picture person–or maybe that’s the problem 🙂 Anyway, I hope these are correct.
This is a classic. I wish I knew the history of all these blocks, but you’ll have to get that information somewhere else. This block is made up of the flying geese block that we talked about. There are lots of ways to make geese using squares and stitching them together, cutting that apart, and re-stitching. However, now that the Accuquilt products are available, it’s easy to very accurately cut the triangles and match the corners because the dog ears are removed. Thus,when the triangle is cut, one gets a perfect fit matching the triangle corners; and the result is a perfect rectangle. Be careful when pressing not to distort the rectangle.
Today’s block is School Girl’s Puzzle. This is such a pretty block and looks a lot like butterflies in a meadow. This is made of half square triangles. What is really neat is that the large 6 1/2 inch triangle is matched with a pieced triangle. Make the block into four units: two units with the large triangles and two units of half square triangles and squares. Then sew the four units together.
I decided to show you what the block would look like set in a quilt, so you’ll see the quilt example below the block.
Triangle Tips: Getting all those points nice and sharp should be easy if you’re careful to have consistent 1/4 inch seam allowances. One of the things that I find is that when I’m sewing over a “point” that will have several thicknesses of fabric from the seam, my sewing machine sometimes wants to do a curvy little zag over that lump. I stitch with the seam on the underside and the smooth fabric on the top so the presser foot won’t catch and turn the fabrics. If the machine zags, I put that area of the seam back under the presser foot and go very slowly over it again. If the point has been cut off when I finish the seam and open it to look, I will quickly take my seam ripper and snip a few stitches in that area and restitch it with a shallower seam allowance so that the point is sharp.
This is a wonderful block. It’s a variation on the classic Variable Star block which is a four patch block. I’ll say more about four patch blocks later. I am listing the dies you will need and the cutting instructions. When I’ve finished four of these, I’ll put them together into a pdf and an EQ7 file for download.
Please notice that Color Patch D appears to be an unusual size. In fact, it is a quarter square triangle. If you’re new to quilting this terminology may be new to you. A quarter square triangle is one fourth of a square that is made up of four triangles. The long side of the triangle should always be on the straight grain of the fabric, and the inner sides should be on the bias grain. These triangles are used for Flying Geese blocks too. Tomorrow, I’ll do a block with flying geese.
Click on the block for printable instructions.
The die that is used for the quarter square triangle is called a 4 7/8 inch Triangle. The longest side of the triangle is 6 1/2 inches and four of those triangles will make a 6 1/2 inch (6 inch finished) block or a 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch (3 x 6 inch finished) Flying Geese block. The really nice thing about the way Accuquilt made this die is that the layout on the die makes it easy to get the straight grain of the fabric on the longest side of the triangle.
I wanted to make a series of instructions in EQ7 using my Accuquilt GO die system. These are blocks that are made with some of the basic dies using blocks from the EQ7 block library. The first set of 24 I’m going to do will be based on the finished 3″ and 6″ squares and triangles. The information will be available to you as pdf or EQ7 files that have four blocks per file.
The first block is a simpler version of Birds in the Air, one of my favorite blocks. Here’s a photo of the EQ7 file showing the dies used for this. Click the first block to bring up the pdf instructions.
I’ve been working on a new block including a video and written instructions. I am almost there. After multiple takes, I finally decided to just finalize the video and accept my imperfections as a recording star <big grin>. The written instructions will be here soon, hopefully later today. I have to go to the pool first and do my workout, then back to the studio to finish writing. For now, here’s a video. I spent more time on this one – it’s nine minutes long – too long in my book. But hopefully this will be useful to beginning quilters.