Patience Corners-Squaring the Blocks

Patience Corners has been around a very long time and there are many ways to make this block. Using the border method shown here, the blocks are cut into four and squared and then stitched together again. I am compulsive about squaring my quilt blocks and making sure that each block is exactly the same size before stitching into a quilt top. That top needs to be flat and square before it goes on my longarm.

Squaring blocks with a rotary cutter is tedious at best so I’ve been looking for a better way. And voila!– I found it with my AccuQuilt GO! square die. Because two sides of the block are perfectly squared already from the first cut, only two sides have to be straightened.

First I used a ruler and marked the 8 inch square die with Painter’s Tape. With the ruler laid exactly in place on the die, I placed the Painter’s tape straight along the edge of the ruler as shown. You can see that I have marked the die multiple times for other purposes too; but more recently have found that Painter’s tape is an excellent marker, does not affect the cutting, and removes quickly and easily.

01-8in square die-sm

After marking the die, the quilt block was split into four. You can see that the inner corners are perfectly squared already.


I took two corners of the block and stacked them matching the straight edges perfectly and laid them on the die. The straight edges are aligned with the Painter’s tape.


And notice that I’m using a very old mat but aligning it just with the outer edge of the fabric so I can get good use out of the good areas that are left on this mat.

04-PC-mat on die 600

And here it is after cutting with the AccuQuilt GO!


And I stack them and keep squaring until they’re all finished and ready to stitch.06-PC-stacked ready to stitch 600

Before beginning stitching, I take a different number of blocks from the top on three of the stacks and move them to the bottom so that each block has four different fabrics.

This really made quick work of squaring those blocks and made me sooooo happy.

Have a great day and do some happy stitching!

Patience Corners for Quilt Angels

This weekend I started working on my quilt for the Quilt Angels project. After contemplating several ideas for a quilt that would work for a teenager as well as for a boy or a girl, I made a decision and chose the Patience Corners quilt. This may not be the correct name for this quilt, but that is what my Mother always called this design that is offset with sashing on two sides. Here’s what was accomplished this weekend.

These 5 inch blocks have been collecting in The Stash for some time. They are not all sized accurately as some come from swaps, some from rotary cutting, and some from die cutting. You’ll see as we go through this what I did to remedy that. It’s quite a collection isn’t it?

For a quilt top that is 48″ x 60″ before borders, I needed 80 5″ squares.

Collection of 5 inch squares (nickels)
Collection of 5 inch squares (nickels)

Each block will have sashing on two sides at 90 degree angles so two strips of sashing for each block are needed:

  • 80 strips 2-1/2 x 5″
  • 80 strips 2-1/2 x 7″.

Cut the sashing:

The yield of 2-1/2″ strips across the width of fabric is 16 strips.

80  / 16 = 5 cuts across the width of fabric (WOF).

Using a rotary cutter, cut 5 each 5″ x WOF and 5 each 7″ x WOF.

Then fanfold these across the 2-1/2″ AccuQuilt GO strip cutter die and this is the result.

Set of 80 sashing strips. Cutting time=20 minutes
Set of 80 sashing strips. Cutting time=20 minutes


Stitch the sashing to two sides of the squares. The sashing has to go either clockwise or counterclockwise on all the blocks. The best way to do this is to stitch all on one side and then go back and stitch the second strip with all the blocks turned exactly the same way.  

Pieced Blocks Ready to Press
Pieced Blocks Ready to Press

Square and size the blocks. After pressing, the realization that they really weren’t all the same size began to sink in. I knew this while I was piecing as the long strip was sometimes a bit longer. This was a dilemma for me, being partial to flat, square, quilt tops. Sizing with the rotary cutter (very time consuming) was an option. Not doing anything and seeing what happened was also an option. I decided to try something new and see if sizing the squares with the 6-1/2″ die would work. And it did–beautifully.

Trimming Blocks to Size Using 6" Square Die
Trimming Blocks to Size Using 6″ Square Die

It was just a matter of stacking four squares – rotating each one a quarter of a turn so the seams would not be too thick for the cutter and running it through the cutter.

And voila – enough blocks for a quilt top.

Sixty squares ready to make into a quilt top.
Eighty squares ready to make into a quilt top.

After these were done, four squares were pieced together into a “block” and then I arranged them on the design wall. Can’t wait to get these stitched together, bordered, and quilted. On the wall, the colors are so bright and pretty, hopefully the final pics will show how cheerful this quilt is.


Here’s the time I spent:

Cut sash: 20 minutes

Piecing Squares: 1-1/2 hours

Pressing and Squaring Blocks: 35 minutes

And then I forgot to write down how much time I spent making 80 squares into 20 blocks, but it wasn’t more than an hour.