Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Applique and Quarter Triangle Squares

Recently, I had the pleasure of working with fabrics from some upcoming fall Moda fabric collections, such as Alice's Scrapbag, Eliza's Indigo, Hawthorne Ridge, and more, some of which I incorporated into my new quilt. I can't unveil the entire quilt yet, but here is a portion of the pretty swag border:

Blocks made with "Quarter of a square" triangles, or quarter square triangles, for short, are also incorporated into the quilt, and here are a few blocks that didn't make their way into the quilt:

I think these blocks are so much fun to make (much more so than triangle squares, in my humble opinion), so I thought I would add this little tutorial on 2 different ways to make a 4 inch finished quarter square triangle block, just in case you haven't made one yourself yet.


The first method will yield two finished 4 inch blocks. You will need 1 - 5 1/4" square in a light fabric, and 1 - 5 1/4" square in a darker fabric. On the lighter fabric, mark a diagonal line from corner to corner with a contrasting marking tool (in this case I used a pencil), and again from the opposite corner.

Place the squares right sides together, with the marked square on top. Stitch 1/4" away on both sides of ONE marked diagonal line as shown:

Next, cut apart on BOTH marked diagonal lines.

Open each unit and press seams towards darker triangle. You will now have four units. Arrange two units so that light and dark are opposite and place right sides together. Stitch a 1/4" seam along the long edge of triangles.

Press seam to one side. Pressing the seam open works, too.



Here is a second way to make 4 inch finished quarter triangle squares. This method yields one block. I like this method for using 5 1/2" charm squares. The only drawback to this method is that the four sides of the finished block are on the bias. I wouldn't make a whole quilt using only blocks with bias edges, but incorporating a few here and there is fine, especially when those bias edges match up to an edge on the straight of grain.

You will need to cut 2 - 3 3/4" squares, one light and one darker (or to contrast). Place right sides together, and stitch a 1/4" seam on opposite sides of the square.

The gray 2610 Aurifil thread that I used to blend with scrap patchwork worked all too well for this photograph. Sorry!

Next, cut the sewn squares in half ONCE diagonally as shown:

There will be a small amount of thread on one end of each unit, but when you open the unit up, the thread will pull out very easily.

Just as a reminder, the edges on the square using this method, will all be on the bias, so carefully press the seams to one side. Place each unit right sides together, and sew a 1/4" seam along the long edge of triangle. Open, and press seam.

The block will be slightly larger than 4 1/2" unfinished, so using a ruler with a 45 degree angle marked as shown, match the 45 degree angle to the diagonal seams, and trim the block to 4 1/2".

Trim one corner  
Flip square around and trim the other corner

More beautiful blocks to add to my orphan block drawer!

Until next time!



  1. I like the looks of Method 1 and have never seen it before. Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. I'm working on a quilt with this block now - in denim.