It’s already week 6 of this fun block of the week project! Time flies when you’re having fun! If you are just joining, all the block of the week blog posts are still available for you to read and get the patterns. Just click on the ones you have missed: Block 1, Block 2, Block 3, Block 4 and Block 5. This block has half-square triangle squares so I will go over some tips on those. Also there is a secondary design that appears in the block so I’ll talk about that too. Let’s get started!
Block #6 – Air Castle
This block has a fun “twirling” effect to it and also a couple of secondary designs within. Here is the pattern for the block: Block of the Week – Block 6.
Half-square Triangle Square Tips
In my patterns that don’t have a lot of half-square triangle (HST) squares, I will have you make them using the method that makes them two at a time. The following are a few tips to help make these accurately.
First, for this block, I’m going to use the squares the size I need to make HSTs that measure 2 1/2″ when I’m done. So start with your squares either 2 7/8″ x 2 7/8″ OR, if you don’t mind wasting a tiny bit of fabric and want to make sure your finished squares are the correct size, you can start with squares that measure 3″ x 3″.
Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of one of the squares. I usually choose the square that has the lightest wrong side so it’s easy to see the line:
Then place the squares right sides together with the square with the drawn line on top so it is visible. Make sure the raw edges of the squares are lined up.
Now that you have the squares lined up, it’s time to stitch. I stitch a scant 1/4″ on each side of the line. I sew a “scant”,meaning a tiny bit less, because I can always trim a pressed open square down to my preferred side, but I obviously can’t make it bigger! Once it’s stitched on both sides of the line, then you cut the unit apart on the drawn line.
Finally, it’s time to trim the HSTs. Do not press the units open yet. We will actually trim them before pressing. The great thing about that is you are only having to make two trimming cuts instead of having to trim all four sides individually! This is where the tool I like to use for the trimming comes in handy. It’s called the Quilt in a Day® Triangle Square Up Ruler!
Here is how it works. The numbers on the measurement lines are the size of the HST you want after it’s pressed open. Ours are going to be 2 1/2″ after trimming so we use the 2 1/2″ line on this ruler. First place the ruler on one of the units from above with the 2 1/2″ line on the stitch line, then trim:
Now you can press the unit open for a finished HST that measures the size you want!
Notice in the Air Castle block that there is a monkey wrench design and a pinwheel design in the middle. That’s a secondary design. A secondary design is a design that is created within a block when the pieces are assembled or in a quilt top when the blocks are joined. I’ll be covering secondary design in a block in this post.
Since my black accent fabric is what creates the monkey wrench, the design is a bit more subtle. However, here’s some examples of how you can make that design stand out. In this first example, I have changed the colors so the accent is gold and made both the purples in the block the same. This makes the monkey wrench stand out.
In this second example, I kept the accent fabric black and changed the placement of the medium and dark purple fabrics. This makes the pinwheel design more prominent.
So, have fun with colors and placement in this block depending on what design you want to feature!
You can still enter the drawing for my pattern, Star Struck. Comment below to be entered in the drawing.
The drawing will be on next Monday, May 25th! We have a winner! Congrats, Julia S!
Good luck and Happy Quilting!