The Patchwork and Quilting Club - By Harley (@thatcraftydafty)

The Patchwork and Quilting Club - By Harley (@thatcraftydafty)

Blog Post 5 – Economy Squares


Hello, everybody! Harley here (@thatcraftydafty) with my monthly update on the Patchwork and Quilting variant of the My Guilty Pleasure Subscription Service.


The Patchwork and Quilting option for the My Guilty Pleasure Subscription Service is designed to have you make a block each month, and by the end of the twelfth month you will have enough blocks to make a sampler quilt.


The fifth Block of the Month is the Economy Squares.



As always, inside this month’s box I received the following:

x 4 Fat Eighths of a new Lewis & Irene collection

x 1 Fat Quarter of a background

Fully printed instructions for the Block of the Month, complete with helpful illustrations

x 1 spool of thread, in a coordinating colour

x 1 surprise! (This month it’s a caramel Freddo!)


I imagine that to many this block won’t be new to you, it’s essentially a “square within a square” style block, but as always, it’s refreshing to visit a classic block for practice. As such, I’ve compiled a few little tips to help you with constructing these, as well as squaring them up.


Fortunately, for these blocks you don’t need 100% accuracy while constructing as you trim between certain steps, but the closer you are, the better. Due to the nature of this block, the triangles that you attach to the sides will overhang a little, too. So, my first tip would be folding your pieces to mark the centre.



As you can see above, I’ve folded the 3.5 inch square Right Sides Together, and the triangle unit Wrong Sides Together, and lightly pressed the middle of each piece. The reason I fold them like this is so that you’re sewing over a “valley” of a fold and not over the “peak” of it, making it easier to keep them lined up and everything flat. From there, it’s a case of keeping the centres matched while sewing.

(HOT TIP: Sew with your 3.5 inch square on the bottom and your triangle unit on the top, to ensure that you don’t stretch the cut biased edge of the triangle unit.)



If you have your triangle centre correctly, then your stitching should intersect a quarter inch from the edge, where the two fabrics overlap and form a “V”.



The pattern has you trim off dog ears as you go, which I think can help with centring your triangle units if you’re doing it by eye. However, I personally prefer to attach all sides and trim them off while squaring the block. It’s all down to personal choice; whatever is easiest for you. Once you’ve attached your first round of side triangles, it’s time to square it up. Now, the pattern calls for you to trim this block to 4.75”– which can be an awkward number to half – but what I found worked was the following.


If you line up your 45 degree line on your ruler with one of the edges of the centre square, then slide the ruler so you have just over a quarter inch allowance (about 3/8”) beyond the outer points, then trim one side. You can also try and make the 2 3/8 ” line dissect through the points top and bottom for extra precision, but I managed just fine working on the edges. See diagram below for a better visual.



I continued to square up using this method on all four sides until my block measured 4.75” square.  


The exact same procedure is used to attach the second round of triangles to the block, however this time, I didn’t fold both units and match that way. Instead, I eyeballed the point of the triangle with a previous centre point.



This proved quite effective, and I was able to get all pieces attached without any difficulty, nor uneven overlap on any side. If you have your triangles centred correctly, then you should once again have your stitching intersect the “V” at ¼”.



Squaring up is a lot easier this time as the pattern has you squaring up to 6.5”. I use a similar approach as I did the first-time round, which goes as follows. Line up your 45 degree line with one of the edges of the previous round, slide ruler so you have a quarter inch seam allowance beyond the outer points, then trim one side. You can also keep the 3.25” line dissecting the centre points top and bottom for increased accuracy, which I found easier to do this time.



From there, it’s as simple as sewing a giant four patch. As you can see, my seam allowance on the edges was a tiny bit bigger than a quarter inch at times. This means that I don’t need to worry about losing my points when constructing the whole block, but it also means that your points won’t “kiss” or touch each other when sewn together. Not something I’m particularly bothered by, and this is usually my personal preference when making economy blocks, or blocks that have “kissing” points. However, if you trim them all up accurately, your points should line up next to each other. For me, close enough is good enough.



I really hope you found these tips and tricks useful! I know that when I was starting out, I didn’t know anything about seam allowances, nor the importance of squaring up blocks. So, any advice I can forward on that I’ve learned in my quilting journey thus far, I’m more than happy to share.


As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog entry. I’ll be providing updates every month via the Little Miss Sew ‘n’ Sew blogs on their website, but you can check out any little sewing updates via my Instagram account: @thatcraftydafty. Hope to see you there.


Have an awesome day and happy sewing!



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