Monday, December 04, 2017

Quilters Recipe Box, Unit 12 - Triangle in a Square - Fifty-Four Forty or Fight quilt block

Welcome!  Are you ready for the final unit of the Quilter's Recipe Box block of the Month?  I hope so!  This unit is a little bit of a tricky one, but I promise that you can do it and it is a powerful tool in your skill set.  This unit is a Triangle in a Square and I used it to make a Fifty-Four Forty or Fight Block.

The thing about this block, is that you really need to use a special ruler, or a template, or foundation paper piecing to get good results.  So, you will need to go download the Recipe Card for this month which will include an extra sheet with the needed templates if you don't own a ruler for cutting this.

Cutting for Fifty-Four Forty or Fight Block:
From your background you will need four Isosceles triangles for a 3 1/2 inch Triangle in a Square unit and ten 2 inch squares for Four-Patch units.  (These fabrics were provided by Island Batik)

Color 1 - Eight half rectangle units for Triangle in a Square units, four lefties and four righties.

Color 3 - Ten 2 inch squares for Four-Patch units.

For this block I am including some detailed cutting instructions because that is where you need to start for an accurate block!

For your background triangle you will need a strip of fabric 3 1/2 by 12 inches (this gives you enough extra for an error or two.)  

From your strip, cut four Triangles using your Tri tool or paper template.  (The paper template will be a tad taller at the tip, but line up the bottom line at the edge of the strip and it will be fine.)  As you can see, if you alternate cutting from the top and bottom edge of the strip you will have no waste in between the cuts!  

If you are using the paper templates, place template on fabric, then carefully place your ruler on top of the template so you can use your rotary cutter.  You can also print your templates on card stock, make a pencil line and cut one that using scissors or rotary cutter and ruler.  A great tip for using paper templates is to make sure to always line up the sewing line 1/4 inch away from the ruler just in case you accidentally cut a sliver off the edge of the template cutting line!

Now to cut the side units - they are half rectangles.  You will need a strip 3 1/2 inches by about 13 to cut them.  Fold your strip in half so you can cut the righties and lefties at once!

Line up the 3 1/2 line at the bottom of the strip and carefully cut the sides.  (A rotating mat is super helpful for this step.)  
Make sure you cut that little notch off at the top of the strip, this is going to help you get the perfect alignment when you sew your unit together.  The angle on the printed template is a little different, but does work just the same, so make sure you cut those little corners off.

Just a word of caution before you start sewing.  It will be really tempting to line up your pieces as above because they fit just right!  Don't do it that way, it won't work :)

You need to line it up with the pointy end facing the bottom of the big triangle.  Line up that cut out with the bottom of the triangle, and sew your quarter inch seam.  

See how the seam goes right where the notch lines up with the bottom?
When you press the small triangle out you can see that the seam does NOT go straight to the corner.  This is the correct angle, and when you sew this unit to the block beside it, you will see how the point matches up all the way to the seam allowance and doesn't get cut off before it should.

Now for the other side:
Line this one up just like the first one and stitch with a quarter inch seam.  The little tips at the corner look a little off, but look at the edge of the block and it should match up perfectly.
This one was a little too high.  See how it doesn't match at the tip or at the top?  This one had to be taken out and re-done correctly - 
This is how it should look!  Now, take a couple minutes to measure and trim your units.
Perfect - look ans see how the three points of the triangle all are 1/4 inch away from the edge of the block.  Trim up those dog ears and you are ready to move on!  

Lay them out, then sew Five four-patch units from color 3 and the background.  Add those, with all the dark ones facing the same way:
Sew together and admire your finished block!

All the star points should be 1/4 inch from the edge of the block, and the center Four-Patch seams should line up with the background point. 

Combine this block with a block that uses half square triangles in the corners and you get a quilt with a very neat circular motion!
I hope you enjoy this unit and block.  I'll be making three other quilt blocks using this unit this month, then we'll be finished!  

Bloc Loc has a great set of rulers, and there is a nice one from Studio 180 designs, if you wanted to make a ton of these for a quilt, it might be a good investment!


Thanks again for following along!  Have fun learning this new unit.  

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