Quilting Essentials: Squaring up Quilt Blocks

I have a confession; I’ve become a bit obsessed with Half-Square Triangle blocks. They are such a versatile block, once you learn how to make them there are endless design possibilities. Plus, they make up so many easy quilt patterns for beginners and experts alike.

Luckily, I’m not the only quilter falling head over heels for triangle quilts. Liz and Elizabeth Evans of Simple Simon and Company utilize the simplicity of the HST as a building block for several of their quilt patterns. From the Pinwheel and Churn Dash blocks to the modern chevron and zigzag designs, you can’t go wrong with the tried and true Half-Square Triangle.

According to Liz and Elizabeth the key to successful HSTs is squaring your blocks. If you’re like me you “forget” this step more often than not. But I’ve come to regret not doing it, as one block out of square can throw off the whole quilt. Since this is such an important, yet often overlooked, step in the quilt-making process here is a brief tutorial:

How to Square Up a Quilt Block
by Liz and Elizabeth Evans

Squaring up a quilt block is another technique that can make a good quilt look great. We often skipped this step when we first started quilting, but taking those few extra minutes to square up (straighten up) your quilt blocks can make a big difference. Your quilt will appear more symmetrical, and the overall quilt will be more square and precise. We love to use square rulers (and a Flying Geese ruler) to square up our blocks. We will demonstrate this on a Half-Square Triangle quilt block to show you how it is done.

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1. Lay your quilt block down under your clear ruler, placing the 45-degree angle (bias line) over the line where your two fabrics meet in your Half-Square Triangle block.

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2. Now use your rotary cutter to trim off the scant edges that are hanging over the clear square ruler to fit the measurements of the quilt block in the pattern. Repeat for all 4 sides. Your quilt block is now squared up!

If you want to learn more about Half-Square Triangle blocks along with helpful hints from this dynamic duo, register for their online course, Quilting Basics: Half-Square Triangle Blocks, Pillows & Quilts. During this four-week Craft Online University course you’ll be able to learn on your own time in your own home. Plus, you’ll be able to get help directly from Liz and Elizabeth! What are you waiting for? Sign up today!

Happy quilting,

Brenna's Signature

P.S. Want to see more quilting inspiration and instructions from Liz and Elizabeth Evans? Be sure to check out their quilting book The Simple Simon Guide to Patchwork Quilting, available in Paperback or as an eBook.

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Quilting Daily Blog, Quilting for Beginners

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