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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sew Happy Saturday – Fun with Five Inch Squares


SusanClaire Mayfield from The Gourmet Quilter really likes working with 5” squares (sold in pre-cuts as “charm packs”).  She has done a number of nifty, (mostly) simple designs with them and kindly made tutorials for us. :-)  I’m sharing some of these today.

Her explanations are simple and to the point.  I personally like her style of teaching.  But, these are obviously for the person who already knows the basics of sewing.  :-)  I have tried to list these roughly in descending order from easy to harder.

Simply Sashed Four Patch – Super simple block.

Rectangles Block

On Point Square Block – She did not know what to call this block, but since the inner square is “on point” (turned diagonally 45 degrees), I’ll title it this way. :-)

Disappearing Nine Patch – She apparently didn’t know the name of this block type either, but that’s what it’s being called here, as you know if you read my post last week.  She is using this method to make an “I spy” quilt, so this is yet another arrangement of the colors and prints.

Wonky Windmills – These are cute. :-)

Let’s Do the Splits – Another simple block that is very versatile and can be arranged in many interesting combinations.

Tumbler Quilt – This shows a simple method for cutting tumbler pieces from 5” squares without any special template.  Useful to know if you like tumblers.  You’d have to adjust the angle for different sizes.

House Block

Three Dimensional Bow-tie Block – This method is also used by Diane McNeil from Design Originals.  However, Mrs. Mayfield uses the placement of color to make a bow tie and leaves the “pockets” open to give a 3D effect to the “bow”, which I think is clever.  :-)  I like this block and intend to try it out for a project I’m working on.

Jewel Box Block


I’m putting these two separately because the whole squares in the blocks are actually 4 1/2” rather than 5”.  She has cut them down to go with half square triangle blocks she made from 5” squares – which makes them measure out at 4 1/2” when sewn.  Because of this, I would be inclined to generally cut the 4 1/2” squares from yardage at the exact size needed unless I was actually working with a pre-cut charm pack and didn’t want to use yardage.

Shoo-Fly Block

Sail Boat Block


I hope you enjoy this selection of ideas.  I want to put some of them to use myself.  It would’ve been nice to make some demos of my own for us to see, but perhaps another day or week.  :-)

EXTRA TIP:  Maybe you would like to try some of these ideas but you don’t have 5” squares on hand and don’t want to spend money on pre-cuts.  When you are cutting out fabric for another project, consider your scraps.  Are there pieces large enough to cut 5” squares?  If so, take a few extra minutes or seconds to cut some.  This way you can build up a nice collection of 5” squares.  You will be able to pull them out and make something when the urge strikes without having to stop and cut! :-)  By having the squares pre-cut your scrap pile will be a little more orderly and projects will move faster. :-)  (I recommend storing them flat in boxes of some sort.  If they are jumbled you’ll end up having to do a lot of ironing before using them.)

For a good assortment of pre-cut 5” charm packs, visit The Missouri Star Quilt Company.

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