Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tilted Blocks the Easy Way

I've been working on a baby quilt using Amy Schimler's newest line, Animal Party Too.  The fabrics are bright and fun, and I wanted to enhance the party theme by placing the panel blocks in a tilted setting.  Here's an easy way to do that:

Start with the block you want to tilt, a panel is nice, but you could use any square block for this technique. Your starting block should be at least 1"1/2 to 2" smaller than you want your finished block to be.

You will need some kind of translucent paper for your template - wax, velum, drafting graph paper will work, as long as it is big enough to cut your finished block size plus extra for the seam allowance.  A square ruler the size you want your finished block to be will work perfectly also.

(For purposes of this demonstration, I will be using a plain block.  This block will have an applique added later as part of the Sampler Quilt series.  So I am killing two blog posts with one stone, so to speak.)

My finished blocks are 12" so I needed a template 12 1/2" square.

Cut your template the size you want your finished block plus 1/4" seam allowance, (1/2" bigger than you want your finished block).  You can use a permanent black marker to see the edges more easily if you like. 
I used Drafting Velum

Cut strips of the fabric or fabrics you want to use for the frame 3-4 inches wide, depending on the size of your finished block.  The larger your block, the wider the strips need to be.  Definitely do a trial block first before cutting strips for all your blocks so that you don't cut them wider than you need.

Sew these strips to all four sides of your block.  It doesn't matter if you sew opposite sides first, or sew them around the block clockwise.

Press to set stitches, and then press seam away from the block.

Trim extra fabric from strips.

Now lay your template on top of the block with the block right side up.  Tilt the template to a pleasing angle, making sure all edges are within the fabric, and not overlapping the inside block corners. Pin.
Trim away fabric from outside your template edges, using a rotary cutter and ruler.
Voila!  Your finished block, ready to be set into a quilt.
By the way, I don't throw away the trimmed pieces.  They are added to the bin I keep by my feet at the sewing machine, ready to be pieced into another project such as the Chinese coin quilt shown here. Waste not, want not.

Happy Sewing ♥


  1. Oh I like this - so much easier and no triangles! I bet this sews up very quickly too.

  2. Great tutorial! I think even I could do it!

    Happy Sunday!! :)