Friday, June 13, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler - Economy Block

 The Economy Block is a nice simple square in a square in a square.  The only problem, is that because everything gets put on point, the measurements end up a little odd.  I drew out this template to double check on the sizes I would need for the squares.  After drawing out the template, I could have easily paper pieced the block, but I thought I'd go traditional this time instead.
When I was done, I found this nice tutorial about making economy blocks in any size.  I think I'll pin it in case I want to do this block again.
 There are several approaches for making this block.  Traditional wisdom says that when determining the sized of a HST unit, you need to add 0.875 of an inch to the finished size of your block.  I'm not a huge fan of eighth's in general, so I opted to cut my pieces slightly larger in order to allow room to square things off.  The finished size of the inner triangles will be 2.25 inches.  I chose to round up to 3.5 inches.  3.25 inches would have been sufficient I am sure, but I happened to have 3.5 inch strips handy anyway.  Take two 3.5 inch squares and cut them in half along the diagonal.
 The larger square is cut to 4.5 inches following the same general logic of making a bit bit for squaring up later.  Again, cut them in half along the diagonal.
 So here are the required pieces.
1 - 3.5 inch square of yellow
2 - 3.5 inch squares of light yellow cut in half along the diagonal to yield 4 triangles
2 - 4.25 inches of bright yellow cut in half along the diagonal to yield 4 triangles.
 Finger press the center  and smaller triangles to find the middle of each.  Notice that the oversized triangles hang off the edges, so centering them is important.  Sew one triangles to the top and bottom of your center square.  Trim the dog ears and press.
 Again, find the center of each piece sew another small triangle to the right and left of your center unit.
 Notice that there is a little wiggle room.
 Your center unit needs to be squared of to 4.75 inches at this point.  If everything is sized perfectly, there will be a quarter of an inch from each point of the center square to the edge of the block.  There is a colored pencil pointing to the 4.75 inch line.  The 4.5 inch line of the ruler should hit the left point of the center square.  See how there is also a perfect quarter inch on the right side?  Trim the right and then rotate your block to trim the left side.
 Repeat the same process for the top and bottom to make a perfect 4.74 inch block.  You can see that I lost a bit of fabric in the trim up process, but I think it is worth it with this particular block.
 Finger press your big triangles to start the last round.
 I'm not usually a big fan of pins, but I did use a pin to make sure that the center of the block matched up with the point of the inner square.  Just stick a pin right through the point where the seams cross and then into the center of the triangle.  Notice that I am now sewing with the block upside down.  It will make it easier to get sharp points if you do it this way.  Just try to sew though the same crossed seams each time.
 After sewing the top and bottom, press, remove dog ears and repeat the same procedure for the left and right sides.
 Here is my finished block right before squaring up.  A 6.5 inch square up ruler is really handy here if you have it, but you could use a regular ruler too.  Try to make sure there is a quarter of an inch outside each point and trim away the extra.
Here is your finished Economy Block.  Wouldn't this be a cute way to showcase a beautiful print or fun novelty fabric?  I can picture this as an adorable Eye Spy Quilt.  

4 comments:

Terri said...

Nice block... makes some lovely secondary designs, too. Happy colors - but then, not many yellows come off unhappy.
Thanks for the tutorial. I just (after 30 years) discovered squaring up, and it has opened up the world to me. (My quarter inch is soooo much bigger than others'. It made it hard to send out blocks to causes, etc.)
Hugs

Melanie in IA said...

Love these blocks even though I don't use them often. Thanks for including the link back to my post.

Melanie
Catbird Quilt Studio

Kate said...

Fun block. I've done them both with and without paper piecing them. Paper piecing them is so much easier.

Kate said...

Fun block. I've done them both with and without paper piecing them. Paper piecing them is so much easier.