Thursday, January 8, 2015

RSC 15 Sampler Block 2 - Card Trick

I've always wanted to try this block, I think it just looks cool, but I was always intimidated by the layout. Turns out it is just half square and quarter square triangle units. The key is in how they are arranged. It can be made with two fabrics or four, I chose four.  You can do either.  Just like flying geese, there are lots of ways to make these basic units.  There is a nice tutorial here in case you are more comfortable cutting squares in half than using specialty rulers.  I'll use the rulers though, because it is what I'm used to.
So I started by making a little sketch of the block.  Each fabric needs 2 half square triangles and 2 quarter square triangles.  In addition there are 4 half square background triangles and 4 quarter square background triangles.
Start by cutting 1.5 and 2.5 inch strips of each fabric.  For me this was 4 blues and the background.  You might be using 2 blues and background instead.  That is fine, one strip of each is plenty.
Use the companion angle ruler with the 1.5 inch strips to cut 2 quarter square triangles of each blue fabric.  Cut 4 triangles of the background.
Use the easy angle ruler with the 2.5 inch strips to cut the half square triangle units.  Cut 2 triangles of each blue and 4 triangles of the background fabric.
So here are your subunits.  Two quarter square and two half square triangles of each blue and four of both units out of background fabric.
Following the little sketch, lay out your subunits.  Half square triangles make up each corner, while the sides are made of two quarter square triangles and one half square triangle.  The very center is made of 4 quarter square triangles.  Color placement is really important, so double check everything before you start sewing.
First sew the four corners.  Next sew the quarter square triangles along the short side.  Press these carefully as the hypotenuse is along the bias.  Bring the subunits back to your layout and put them back in place to make sure everything is sewn correctly.
Now that the quarter square units are sewn together, they should be exactly the same size as the half square triangles.  Sew these together and press toward the half square triangles.  Now you can start working on the center section.  Sew the quarter square triangles together on the short side and then sew the pieced subunits together along the long side to make a square.  Twirl the seams and press carefully.
OK, now that you have pieced all those triangles, you have just a regular old nine patch to sew together.  Check the color placement again just to be sure.
Here is your finished Card Trick block.  It should be 6.5 inches unfinished.
Add the sawtooth star points to finish up the block.   There is a tutorial here about how to put the star points together.
I've had several questions about background fabric.  I will do the math to figure out the yardage requirements.  I've been using different fabrics so far for the center blocks, but I am planning a consistent fabric for both the star point backgrounds and for the alternate blocks.  Come back next week for a tutorial on how to make the alternate blocks. 

8 comments:

Barbara said...

There is an even easier way to do this block by using a four patch in the middle and rectangles around. Eleanor Burns used the method in her pattern book, "Winning Hand".

Scrappy quilter said...

This has always been one of my favorite blocks to make. Love how yours turned out.

Nann said...

Barbara's first comment echoes what I thought when I read your post. I call the "winning hand" block "card games." It lends itself well to 5" squares. (How many quiltmakers still have a box of "nickels" from swapping those squares? )

Kathy's A Quilter said...

I look forward to seeing all those "winning hand" blocks as well in other's blocks. Thanks for the refresher on this "card trick".

Art by Rhoda Forbes said...

Great tutorial, and I love the card tricks in the center of the star. Thank you!

Deb A said...

Great choice! I made a card trick quilt ages ago. Such a fun pattern.

Carol Stearns said...

I've been following you and haven't started sewing yet. IT looks sew much fun. Guess I'll put it on my list and soon.

Kate said...

I like the look of the Card Trick block, but haven't had the time to make any.