Monday, January 9, 2017

Square in a Square Block Tutorial

Happy Monday! I hope your first full week of the new year was wonderful!  This weekend I had a chance to play around with a block design I've been wanting to work with for quite a bit: the square in a square!

Not only did I want to make square in a square blocks, but I also wanted see if 

I could make them using layer cake squares...because I have a lot of layer cake squares I'd love to put to good use this year!

I started with a Moda Layer Cake of Aloha Girl, a Fig Tree collection from a couple of years ago.

Begin by choosing a light and a dark that provide plenty of contrast.

Cut a 5" x 10" strip from the layer cake. Cut one 5" x 5" square that you can save (dark blue), and trim the remaining piece to 4 3/4" x 4 3/4" for the block center (medium blue). From the other half of the layer cake, cut two squares 4 3/8" x 4 3/8" (green). See the cutting diagram below.

Then, cut the two 4 3/8" squares in half diagonally once so you have 4 triangles. (You'll be repeating these cutting instructions for each layer cake square. I stacked mine in groups of four to make the cutting go more quickly).

Next, sew two triangles to opposite sides of a 4 3/4" x 4 3/4" square. Press out toward the triangles. 

Then sew the remaining triangles on the other two sides of the square. Again, press out toward the triangles.

Now you will trim your block to measure 6 1/2" x 6 1/2". You can use any ruler, but a 6 1/2" square makes the trimming easier. Line up the 3 1/4" marks on each side of the ruler with the points of the square and trim.

Now you have two absolutely perfect 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" square in a square blocks.

If you cut everything out at the beginning you can chain piece the rest of the sewing.  By cutting everything out to begin with you'll also be able to mix and match centers and triangles. You can even make it really scrappy by using four different triangles in the same color way.

Before long you'll have a lot of blocks. I really wasn't prepared for how quickly this would go!

Now I've got to decide how to use my blocks. I'm thinking of using other Fig Tree layer cakes to make a very scrappy Fig Tree bed quilt. I have a chart below so you can see quilt sizes that can be made with different numbers of layer cakes (the chart assumes you are using Moda Layer Cakes that have 42 squares.  Borders aren't included).

# of Layer Cakes Used
Suggested Block Layout
Quilt Size
6 x 7
36 1/2” x 42 1/2”
8 x 10
48 1/2” x 60 1/2”
10 x 12
60 1/2” x  72 1/2”
12 x 14
72 1/2” x  84 1/2”

I think this project will really help me quilt my stash this year. And I think it would make a perfect holiday quilt for any holiday. This block design really lets the fabrics shine!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


GRANNYcanQUILT said...

What a great use for layer cakes. Thanks for sharing!

Little Quiltsong said...

Thank you for sharing, Sherri! Love these blocks!

Debbie said...

So when you are done with the layer cake you have basically all your blocks plus a charm square pack of that fabric line?

Hildy said...

Love how these blocks turned out I've never thought of using a LC square for this block. Thanks for sharing!

Pamela Tasker said...

I just love your blogging. I can always count on learning something new, finding inspiration, not to mention your so very clear tutorials ! Thank you !

Pam Walton said...

My oh my, what a clever girl you are. I can't wait to see the finished product. I have a mountain of layer cakes, so off to the sewing machine I go.

VickiT said...

Awesome! Thank you so much. You make it look so easy and what's funny is that a layer cake was the Daily Deal just yesterday at Missouri Star Quilt Co. and I passed it up. I told my husband I wasn't going to buy those because I never know what to make with them, but that I can always find a way to use the charm packs. And now you put this out for us, using layer cakes.

You're going to be very busy this year from the looks of your post the other day with all those quilt alongs you'll have here on your blog. I can't wait to see more about those.

Thank you again for this tutorial.

Julie said...

I think we should all admit when we are wrong, so I was wrong. At first, I told myself that I didn't need to read this post because I can make a square in a square block in my sleep. Thank you for teaching me something new!

Angela Smith said...

This is a great way to use a layer cake and I love square in a square block!! Thanks so much for sharing!

Rosemary B❤️ said...

MmmmMmmm layer cake sounds really yummy right now
Vamilla with lemon icing.

I like this idea very much Iam going to try it

Robby H. said...

Somehow I missed this in my feed when you posted it. I know just what to do with this super helpful and clear tutorial! Thanks for taking the time to put it together.

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