Update – Economy Blocks

Last week (or maybe the week before – time has been flying by) I showed you a couple economy blocks I made from scraps using a tutorial from Red Pepper Quilts. I’ve had a couple readers ask about how I made the blocks and how I plan on using them, so I thought I would share more about those with all of you.

Square in Square Block, Economy Block

Fabric from a pillow case my niece made.

 

First, the blocks are super fun to make and work well with any fussy cutting you’d like to do.  I’ve been cutting the pieces for each block as I’m working on other projects and before I put my scraps away.  Then when I want to sew something but don’t have time to jump in on a big project I can just sew up one or two of these blocks.

 

 

To make a block you will need: Economy Block, Square in a Square

  • 1 – 3″ fussy cut square
  • 2 – 3″ squares, cut in half diagonally making 4 triangles
  • 2 – 4″ squares, cut in half diagonally making 4 triangles

 

 

 

Someone asked how I made sure I got the points lined up when sewing on the first set of triangles.  Here’s how I did it.  Take your center fussy cut square, fold it in half twice and finger press the folds.  This will give you a fold line to line your points on so they’ll be centered:

Place your first triangle along the edge, aligning the point with one of the folds and sew:

Economy Block Lining Up Points

Line the point with the fold line.

Do the same with the other three sides.  Press the seams away from the center block.  Square the block to 4″. This is what your block will look like after the first set of triangles are sewn on:

Economy Block or Square in a Square

When you add the second set of triangles, you will line the triangle points up with the points on your center square.

Economy Block - Square in a Square

Again, repeat for all four sides and press seams away from the center square. Square the block to 5-1/2″.

When you make these, you’ll want to pay particular attention to two things. First, keep your seam allowance to 1/4″ so you don’t lose your points, especially on your center block.  What I’ve done when sewing on the first four triangles is use a quarter inch seam allowance. Then, when sewing on the second set of four triangles, I move my needle to the right two notches to sew a scant 1/4″ seam.  This has worked for me in not losing my points.

Economy Block

Leave a quarter inch from each point. This gives you a seam allowance when joining the blocks so you won’t lose your points.

Secondly, when squaring up your blocks (you’ll do this twice – after sewing on the first set of triangles you square to 4″, and after the second set you’ll square to 5-1/2″), make sure to leave a quarter inch from the tip of each point.  If you just square up your block and don’t leave that quarter inch, you’ll definitely lose your points. (Ask me how I know….)  My blocks finish at a bit bigger than 5-1/2″, due to using that scant 1/4″ seam allowance.  So far they’ve all been consistent so I’m okay with that.

This is certainly going to be a scrappy quilt, using pieces from each project I do from now until I have enough to make a big enough quilt.  So, it will take awhile but I love having an easy block to sew up when I have just a few minutes of time.  Makes me feel like I’m still being productive.  🙂

Here are some of the other blocks I’ve made:

Here they are together:

Economy Blocks

I think this will make a great scrappy quilt.  The really cool thing is that each block will have a story to tell, because I’ll know what project those particular fabrics were used in.  Too fun!

I also have been practicing FMQing a loopy flower design.  I’d like to be able to do this design on the Walk Through the Garden quilt (yep, still trying to come up with another name!), but I’ve got to get the tension right first.  The top side looks good, the back – not so much.  According to my Craftsy class, the problem is how fast my machine is running and the speed at which I’m moving my hands. I’m still practicing!

FMQ Loopy Flower design

The front side of the loopy flower.

 

I hope you get to do some sewing this week!

Beth

 

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About Beth

I'm a wife, mother of two, and lover of all things crafty. I love to cook up new things in the kitchen and in my craft room, and sometimes get "licking the spoon" mixed up with "licking the fabric"!!
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2 Responses to Update – Economy Blocks

  1. Melissa says:

    I love it!

  2. Great instructions for the economy blocks. I like the tip to finger press seams into the center block. Your looping flower looks great, I hope you can figure out how to get the thread to play nice on the back!

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