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Thread: Square in a square block

  1. #1
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    What is your favorite method for a square in a square block?

    I am making a quilt for my nephew and I purchased 12 embroidered blocks of the Boston Bruin's logo, which will be the center square set on point, in a sawtooth star block, and then I need the triangles which completes the square to measure at 5" finished, and then I will add the star points to make the block 10.5" unfinished.

    In other words....I am making a 10" sawtooth star, with a center square in square.

    Before I start cutting, I want to be sure I am doing this right.

    Take the centered logo and cut it to 5.5 inches unfinished.

    Cut four squares at 3" unfinished and draw a diagonal line edge to edge.

    Align the squares to each corner of the logo patch, sew on the diagonal line, from center to opposite edge to make the triangle patch, cut away excess, press out.

    This needs to result in a 5.5" unfinished square.

    Are my measurements correct?

    Thanks in advance!

    Diane

  2. #2
    Senior Member B. Louise's Avatar
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    I don't have any advice, but your avatar is sure a cutie!

  3. #3
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    Just to be sure, I would make a sample out of scrap fabric...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom-6
    Just to be sure, I would make a sample out of scrap fabric...
    excellent idea!

  5. #5
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnitaGrossmanSolomon
    I believe, if I understand your intentions, this is the formula to follow:

    5.5" unfinished = 5" finished.
    Divide 5" by 2 which = 2.5"
    Add 1/2" to each of four 2.5" squares = cut four 3" squares.
    I thought you had to add 7/8". I would use Anita's paper method first. I use the Square in a Square ruler so I don't have to do the math!

  6. #6
    Member AnitaGrossmanSolomon's Avatar
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    I thought you had to add 7/8". I would use Anita's paper method first. I use the Square in a Square ruler so I don't have to do the math!
    You are right about 7/8" - when you cut a square on the diagonal into two triangles. But I believe she is using the method of sewing squares to a square and lopping off the excess. It's a good way if you want to keep things extra stable.

    Anita

  7. #7
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmackey
    ....Take the centered logo and cut it to 5.5 inches unfinished.

    Cut four squares at 3" unfinished and draw a diagonal line edge to edge.

    Align the squares to each corner of the logo patch, sew on the diagonal line, from center to opposite edge to make the triangle patch, cut away excess, press out.

    Diane
    This is one of my favorite blocks.
    Your measurements are correct.

    BUT....in your last sentence "cut away excess".....instead, allow yourself to cut out ONLY the middle layer rather than the back also. As you have already squared your logo block, leaving the corners of it after sewing the smaller squares to it will allow you to keep the block true to size.

    Because you will sew the small squares on the diagonal, and will press them back, you will find they likely do not fit exactly -- either are slightly under or over meeting the exact corner -- but not to worry about it because the discrepancy will be caught in the seam allowance when the block sections are all sewn together.

    AND, if you will cut those smaller squares slightly larger than 3"....say, 3 and 1/8", you will find you won't lose the points of the square in a square into the seam allowance. That center will slightly "float", which will give the block better visual contrast in the overall view.

    Jan in VA
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  8. #8
    Member AnitaGrossmanSolomon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnitaGrossmanSolomon
    I believe they are not.
    Jeepers, I should have written that I believe they are. I broke my rule to not post when I am overtired.

    Anita

  9. #9
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnitaGrossmanSolomon
    You asked "What is your favorite method?" My favorite is one of my own device. From this page on my blog, [url=http://makeitsimpler.blogspot.com/search/label/Tutorial
    http://makeitsimpler.blogspot.com/search/label/Tutorial[/url]
    click on: 'VIDEO Super Fast Rotary Cutting: Square on Point'

    This wastes no fabric, and keeps an 'upright' upright.

    Anita Grossman Solomon

    Anita, may I first say it is a priviledge to chat with you here on the board. I have seen this video in the past but could never find it on a search, so thank you so much for providing the link! I have always wanted to use my scraps to make the quilt you show on the video. I love that it snips off the dog ears.

    You were using an 8" square. Does it finish at 7.5" using your method? If so, I am going to assume I should be using all 5.5" squares unfinished to make my 5" finished block.

    Thanks so much for the great info!

    Diane

  10. #10
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    [quote=Jan in VA

    BUT....in your last sentence "cut away excess".....instead, allow yourself to cut out ONLY the middle layer rather than the back also. As you have already squared your logo block, leaving the corners of it after sewing the smaller squares to it will allow you to keep the block true to size.

    Because you will sew the small squares on the diagonal, and will press them back, you will find they likely do not fit exactly -- either are slightly under or over meeting the exact corner -- but not to worry about it because the discrepancy will be caught in the seam allowance when the block sections are all sewn together.

    AND, if you will cut those smaller squares slightly larger than 3"....say, 3 and 1/8", you will find you won't lose the points of the square in a square into the seam allowance. That center will slightly "float", which will give the block better visual contrast in the overall view.

    Jan in VA[/quote]

    What a great tip! I never would have thought to add the 1/8".

    I can't wait to try this method along with the way Anita does her cutting. The logo is embroidered so it raises the fabric up a bit and I'm concerned about the square being exact, so one of these methods will certanly work for me.

    Thanks so much Jan!

    Diane

  11. #11
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    The "cut away the excess" method wastes a whole lot of fabric. I make square in a square blocks that start with a 5 inch center square and I cut two 4 inch squares on the diagonal for the corners. I'd try it with the 5.5 and two 4.5 inch squares and see if it comes out the size you want. I crease the center square in the center and the corners in the center and match the creases.

  12. #12
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    I use the squares method. I know it wastes fabric but I can guarantee I'd waste a heck of a lot more fabric trying to do it with triangles and ending up messing up a bunch of blocks. I did watch the video mentioned above a while back and would like to try that method sometime. Is that video on youtube? That type of video never plays well for me (I can't seem to pause and let it load and even if I let it play through and try to watch again, it just stalls again).

  13. #13
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Louise
    I don't have any advice, but your avatar is sure a cutie!
    Thank you B. Louise!

    This is a pix of my first grandchild at 3 months old, and I just love the amused look on her face! It just tells me she is going to be a prankster like her daddy.

    Just got some new pix and one is a grand prize winner for sure! Have to get them scanned elsewhere so I can have digital formats to post.

    Diane

    Diane

  14. #14
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    The "cut away the excess" method wastes a whole lot of fabric. I make square in a square blocks that start with a 5 inch center square and I cut two 4 inch squares on the diagonal for the corners. I'd try it with the 5.5 and two 4.5 inch squares and see if it comes out the size you want. I crease the center square in the center and the corners in the center and match the creases.
    You will think I am crazy, but I immediately sew that cut away fabric on the diagonal line that was cut, and throw them in a bucket. I have tons of them. Some day I will press them open and square them up and make a doll quilt.....someday being the key word there! I have already used some of them to make tiny pinwheels for a jacket trim. Very small projects are a good thing, they are tough to work with!

    I don't have much in the way of scraps because it all gets used. One friend loves to take my salvedges, another treasure hunts for her applique, my strips all get cut into 1.5 inches and are saved for a scrappy log cabin, small squares are kept for button covers, and what is too skiny to use is put in a basket , along with loose threads, and put out each spring for the birds to use for making their nests.

    BTW, I just realized that I won't be wasting any fabric if I use Anita's method. The unused center square of the triangle corner fabric is the same as I will be using for my cornerstones in the sashing, which is 2.5" unfinished, so no waste there at all!

    Diane

  15. #15
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    I saw the video & need a bit more info. What size squares did you use to start?There were marks on the mat?Guess I need to find the book that shows this method.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnitaGrossmanSolomon
    >>Before I start cutting, I want to be sure I am doing this right.
    Take the centered logo and cut it to 5.5 inches unfinished. Cut four squares at 3" unfinished and draw a diagonal line edge to edge....This needs to result in a 5.5" unfinished square.
    Are my measurements correct?
    _______

    Dear Diane,'
    I believe they are not. I believe, if I understand your intentions, this is the formula to follow:

    5.5" unfinished = 5" finished.
    Divide 5" by 2 which = 2.5"
    Add 1/2" to each of four 2.5" squares = cut four 3" squares.

    Test this for yourself. I usually test using paper squares, not fabric squares. You could sew a photocopy of your Bruins fabric to test position. I expect you chose this method to keep the directional Bruins fabric 'upright'.

    You asked "What is your favorite method?" My favorite is one of my own device. From this page on my blog, http://makeitsimpler.blogspot.com/search/label/Tutorial
    click on: 'VIDEO Super Fast Rotary Cutting: Square on Point'

    This wastes no fabric, and keeps an 'upright' upright.

    Anita Grossman Solomon

  16. #16
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    Pat,

    In the video, Anita used 8" squares, but you can use any size. What is important is that all squares that you will be cutting are the same size.

    If you watch the video again, you will see where the lines on the mat come from and how to do it based on the size squares you are going to be cutting.

    Diane

  17. #17
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    Would like to get the book showing how to cut squares to make the sq in a sq block...as shown on the H&G video.What book has it? Thanks for any info.

  18. #18
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnitaGrossmanSolomon
    I was disappointed to discover today that HGTV removed the extensive online printable directions that accompanied Simply Quilts episode #1129, Make It Simpler Rotary Cutting. I'm sorry to have left people floundering.

    You should know that one square of fabric will yield one quilt block. The benefit is in knowing that if you want to make a quilt of 36 Square on Point blocks, you'd need 36 assorted fabric squares. A quilt of 100 blocks calls for 100 assorted fabric squares.

    The fabric squares must be cut to the same size. Whatever size you choose, you must create a cutting pattern specific to that size. For example, 6 inch fabric squares require you to begin by drawing a 6 inch square on graph paper. A finished block will always measure 1-1/4 inches smaller than the fabric square.

    The good news is that I amplified and improved my technique with a cutting pattern/top piecing pattern in the book "Rotary Cutting Revolution." I devoted 8 out of 128 pages to it with over 30 photographs. Perhaps you can locate a copy through your local library. The 'new' way means not having to mark your rotary mat nor cutting fabric squares to the exact size to start. You do need a 'straight edge' to cut but you don't need to read the lines on a ruler.

    I confess to having many quilting notions and tools, but I write for the person who may have only one ordinary ruler, mat and cutter and is averse to wasting fabric.

    Anita
    http://makeitsimpler.blogspot.com
    Thanks for the info-I am going to find that book and buy it.

  19. #19
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    Thank you. I admire your work & clear explanations.I'll also be looking for the book.Even tho I don't need more, now & then one comes along that is worth buying.Thanks again...Pat

    Quote Originally Posted by AnitaGrossmanSolomon
    I was disappointed to discover today that HGTV removed the extensive online printable directions that accompanied Simply Quilts episode #1129, Make It Simpler Rotary Cutting. I'm sorry to have left people floundering.

    You should know that one square of fabric will yield one quilt block. The benefit is in knowing that if you want to make a quilt of 36 Square on Point blocks, you'd need 36 assorted fabric squares. A quilt of 100 blocks calls for 100 assorted fabric squares.

    The fabric squares must be cut to the same size. Whatever size you choose, you must create a cutting pattern specific to that size. For example, 6 inch fabric squares require you to begin by drawing a 6 inch square on graph paper. A finished block will always measure 1-1/4 inches smaller than the fabric square.

    The good news is that I amplified and improved my technique with a cutting pattern/top piecing pattern in the book "Rotary Cutting Revolution." I devoted 8 out of 128 pages to it with over 30 photographs. Perhaps you can locate a copy through your local library. The 'new' way means not having to mark your rotary mat nor cutting fabric squares to the exact size to start. You do need a 'straight edge' to cut but you don't need to read the lines on a ruler.

    I confess to having many quilting notions and tools, but I write for the person who may have only one ordinary ruler, mat and cutter and is averse to wasting fabric.

    Anita
    http://makeitsimpler.blogspot.com

  20. #20
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    I just ordered "Rotary Cutting Revolution" from Amazon. So many 5 star reviews and only one 4 star, who loved it too. Can't wait to get it!

    Anita, I think yiou are an absolute genius! I'm not going to cut my square in a square blocks until I get the book.

    I do have one question though. In your last post, you said the finished block is 1 1/4 inches smaller than the block you start with.

    If I want a finished 5" square, then starting with 6 1/4", I lose 1" when the internal square is sewn (1/4 on triangle, 1/4 on square times 2 sides = 1"}. Then when I sew the completed block into a quilt, I will then lose 1/2", being the 1/4 inch seam from each side. Wouldn't that leave me with a finished 4 3/4" square?

    Diane

  21. #21
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    I use Jodi Barrows's Square in a Square method and ruler.
    http://www.squareinasquare.com/

  22. #22
    davidwent's Avatar
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    DIANE!!!
    I'm soooooo jealous!! where'd you get the Bruins logos?? I hope you sow me pics wen your done!
    David

  23. #23
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I sometimes paper piece these blocks, since I find it hard to get the corners on just right.

  24. #24
    Senior Member dolores's Avatar
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    Anita . I saw your video on the square in a square and thank you for that. I tried that and it really worked. Thank you so much from an inspired quilter.

  25. #25
    Senior Member dmackey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c joyce
    I use Jodi Barrows's Square in a Square method and ruler.
    http://www.squareinasquare.com/
    I went to that site and to squarequilting and didn't find the method she uses. Her videos won't play on my computer and they are too tiny.

    Diane

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