DIY Block of Month for May – Card Trick

Ok, I need to apologize, first for how late this block is and second for teasing my friend, Hope, for choosing it! I made this block once, years ago in a hand piecing class and may have sworn I wouldn’t do it again….it’s that “n” word (never) catching up with me again! However, I did discover that machine piecing this one is a breeze and rather fun. I’ve been using my “nautical” fat quarters from one of our exchanges and was having a little trouble finding two that had slightly denser print on them so they wouldn’t look as chopped up so I added a red. A red I just happened to find on sale 40% of the remnant price, I might add…you have to love those “wonder” fabrics. You know, the ones you buy and say, “I wonder what I’m going to do with this?”

So, one to the Card Trick Block. Cutting is simple. I made the traditional two color version so I had two card colors and my yellow background.

From each of the three colors cut
Two 4 7/8″ squares cut once on the diagonal
One 5 1/4″ square cut twice on the diagonal

When you’re done cutting you should have three sets of triangles in each color, four large and four small like this…

Triangle sets ready to sew!

Next take the four large background triangles and pair them with a large “card” triangle – two with one card color and two with the other. When you’re done you’ll have 1/2-square blocks like this…

Four corner squares - finished!

Trim your dog ears and lay out the remainder of the block….frankly, I can get a little confused on a block like this so I like to lay it all out and check out where my units are….

Can you see that this block is really just a nine-patch variation? All we are doing now is making the units into squares to sew into a nine-patch. The next units I sewed together were the small triangle pairs. Folding one on top of the other, right sides together, I carefully placed them in a stack with the side that needed the seam facing the right and then chained them through the sewing machine. This is a place you want to be careful because you do have a right/left side situation. If you sew these backwards, they will not work…at least not until you rip and re-sew them!

Chaining little triangles


And pressing them open!

Now take your pieces back (don’t trim the dog ears yet) and lay them back into the design. Your next step is sewing the small triangle units you just made to a larger triangle.

Three triangles about to make a square!

After you’ve made your new square units, trim the dog ears – you’ll have three to trim – and lay the block out to check. I didn’t take a photo of it, but the center square in the piecing is made with two small triangle units sewn together…be very careful matching the center on this one.
Here’s how your block should look layed out…

Final check to make sure everything is in the right place

Now you can sew this together like any other nine-patch block. Sew column two to column one then add column three on to column two. Press and sew the rows together. You’ll want ot use a couple of pins to find your match points for the rows and don’t be surprised if one or two seam allowances need to be turned a different direction than you originally pressed it. when you’ve finished and pressed it, your block should look something like this…

One finished Card Trick!

You can change this block up and make each of the “cards” a different fabric…that’s the way my first one was but I rather liked the idea of changing it up a bit. If you change to a four-different card block, I believe you’ll need two large triangles and two small of each color. I’d love to see a photo if you make this one!
Stay tuned for June, it should be up by Tuesday at the latest!

2 responses to “DIY Block of Month for May – Card Trick

  1. Phyllis Barker

    I like how yours turned out with just the two different colors for the cards. Since my quilt is purposefully colorful, I decided to go with four different fabrics for my cards.

  2. How cool is that? Thanks for the great tutorial!

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