DIY Block of the Month – August Grecian Square II

It seems like I start every DIY post with an apology for the lateness of the post…maybe I just like tradition?  Actually, this has been a tough couple of months, I’ve not been feeling quite myself (and I’m not sure I was feeling like anyone else, either!)  Anyway, a few tweaks to the old hormonal/thyroid system and, voila!  I’m feeling like a new woman…instead of an old woman!

So, first things first, cutting…

From the background fabric cut  four 2 5/8″ x 4 3/4″ rectangles (the 5/8″ line is between the 1/4″ lines on your ruler.)

Cut four 3 7/8″ squares then cut in half on the diagonal to yield four triangles

Now, I used three different fabrics for the contrast area but you could make them all in one fabric.  I’m not usually prone to a lot of fussy cutting but this fabric just cried out to be the rectangles.

You’ll need four rectangles of the dark fabric, also 2 5/8″ by 4 3/4″. I ended up having to cut  two strips, thank goodness that my piece had two wide blue strips!  I didn’t want my center to be stripes so I cut a different piece. 

The instructions called for a square cut on the bias and, frankly, I’m always reluctant to do the extra steps for a template so I simply placed my ruler on my fat quarter with the 45-degree line running straight down the piece and lined up the ruler so I could cut a square 4 3/4″ by 4 3/4″.

Lining up the ruler

First I cut two sides of my square starting on the right hand side just at the 5″ mark.

After the first two cuts and folding back the excess fabric on the right hand side.

Then I turned my ruler around, lined it up on the 4 3/4″ line and made the last two cuts. 

Ready for the last two cuts.

And there you are, one bias cut center square without a template and relatively little wasted fabric.  If your fabric isn’t directional, you don’t even need to worry about the bias but I didn’t want my lighthouses laying on their sides.

You’ll also need one 7 1/4″ square cut twice on the diagonal for the big dark triangles.  Once you’ve cut all your pieces it should look something like this

Pieces ready to sew...eight rectangles, one square, four large triangles and four small triangles.

The block looks more complicated than it is.  You lay the pieces out like this

And they separate into three sewing units like this

As always, start with smallest units. Sew a light rectangle to each dark rectangle to make four squares.

Add large triangles to the sides of two of the new square units, like this

Rectangle square with side triangles, after pressing

Then add a background triangle to the end.  I used my easy-angle ruler to cut the triangles so one of the points matched right up but the next time I used the background triangles, I used the “finger press a crease and match with a pin technique.”

You can see the finger crease on this one. I love when things line up!

Once you’ve made your two side units, you simply sew together the three squares in the  center row and add a triangle to each end.  Then add the side rows, using the center square to match the seams on the rectangle squares.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that this block choice was courtesy of Sherrie!  I’m really loving this DIY thing.  I’m thinking of a little challenge for myself in the upcoming months but, I’m going to keep it to myself for a couple of days while I work on the next block!  I can’t tell you how great it is to feel well enough to want to do things again!  So, check back this weekend, the new block should be up, I’ll have a couple more book reviews and, hopefully, a fun finish picture to show!

And the three rows go together!

Oh, and in the meantime, I can’t resist sharing this picture of my “baby” in the crib.  Happy quilting!

That's my baby, Gizmo!

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