There are a few different ways to make these diagonal quilt blocks…but by far my favorite method is this tube method below. These are fairly easy blocks to make, but I wouldn’t recommend this quilt to a brand new quilter as there are tons of bias (stretchy) edges to deal with. Read through the tutorial before you cut all your strips so you know what you’re in for!
I’m going to take you through making one “tube”, which yields 6 blocks. At the end of this tutorial you’ll find a chart with sizes, and the amount of strips you’ll need for each. Use a 1/4″ seam allowance for steps below.
1. Start with 6 strips 2 1/2″ x the width of the fabric (jelly roll strips work awesome in this quilt!).
2. Sew the strips into two sets of 3 strips each. Press seams OPEN!
3. Place the strip sets right sides together, matching the outer edges. Sew the strip sets together along both edges (top and bottom in the photo below) creating an enclosed tube.
Below you can see the stitches along the top and the bottom (next time I won’t use such a light bottom fabric…sorry!).
4. Now you’ll need a large square ruler with a 45 degree line. I’m using my 9 1/2″ square ruler from this pack, but any large square ruler will work as long as it has a 45 degree line from corner to corner and it’s bigger than your tube.
5. Quick note: I’m right handed, so if you are left handed, start cutting from the left edge of the strip set instead of the right like I do below. :)
Align the 45 degree line on your ruler on the bottom stitch line of stitches. Make sure it’s lined up with the stitches along the whole length of the ruler.
Cut along the right edge of the ruler as shown.
6. Move the ruler up to the top row of stitches, again lining up the 45 degree mark with the line of stitches, and the corner on the cut edge as shown.
Cut along the ruler edge to make your first block.
7. Move the ruler back down to the bottom row of stitches, line everything up making sure the corner of the ruler is on the cut edge, and make another cut.
8. Continue lining the ruler up on the bottom and top, and making cuts until you’ve cut up the whole strip tube.
Each strip tube yields 6 triangles (blocks).
9. Gently open up the triangles, and press the center seams to the side or open. The edges are cut on the bias grain and are very very stretchy…so handle them gently and don’t pull or push them with your iron. This tip is fabulous for getting these blocks extra flat without stretching them.
Each block measures 8 1/4″ square. Actually mine were all just under 8 1/4″…but close enough.
10. Repeat the steps above to make all of your blocks, and layout your blocks as desired. To sew the blocks together, place them right sides together and pin where the seams meet (or just hold the fabric in place like I do) and sew. Again, be gentle with the bias edges!
The points meet up without too much fuss if you cut them all correctly.
Once it’s sewn into the quilt you can hardly tell some of the seams don’t match up perfectly (some of mine were way off)! Don’t sweat it too much.
After you are done making this quilt top I highly recommend stay stitching (normal stitches/stitch length is fine) around the edges to prevent them from stretching during finishing. I always add stay stitching to every quilt top!
|Size*:||Baby||Crib||Small Throw||Large Throw||Twin|
|38 1/2″ x 46 1/2″||46 1/2″ x 54 1/2″||54 1/2″ x 69 1/2″||62″ x 77 1/2″||69 1/2″ x 85|
|Number of Blocks:||30||42||63||80||99|
|Blocks Across x Down:||5 x 6||6 x 7||7 x 9||8 x 10||9 x 11|
2 1/2″ strips needed:
|Tubes to make (6 blocks each):||5||7||11||14||17|
*This is assuming a finished block size of 7 3/4″…they may be a bit smaller than that. Also I didn’t include queen and king sizes because honestly I don’t recommend making this in anything bigger than a twin because of the stretchy edges and lots of seams to match. Also you’ll die of boredom making all the strip set tubes.
I found a great video by MSQC showing this tube method here (after I’d written this tutorial…ugh). It helps to see it in action, and they add white in their version so you can make it with one jelly roll!
Put any questions in the comments and I’ll try to answer them there. Happy quilting!