After staring at fabrics for too long trying to decide what pattern to make my baby a quilt with…I went with classic hourglass blocks. There are probably loads of good tutorials for these blocks already, but since these are one of my favorites I wrote one up for this quilt:
Baby Hourglass Quilt: Quilt size: 32" x 41" , Block size (unfinished): 5" x 5"
32 print 6" x 6" squares, and 32 white 6" x 6" squares (approx. 1 yard cut into 5 strips 6" x the fabric width, then subcut 7 squares from each strip). For this particular quilt I used about 8 different print fabrics, and cut 4 squares from each fabric.
1. Draw a diagonal line in pencil from corner to corner on the wrong side of each white square. I know…I hate this part too….if it helps this is how I line up my squares then I draw lines on multiple squares at one time:
2. Pin a print square and a white square right sides together with the pencil line facing up. Sew ¼" from the line on each side ( I usually don’t pin these squares…but you should…I’m just lazy). Continue until all of the 32 print and white squares have been sewn together.
To make this process faster you can chain piece all of the squares. Sew on one side of the line on all of the squares, then without cutting the threads in between the blocks put them back through the machine and sew down the other side. Then when you’re all finished clip both threads in between each block.
3. Place a square on the cutting mat, and cut down the pencil line from corner to corner. DO NOT MOVE THE PIECES YET! ( I pulled mine apart a little just so you can see the cut)
4. Cut another diagonal line from the other corner to corner on the same square.
5. Press the triangles towards the print fabrics. You should be able to lay out 2 hourglass blocks from this one cut square:
6. Match and pin the center seams, then sew the pieces together to make 2 hourglass blocks. Press seam to either side or open.
7. Now for the fun part (not really) squaring up the blocks to 5" x 5". Everyone has their own method of squaring…this is how I do mine:
Align the diagonal lines of my block with the diagonal lines on my cutting mat…
Measure from the center 2 ½" out on one side, and trim off the excess. Do the same on the top or bottom, then you can align the edges along the grid lines and trim the remaining edges to make a 5" block. If your mat doesn’t have these handy grid lines you’ll have to find another way, but simply measuring 2 ½" out from the center on each side should be fine. You can even cut more than one at a time if you’re not a perfectionist.
8. Lay the blocks out in 9 rows of 7 blocks each, rotating every other block. Sew the blocks into rows, and press the seams towards the print fabrics (that part is important so you’re seams will match up nice and tidy when sewing the rows together). Pin and sew the rows together to finish the quilt top.
Apparently it’s 5 year old boy torture to make him hold up a pink quilt…heaven forbid…you should have heard the grumbling.
*To make hourglass blocks in any size… cut your starting squares 1" larger than you’d like the (un) finished squares to be.