Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Summer Beach Quilt Tutorial Part I - Fish Block

This is Part 1 of the tutorial for my Summer Beach quilt. Some of the blocks used to make the quilt include half-square triangles, half-rectangle triangles (so fun!) and flying geese. This week I’m going to start with the fish, because it uses the half-square triangle (HST)—a basic and extremely versatile block and that's why I've chosen to start out with it. (Note: for experienced quilters, you can simply make 3 - 5 1/2" x 3" flying geese units in lieu of the HSTs for each "fish"). Once you know how to make a HST you can make all kinds of crazy designs—chevrons, stars, pinwheels, and diamonds--to name just a few. I love this block. Today, though, we're just making a fish.

But anyway, to get started, first you are going to need

3 - 3 3/8" background/white squares
3 - 3 3/8" color squares
1 - 5 1/2" x 3" color rectangle

Next, using your ruler and a pencil, draw a diagonal line on one side of each of the background squares. I use a mechanical pencil for this, but in desperate times I have used almost anything that can mark a line!

Evenly place one background square on top of a colored square, with right sides together, and sew a line a 1/4" from each side of the drawn line. Repeat for a total of 3 blocks.

Next, cut along the line to separate your HSTs.

Open up your block, and using your iron, press the seam on the back open. Repeat for all HSTs.

Now we are going to square up our block.

Lay your ruler over your block, using the 45 degree line and match it up to the diagonal line on your block, and at the same time measuring your block to a 3" square. Trim any excess. Turn the block clockwise and repeat for the other side.

Repeat for all 6 blocks.

Now take two HSTs, evenly place right sides together, check to make sure the seams match up on the inside of corners. Also, make sure the background and color sections mirror each other.

Sew a 1/4" seam on the side with the color. When you open them up you want the color triangles to match up on the inside, and the background color to be on the outside. Press seams open.

Next, bring back your 5 1/2" x 3" rectangle, and lay your pieces out like this

Sew them together, and press seams open...

And now you have super cute fish block! Make sure to give it a good press on the front, and square to
10 1/2" x 5 1/2".

To make the summer beach quilt you will need to make 8 fish blocks. The next segment will be how to assemble them together to create some movement!!



  1. Hi Christina, thank you so much for sharing this tutorial - the summer beach quilt has definitely just been added to my to-do list!! Laura x


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