A March Signature Block

Posted by on 30 March 2020 | 1 Comments

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This month's block has been delayed until now, and even then, it wasn't the block I planned. When I get started with these things, they seem to run wild in my head and get more detailed by the minute...  So I put my detailed block on hold for a month or two and went with something a little simpler, well so I thought...

With going into lockdown (not even a week in) I decided to make a signature block so that I can write notes on it if I should wish... I'm thinking now at a minimum, to date each block anyway. If I decide not to include notes, I can always applique or quilt the center.

So I started out cutting a 7-1/2" white square and two 8-3/4 squares of a contrast fabric - red for me.

I cut the two red squares in half through the diagonal and centered them over the sides of the white square - at this point I have two options....

1: sew triangles to opposite sides of the square, press out and sew the other two triangles to the remaining sides. I'll create a block something like this. This option is great for beginners.

block3 1stblock beginners

Easy seams

2: or I can miter the corners. To do this, sew each seam starting and stopping 1/4" from each edge. That's easy with my quarter inch foot. 

block3 2mitered1

Stopping and starting 1/4" from edge

After all pieces are stitched in place and pressed toward the corner, I fold the block through the diagonal pushing the seam allowance back in toward the center and sew where the seams meet (most important step), straight out to the edge. 

block3 3mitered2

mitered corners

Seams are pressed open and miters are perfect.

Once I have my block to this point, I can trim it down to 12-1/2" making sure the seam points are positioned at the 6-1/4" marks on the ruler.

block3 4 1stblock trimmed


This on its own could be a very basic block - a little too basic for me so I'm going to try a theory. Putting my block aside, I began creating a second block thus cutting:

  • One 6" square
  • Four 3" squares
  • Two 5-1/4" squares

.... in three different fabrics. (it really doesn't matter which but the 5-1/4" will be next to the outside edge of the block above)

Starting with the 6" square, I placed the four 3" squares at each corner to make a snowball block and sewed across the diagonal... this can be done in a continuous line.

block3 5secondblock corners

Sewing through diagonals

I sewed again about 3/8" out from the first seam (in the corner section)....

block3 6secondblock second sew

second sewing

and then trimmed between the two rows of stitches....

block3 7secondblock corners cut

Cutting between the stitching

Now I have a snowball patch and four half-square triangles to use in another block at a later point. I placed those aside and carried on with the snowball.

block3 8halfsqtriangles

Make additional half square triangles

I cut through the diagonal on the 5-1/4" square the positioned one centered over the side of my block. With triangle on the bottom, I sewed the seam then added a second triangle to the opposite side, pressing both seams toward the corners.

I repeated the same for the remaining to sides.

block3 9cornertriangles

Adding more corners

Then I trimmed it up ensuring I left 1/4" seam allowance beyond the point where the seams meet which should create an 8-3/8" square.

block3 10secondblock

a second block

Now for the fun.... let's cut this up! I cut through the center of this block through both diagonals.

block3 11secondblock cut

cutting up my block

This will create wonderful corners for my original block. To add them, first draw a line parallel to and 1-1/2" from the seam line.

block3 12corner marked

My line is drawn 1-1/2" from the seam
it's hard to see!

Position the corner sections, right sides down on top of the block so the raw edge matches the drawn line, then sew the seam making sure you stitch through the point where the seams meet. This will create a 1-1/4" border section around the inner square. 

block3 13corner added

one corner added

After all corners are attached, they can be pressed out. The background triangles can be trimmed away or left in place - they make a great guideline for an accurate block if you got the corners on a little crooked!


My finished signature block

I hope you had fun with this! You can use the inside of the block to add applique, embroidery or quilting.... or simply leave it plain. Happy Quilting!

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  • I like this Ruth. I enjoyed watching your process. Our State is right next to New York City so have been in self quarantine for five weeks. Can't seem to find any motivation to sew. Stay safe, be well.

    Posted by Valerie Kelly, 09/04/2020 12:02pm (1 year ago)

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