2 1/2" strip ideal
Today I've been playing with 2 1/2" strips. There are so many wonderful strip packs or jelly rolls available today that I thought I'd make up a simple fun block to use either a pack or leftovers strips. Later I discovered this was actually a block called Twin Sisters.
I pulled a few strips and sorted them so they were in pairs, one light and one medium or dark. It is best to have a good contrast between them for this block. I have three sets below.
I started by joining the pairs together and pressing the seam toward the darker strip.
You can make as many strips as you like. You need 18" of a joined strip to render one pair of blocks so you'll get two pairs from a full strip. That's two dark blocks and two light blocks so four blocks in total.
Now it's time to cut squares from the strip set. I layered mine together to speed up the cutting. Layer them so the seams alternate from side to side. This will help prevent the layers from moving as you cut.
Cut 4 1/2" squares. You will need a minimum of four. If you want to cut more, then you need a multiple of 4 from each strip set. For example 4, 8, 12, 16 and so forth.
Next you need to cut through the diagonal of the square. Use the diagonal line on the ruler to align with the raw edge of the block. Match up one corner with the edge of the ruler and then cut through the diagonal to make two triangles.
Be sure to cut the diagonal the same way on all four squares. Look what happened when I accidentally cut one in the opposite direction.
The fourth quarter doesn't fit (left). To make it right I need to have that last quarter upside down (right). That's no good!
So be sure to cut the same way for all your diagonal cuts. Then sort out the pieces - all the pieces with the larger dark pieces go together and all the pieces with the larger light pieces go together. You'll have two groups for each strip set.
Taking one group, lay then out to form the block. Now take the other group from the same strip set. Here are my two purple groups.
You'll have one dark block and one light block.
Sew these quarter sections into pairs. Chain stitching works well here.
Press the seams toward the section that doesn't have the seam, that way when you join the two sections the seams will butt together.
Here's what my blocks look like. You can see how they got their name.
This is what happens if you change the direction of cutting each strip set. The photo above shows the first two strip sets cut through the diagonal from top left to bottom right when the seam was horizontal. In my third set I cut the diagonal in the opposite direction. That is from bottom left to top right with the seam horizontal. Compare the two blocks.
Look carefully. Notice the small triangle on the blue block is on the upper LEFT side but the small triangle on the other block is to the upper RIGHT side. Something to keep in mind if you are making a quilt.
I'll leave that for you to ponder about.