Friday, November 18, 2011

Guest Blocker with Jennifer and her Propeller Block {tutorial} and let's not forget Jane below....( switch you both sew peeps know about both of you)


I'm so happy to be back today to share another tutorial!  For those of you who don't know me, my name is Jennifer and I blog over at That Girl... That Quilt.

A lot of my quilts have a more modern slant to them but I began quilting with very traditional blocks and techniques.  I love it when traditional meets modern and with a little color play, I think this block has bits of both.

I spend a lot of time drooling over admiring quilts and sometimes it seems like a lot of the fabrics and quilt designs are more feminine than masculine.  I originally saw this block at a quilt show several years ago and fell in love with it.   With a little research I learned that this is an old block often referred to as a "propeller block".  To me, this block is more masculine and perfect for a boy's quilt.  Pair it with some boy colors and you have one very cute but masculine quilt.

Want to make one?  They are addicting to make so don't be surprised when you end up with a pile of these blocks; especially with the technique I'm going to show you to make the half square triangles {HSTs}.

Here's what you need for one block:
- 2  5.5" squares {one light and one dark square will give you the best contrast}
- 4  light 2" squares
- 4  dark 2" squares
- 1  contrasting or fussy cut 2" square for the center
- the usual tools - rotary cutter, ruler, cutting mat, thread, etc...

Let's make the half square triangles {HSTs} first.  Want to make all 4 in one shot?  Here's how:


Place your 2 5.5" light & dark squares right sides together {RST}.  Stitch a scant 1/4" around the perimeter of the block pivoting at each corner.


Yes, I know that your blocks are stitched completely together... it's OK! :)


Take your squares to your mat and use your rotary cutter and ruler to cut corner to corner diagonally.  Keep the halves together and cut corner to corner diagonally in the other direction as shown above.


Open your blocks to reveal 4 HSTs! 

If you would like to make different sized HSTs from this method, here's the math needed to figure your sizes:
Beginning squares size x 0.64 = HST size  

If you know what size your HST should be then use this to find what size the beginning square needs to be:
HSTsize/0.64 = beginning squares size

Now, I know that this creates bias edges but with a little starch and good pressing, not ironing, I have never had an issue with stretch-y blocks.  If you would like to read more about pressing, starch bias edges and other HST methods take a look at my tutorial here...


Trim your HSTs to 3.5" and then grab your 2" squares and lay the block out as shown above.


Stitch your 2" squares as shown and press open.


Next, stitch your 2" squares/strips to your HSTs as shown & press.  Stitch your center strip together as shown & press.

Finish your block by stitching your HST units to your center strip of 2" squares.   


You now have one 8" block.  Press and square up if needed.

These blocks play very well together.  You get a secondary pattern of pinwheels and if you you use a blue or white as your light color an illusion of propellers in the sky is created which gives a quilt of these blocks a bit of a modern feel.

Thanks for having me today!  I always enjoy my visits here among such creative & talented quilters!

If you would like to see more block tutorials or perhaps join my latest quilt along {Chasing Chevrons} using even more half square triangles, I'd love it if you visited me over at That Girl... That Quilt.

Jennifer :)

30 comments:

  1. Brilliant tutorial, Jeniffer!! Lovely block!!

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  2. Love Fridays over here, because we get to see so many great blocks. No exception here, this one Jennifer is perfect for a Man's/boys quilt. I really like this. With 2 boys it is hard to come up with something. Thank you thank you. Liz in SA

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  3. Excellent excellent visual. brilliant manly block.

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  4. Good morning Jennifer...how cool is this...first downright brilliant block, color, choice of middle..perfect. I have many boys in my family. this is a perfect choice. Absolutely brilliant of course..

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  5. Just Gorgeous! Appreciate the pressing directions.

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  6. You are so right. This does make a great boy block. Sometimes I have a hard time seeing the boy fabric, and the boy blocks, it just doesn't seem like there is enough of that out there. Maybe I need to re-focus on the things that are there.. but really we could use more being created too.

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  7. Great block! I can definitely see this in a little quilt.

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  8. Love this block. It is going in my "to do" list right now.

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  9. A charming block that I must try. Thanks for sharing

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  10. Love this for a boy's quilt...thanks for sharing your block with us!

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  11. Great tutorial Jennifer! I have made HST many ways including this method and I have not had trouble with the bias either. Thanks for including the math!

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  12. Jennifer you're so right - a perfect block for a boy's quilt. I just happen to have an almost 3 year old who needs a quilt for Christmas. :) blessings, marlene

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  13. Downright perfect. The tutorial, the block and YOU. Kate in Omaha

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  14. Very nice. I have tried that technique for hst's but was not too successfuly. The key is to have that 1/4" seam done right. I will have to try it again.

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  15. Another great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

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  16. Jennifer, I absolutely adore this block, including the fabrics...love them. I am also excited about the 4 HST's, in one fell swoop. I'm sure others knew about this method, but I didn't until I found your blog last week! I have been visiting every day since. Now...gotta take my computer downstairs and make some of these fun blocks. Thanks so much for sharing. Hugs...

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  17. Hey oh! That's a cute block. I might have to make up one like that out of solids for a donation quilt that my local modern quilt guild is working on :-D

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  18. Jennifer, that is one great little boy quilt. Thanks for sharing. Gonna go see your blog.

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  19. Sufferin' Succotash! Gotta love the let's turn it into to 4! Very clever. Thanks so much - now I just need to remember....

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  20. Love this block. I really appreciate the math so I can figure out other sizes. I love HST, and this is another great way to use them.

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  21. I will def use this method for HSTs! Thanks and love this block. Adding it to my bookmarks!

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  22. Nice block! Thank you for sharing!
    Gun, Sweden

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  23. Nice block! Thank you for sharing!
    Gun, Sweden

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  24. Super cute block, in the All Stars fabric I think? I love the mix of large and small prints and solids, it looks great!

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  25. Thanks Jennifer, this block is like the pinwheel block but with the added plus sign in the middle. I just finished making my first set of pinwheels for a baby blanket so I think I have that down, lol just gotta remember the "plus" sign if I ever wanted to do something different.

    Thanks!

    Pinterested this... Thanks again!!

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  26. I loved these tutorials today! Great job! This technique was especially Easy! I loved how my sampler block turned out! Thanks!!

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  27. Thank you all so much for your kind comments! I had so much fun making this block and putting together this tutorial. See ya'll again soon...

    Jennifer :)

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