Tuesday, March 5, 2013


This is a tutorial on how I make my Square in a Square block.  Several yahoo groups I am on have been discussing constructing "the Square in a Square" block.  They have been using several kinds of rulers and methods of trimming.  I look at the block and all I see are two flying geese.  I am very gizmo challenged and I have a humongous fear of biased edges.  The following is the method I use for "The Square in a Square". There is no measuring or squaring up after you start sewing with my method.
1.  Decide what size your unfinished block will be.  This will be your primary square which you will add all your triangles too.  Except you won't be using triangles.   If you are only using matched fabrics you can cut all the squares from  WOF strips.  For this one I used a 3 1/2 inch purple fabric scrap. 

2. Figure out how large the secondary squares needs to be.  These are your "Triangles".  For my 3 1/2 inch primary square my secondary squares are 2 inches.  Each block of course needs four.  These can also be cut from WOF strips if you are making a planned fabric quilt.  The square in a square block is ideal for scrap therapy.

3. Take all your secondary squares and draw a line diagonally across them. I use a ball point or a number 2 pencil.   The line should be at least a stitch off center.  (If you have a good eye, this is not necessary.) 

Another cheater I use is a line on my machine.  This is drawn exactly in line with the needle.  I use this line to help me judge where I need to guide the fabric under the needle.  Sometimes my eye is not as good as other times.  The patterns and designs on some fabrics cause optical illusions.    You can see I wore the tape off that I used to draw the line on.  I just redrew it on the residue left there (It's not sticky, It was masking tape and you know the mess it leaves.  I should have used the blue painters tape).
4.  The sewing begins.  Use one of your secondary squares and place in a corner of your primary square.  The side which has the diagonal line off center is the corner you match with the corner of the primary square.  You can stitch on that line or just use it for a guide.  You want to stitch slightly off center. Why?  Because when you fold the other half over, the fabric takes up room on the fold.  You will be folding the fabric back on itself and lining it up with the corner of the primary square and its other half.  Before you fold the secondary square back you need to sew the opposite sides secondary square on.  Remember to place the side with the off center line in the corner of the primary square.  After you stitch both secondary squares on it is time to press them in place.

When you press it's important to
 up your corners and literally press them down. Don't iron with a back and forth motion. Steam is okay, I have said before I am a steamer. You want to remember don't press along the diagonal of the fold. When you move the iron press parallel to the edge of the primary block. This way you won't distort your block. The larger your primary block the easier to distort it. On my 3 1/2 inch block the iron literally does all the work.
You are half way to a completed block. Now all you need to do is repeat the above two steps with the two vacant corners. When you have completed stitching them down then press just like you did above. All you need to do now is remove the excess bulk from your block. Turn your block over and trim off the extra fabic in the corners.

I have posted a BONUS BLOCK TUTORIAL. 
The block is produced from the scraps of this block at the same time you are stitching this one.

Since I posted this blog I have received an email from Dorothy Young, Yahoo group owner,

Currently they are doing a 24 month journey BOM through the Alphabet. The following links are my contribution to this BOM. 

She wrote me telling me she paper pieced hers.  I have her permission  to post her method. This following is an edited version of the email she sent me.

Glo, I "roll my own" paper-piecing pattern for a square in a sqaure block:

Draw a square the finished size. Find the center of each side, and draw a square connecting those four points. If you want, you can keep drawing smaller and smaller squares right to the center. It's a square-in-a-square-in-a-square-in-a-square-in-a-square-in-a-square.
I fussy-cut the center patch.  The picture on the left is a picture of Dorothy's block for a friend who loves neutrals.
Thank you Dorothy.

No matter which method you choose your quilts will be hand made by you,  A treasure.

  New Article on my blog: 
A mystery quilt designed with the novice in mind
Other blog sites by me:

Where I have stories of my cats and other pets
a blog about my courtship with my husband,
and a blog about my most embarrassing moment.
A "Soap box" blog where I do air my opinions.

blogs about the wildflowers on our farm
Organic methods we use, some cooking and some poetry,
blogs about Seed sprouting, insects, and garden pictures
Blog about an endangered beneficial beetle
New Blog:

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1 comment:

julie said...

Thank-you for the tute. Clear instructions.