Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Making diamond blocks for St. Marks quilt...

I have been posting about my progress on the St. Marks quilt from Simple Shapes, Spectacular Quilts, so I thought it might be fun to show you how easy those diamonds are to make. The templates are in the book, but you have to enlarge them somewhat. You could use mylar or cardboard to reinforce your templates.  Then you just cut around the template, using your ruler to help you cut straight lines.
I am not as fond of templates as I should be. Sometimes they are necessary, expecially if you want to center motifs,  but for this quilt you can use an easier method. 
 Measure your diamond template from one straight side to the parallel side. This one measures 3 3/8". Now cut a strip that is 3 3/8".
 Check your diamond to make sure, but usually it is a 60 degree angle. Line up the 60 degree angle line on your ruler with the straight edge of your 3 3/8" strip. Cut  off the edge of your fabric to square up for this angle.
 Now line up your ruler with the 3 3/8" mark on the new straight edge of your angle cut. Cut your diamond.

 Continue cutting until you have as many diamonds as you need. You will want to re-square up your strip every couple of cuts to keep your angle at 60 degrees. Since I wasn't sure exactly how many blocks I was making,  I cut more than I will probably need. If I have leftovers I can make a small project, or a pillowcase.
 This method of cutting diamonds works for any size diamond.
This 9 patch diamond block takes a combination of  1 light/medium, 4 lights, 3 mediums, and 1 dark. I have been having problems chooosing those light/mediums, so just use something that looks good. Lay them out like this.
Now sew them together in diagonal rows.
When you line them up to sew, they will look like they are out of line, with a bit of the point showing on each side. This is how they need to be when you sew them. 
Press the diagonal rows of 3 so that the seams are going opposite directions. 
 Diagonal seams can be tricky, but with the help of a few pins, it works out just fine. First, insert your pin into the seam of one section about 1/4" from the edge.

 Now pull that back, and insert the pin into the same spot on the 2nd section, making sure that you have right sides together.

 Now carefully liine them up with each other and push the pin through, bringing out again to hold it. Your points on the ends of the sections are going to look like the points on the diamonds did when you sewed them together, the points will not line up like a square block does.  After you have repeated this process for the 2nd set of seams, press one direction, really doesn't matter which way.
Your block is complete. I've made about 46 so far. Started some more yesterday, so will post them when they are finished.
I hung my portable design wall yesterday and arranged some of them on it. So much color! So much fun! I love diamonds. You might remember my Diamonds Forever quilt....


Diana Symanowicz said...

This is really beautiful and colorful. You have such a great eye for flare.

Karen said...

I love the way this is coming out. Can hardly wait to see the finished quilt!

Carol at Serendipity said...

Absolutely beautiful. I need to make this quilt. I am a new follower.