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Double T Quilt Block Tutorial

From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

Double T quilt block instructions

Skill Level: Confident Beginner

Grid: 3x3

The Double T quilt block is constructed with four pairs of Flying Geese and 5 solid, cut squares using just two fabrics.

While there are several methods to make Flying Geese units (click here to see some of them), my preferred technique is paper piecing when the units are stacked. It's less likely that the top point of a 'goose' will be lopped off when the units are stitched together. The trade-off for this accuracy is removing the paper. Not a bad deal in my opinion!

You may know this block by one of its alternate names, 'Capital T' or 'Cut the Corners'.

On this page you'll find the needed paper piecing patterns in 5 different sizes for download and step-by-step instructions to make the block.

Let's get started!




Construction Instructions


Block Size: 6"(6-1/2" unfinished)

Grid Size: 2"   

When you are instructed to 'press', first press the pieced unit flat to set the seam. Then open the patch, pressing from the front. You may want to reduce or eliminate the use of steam for pressing the paper pieced blocks. Steam tends to curl the paper which can be annoying. If curled paper doesn't bother you and you like steam, use it.

Check out our favorite, 'secret' technique to get the flattest quilt blocks you'll ever see. It works even with the paper attached. It's a humdinger and oh, so easy!

I've starched the fabric used in this tutorial. Especially for the smaller pieces, it means that I'll be able to fingerpress the seams open instead jumping up and down to the iron to press between each added patch. Click here to learn if starching quilt fabric is right for you.


Step 1: Download paper piecing patterns

To open and print the patterns you need the Adobe Reader installed on your computer. Click here to get the Adobe Reader (a new window will open so you can download it without leaving this page) if you need it.

Click here for our free downloadable pattern for the 2" finished Flying Geese Pairs for your Double T quilt block pattern.

In order to print, open the downloaded file, and select the "Print" option.

Remember, you must set 'Page Scaling' to 'None' in your printer's setup menu to ensure these blocks print at the proper size.

Optional Downloads:


Step 2: Cut the fabric patches

Double T quilt block design

These patches are cut generously so that placing them into position is virtually foolproof—that means no ripping! The dimensions for the sample block in these instructions are highlighted in yellow.

Make a couple blocks and then adjust the patch size if it fits your needs better.

All of the patches are cut as squares first, i.e. for Patch #5, Fabric A, cut 5 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" squares for the 6" finished block in this example.



Finished Block Size
Patch # Fabric Total
Qty
4-1/2” 6” 7-1/2” 9” 12” Sub Cut
1, 3 A 2 3-1/8” 3-5/8” 4-1/8” 4-5/8” 5-5/8” Symbol for a quarter square triangle
2, 4 B 8 2-1/8” 2-3/8” 2-5/8” 2-7/8” 3-3/8” Symbol for a half square triangle
5 A 5 2” 2-1/2” 3” 3-1/2” 4-1/2” na
Grid Size 1-1/2” 2” 2-1/2” 3” 4” na

Click here to see the cut patches.

Step 3: Assemble the Double T quilt block

For the paper pieced units, set your stitch length to 15-18 stitches per inch. While I regularly use an 80/12 needle for paper piecing, if you are having a difficult time removing the paper, try a larger needle—a 90/14 should do the trick!

I also use an open toe applique foot for an unobstructed view of the needle and the stitching line.

Rough cut the block patterns from the page you downloaded. There's no need to trim exactly on the outside dotted line—a bit outside of it is fine. We'll do a final trim in the last step to clean up all the edges and thread tails.

Use a dab of Elmer's Glue Stick—the one that goes on purple and dries clear—position the back side of #1 to the unprinted side of your paper pattern as shown below. (It should extend past the dotted line on the outside edge of the block, see the red arrow.)


Position Patch 1 using the dashed placements lines


With right sides together (RST) align the long bias edge of a small #2 triangle with one side #1. It doesn't matter which side you add this triangle to first, just be consistent if you're making a large number of blocks.

From the printed side, stitch the seam. Start before and end after the solid line as indicated in the photo below. Subsequent lines of stitching will secure these seams so there is no need to backstitch.


Stitch Patch 2 to Patch 1


Press. By using starched quilt fabric, finger-pressing is perfect for this short seam.


If you starched your fabric, you can finger press this seam


Add the second sky triangle to the opposite side in the same manner to complete the first flying geese unit.


Stitch the second side triangle into place


Press.

To add the second goose patch, with RST align #3 with the first completed Flying Goose. The long cut edge of #3 should extend a scant quarter inch past the stitching line.

In the picture below, you can see the points of #3 sticking out past the edges of the pattern. Use them to eyeball placement.

Then stitch, again starting and ending approximately a 1/4" from the solid line.


Position the second goose triangle

Construction Note:

Usually, I would have used my rotary cutter and ruler to establish the quarter inch seam line for placement of Patch #3 (click here to see an example of this).

However, the 'goose' fabric is a light. Since the SA may need trimming to prevent the darker fabric from showing through, I chose to eyeball placement and then trim with my scissors instead in order to save a step.

The generous dimensions of the patches should be enough that there isn't a problem with this more casual placement of the patch.


Before pressing, take a look at your block to determine if the darker fabric will shadow through the top.

In this case it does, so I will use a scissor to trim the darker seam allowance(red)...


Trim the seam allowance to prevent shadowing


...so that it doesn't show past the lighter, green SA.


The seam allowance after trimming


Press.

Add the #4 triangles just as the #2's were added.


Position the last side or sky triangle


Once the stitching is done, trim stray threads from the center of the block.

To trim the block to size, align the 1/4" line of your ruler with the solid black outline of the block and trim with your rotary cutter. Repeat for each side of every pieced unit in your Double T quilt block.


Trim the Flying Geese pairs to size


Lay out the units of your Double T quilt block into rows like this.


Lay out the solid squares and Flying Geese pairs in rows


Sew the units of your Double T quilt block together into rows with a quarter inch SA (remember to reduce your stitch to a normal length and instal your 1/4" foot). Press the SAs in the direction of the arrows, away from the Flying Geese Pairs.


Press seam allowances in the direction of the arrows, away from the Flying Geese units


To prevent shadowing through, trim the darker SA with a scissor (below).


rade the seams to prevent shadowing


Stitch the rows together; the nesting SAs help to make matching the seamlines easier.

The finished Double T quilt block looks like this...


The finished Double T quilt block


OK...I admit to being stumped.

I've squinted my eyes and turned this block every which way. For the life of me, I can't figure out why this is called a 'Double T' quilt block.

Can you?


Ready for MORE!!!



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Both are light weight—making them easy to tear away!

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