Skill Level: Confident Beginner
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!
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.
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.
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|
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.)
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.
Press. By using starched quilt fabric, finger-pressing is perfect for this short seam.
Add the second sky triangle to the opposite side in the same manner to complete the first flying geese unit.
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.
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)...
...so that it doesn't show past the lighter, green SA.
Add the #4 triangles just as the #2's were added.
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.
Lay out the units of your Double T quilt block into rows like this.
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.
To prevent shadowing through, trim the darker SA with a scissor (below).
Stitch the rows together; the nesting SAs help to make matching the seamlines easier.
The finished Double T quilt block looks like this...
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.