From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library
The Double Quartet is the perfect place to use our 8-at-a-time half square triangle technique!
It saves a couple of steps from the traditional method. They come out perfect every time.
And when your HST are perfect, your block is a breeze to put together!
As with many blocks, our Double Quartet has a couple of aliases:
It's to to cut up and sew. On the double!
Several abbreviations are used on this page. They are:
1/4" SAs are used through this tutorial.
When instructed to press, first press the patches in the closed position just as they came off your sewing machine.
This sets the seam, melding the fibers of the threads into the fibers of the fabric.
Then press the SAs as instructed.
I prefer to use starched quilt fabric for cutting and sewing accuracy—mixing StaFlo Liquid Starch concentrate with water in a 50/50 mixture.
Sample Block Size:
You'll need two fabrics with good contrast.
If you're using a print, be sure that the scale fits the block size you've chosen.
To avoid the look of 'missing points' it helps to use a contrasting fabric in a color that isn't in the print.
Cutting Chart for a~Traditional Piecing ~
|Patch||Fabric||Qty||Finished Block Size|
|4"||6"||8 "||10 "||12 "|
|1||L||1||4¼" x 4¼"||5¼" x 5¼"||6¼" x 6¼"||7¼" x 7¼"||8¼" x 8¼"|
|2||D||1||4¼" x 4¼"||5¼" x 5¼"||6¼" x 6¼"||7¼" x 7¼"||8¼" x 8¼"|
|3||L||4||1½" x 1½"||2" x 2"||2½" x 2½"||3" x 3"||3½" x 3½"|
|4||D||4||1½" x 1½"||2" x 2"||2½" x 2½"||3" x 3"||3½" x 3½"|
|Unfinished Block Size||4½"||6½"||8"||10½"||12"|
My go-to thread for all my piecing is...
We use the 8-at-a-time method for making our HSTs.
If you plan to make many blocks, you may want to use another HST method like triangle paper for even more efficient piecing.
On the backside of either the #1 or #2 square (whichever one is easier to see the marking on) mark a diagonal line from each pair of corners.
On the sample I've marked the darker #2 with my favorite marking tool—the Bohin Mechanical Chalk pencil (with white chalk 'lead').
Sew a quarter inch away from both sides of the each of the lines for a total of four lines of stitching.
Give the sewn #1/#2 a press.
Now we need to cut this square into 8 HSTs.
Use the chart below to find the Center Measurement that corresponds to the Finished Size you choose.
| Center or Midpoint|
|Trim HST to…|
For our 8" sample, the Center Measurement is 3-1/8".
I like to use a rotating rotary mat for this next bit of cutting. There's less chance of disturbing the patches for the second cut.
Align that center Measurement mark on your ruler with the edge of your #1/#2. The edge of the ruler should go right through the center of your patches.
Cut them in half.
Rotate your mat a quarter turn, align the center measurement with the edge of your block, cut through the center again.
At this point you have four equal squares.
To finish the job, cut each in half along the chalk line.
Press each with the SA toward the darker #4 patch.
Referring back to the chart above, find the 'Trim HST to...' measurement. For the 8" sample, they are trimmed to 2-1/2".
After all 8 are trimmed, sew them into pairs as shown below.
The SAs nest. That makes getting a good match at the points much easier.
Repeat three more times.
With RST, sew a #3 to a #4 patch.
Repeat three more times.
With RST, stitch a pair of HST to a pair of squares.
As usual, I like to pin to ensure pointy points where they matter.
Repeat four times total.
To complete the units we'll twirl the seams.
Undo the stitches at the center of the block—don't trim them. Then press the seams in
Twirling these seams means that all the SA will nest together.
Arrange the four quarters into the Double Quartet design. A solid, dark #4 square is in each corner. A pinwheel forms in the center.
Stitch the two units in each row together, pinning as needed.
SA are pressed in opposite directions so they will nest for the final seam.
Finally, join the two halves RST.
Pin to get a good match in the center of the pinwheel. If you need a quick refresher on getting perfect points, click here.
After stitching, give your block on final press (try my favorite pressing technique for a really flat block) and it's ready for a quilt!
These are my go-to resources for quilt block ideas.
Can you tell?
It's in color.
It's got a ton of blocks.
What's not to love?
Next on my 'must-have' list is Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
Unlike the Maggie Malone book, the blocks in this volume are hand-drawn and in black and white—no color—personally, I prefer colored drawings to work with.
This book is no longer in print.
If you can come by a copy expect it to be wickedly expensive. Once in awhile you can find it here on Amazon.com.
UPDATE: Electric Quilt, in cooperation with Barbara Brackman has announced they plan to republish the Encyclopedia sometime in 2020.
However, all is not lost if you can't find a hard copy.
BlockBase is the computerized version of the Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
It contains designs for over 4300 blocks—pretty much every block published from the 1830's through the 1970's.
It can be used with Electric Quilt and is a Windows based program.
In fact, there are instructions included so that you can pull up the digital patterns within Electric Quilt (PC version for now) without having to open up BB program.
UPDATE: Electric Quilt has announced that they will be rereleasing the standalone BlockBase software for BOTH PC and MAC in 2020.
This is terrific news.
Finally there's The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer.
Lots of detail and in color, it is a beautiful volume. That said, I check it out of my local library on a regular basis instead of purchasing it—can you see the library sticker on it's spine. Yep, it's from the Plainfield Public Library.
Simply because I own the previous three references and find this the least user-friendly of the group.
And it does make a fabulous coffee table book!