Double Quartet Quilt Block

From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

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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:

  • Flying X Quilt (Kansas City Star)
  • 'X' Quartet (Woman's World)
  • X Quartette (KC Star)

It's to to cut up and sew. On the double!


General Instructions


Several abbreviations are used on this page. They are:

  • SA - seam allowance
  • RST - right sides together
  • HST - half square triangles

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. 


Step 1: Cut patches for a Double Quartet


Double Quartet quilt block designDouble Quartet design

Sample Block Size:
   8" Finished
    8½" Unfinished

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.

Generations Quilt Patterns logo

Cutting Chart for a
Double Quartet Quilt Block

~Traditional Piecing ~

PatchFabricQtyFinished 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"
Grid Size 1" 1½" 2" 2½" 3"





Step 2: Assemble the units for a Double Quartet


HST

Make 8

Half square triangle unit

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.


Sew the half square triangles.I like this version of a quarter inch foot —the one with all the markings on it—for this part.

Give the sewn #1/#2 a press.


After sewing 4 lines on #1/#2That's the Bohin marking pencil on the right.

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.

HST Dimensions

Finished
Block Size
Center or Midpoint
Measurement
Trim HST to…
4" 2⅛" 1½"
6" 2⅝" 2"
8" 3⅛" 2½"
10 " 3⅝" 3"
12 " 4⅛" 3½"

Available from Amazon.com

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.


Cut #1/#2 in half through the middle


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.


#1/#2 after the second cut


To finish the job, cut each in half along the chalk line.

Voila!


#1/#2 after four cuts


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".


Trim the HSTsUntrimmed (left) and after trimming (right)

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.

If you've tried any of the other quilt block tutorials on this site, you may be wondering if I've pinned here. (Click here to see if you were right!)


Sew two HSTs togetherPress the SA in the direction of the white arrow.

Repeat three more times.


Pairs

Make 4

With RST, sew a #3 to a #4 patch. 


Sew #3 to #4Press the SA to the light #3 (white arrow)

Repeat three more times.


Quarters

Make 4

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.


Sewing HSTs to pairs of squares

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 


Twirled SAsThe twirled seams create a reverse image of the unit on the backside.

Twirling these seams means that all the SA will nest together.


Step: Assemble the Double Quartet quilt block


Arrange the four quarters into the Double Quartet design. A solid, dark #4 square is in each corner. A pinwheel forms in the center.


Arrange the quarters into the design.Because we took the time to twirl our SA, no matter how the units are arranged, all the SA will nest.

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!




For even more blocks to make...


Maggie Malone's 5500 Quilt Block Designs is my all-time favorite!

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