Little Fabric Shop Quilt: Hourglass Variation Quilt Blocks
Last month we created four Log Cabin Blocks for the Little Fabric Shop Quilt. This month we are going to take you step-by-step in completing the Hourglass Variation Blocks. These blocks are located around the center Log Cabin Blocks on this quilt. We will be making eight blocks in total. These blocks are beginner friendly and a perfect next step in the creation of this quilt. Before we begin sewing, let’s first take a quick look at the history of the Hourglass quilt block.
History of the Hourglass Quilt Block
The Hourglass Quilt Block features four triangles in two fabric colors situated in a square with opposite triangles in the same color to create an hourglass shape. This quilt block dates to the 19th century. By playing with fabric color and block placement, many variations of this quilt block can be created. This quilt block is scrap-friendly and works great in highlighting your favorite fabrics or colors.
We are creating a variation of this traditional quilt block for the Little Fabric Shop Quilt. Our Hourglass Quilt Block will feature two Half Square Triangles and two Checkerboard squares in each quilt block. Our quilt block is a nod to traditional Hourglass Quilt Block.
Hourglass Variation Quilt Block Directions
Let’s get started! Below is a PDF pattern download with all the steps to create this block.
PDF Download: Hourglass Variation Block Directions
Last month we shared the definition of what Finished Size means in quilting. We also discussed the importance of an accurate ¼-Inch Seam Allowance and how to make sure your machine is sewing a precise ¼-inch seam allowance. This month let’s begin by walking through how to Nest Seams.
We will be using the Nesting Seams technique in this tutorial. With a simple directional pressing, you will be able to create perfect corners in a very quick and easy way.
You will alternate row by row which direction you press your seams towards. In row 1, the diagram below how you press the seams to the right. In row 2, press your seams to the left. Alternate from row to row the direction of pressing the seams. When you are ready to sew the rows together, each block seam will nest right into each other. Pin to hold the nested seams in place. Sew using a ¼” seam allowance.
General Pattern Information
The is a beginner friendly block. All dimensions are written in height x width throughout the directions. It is important to read all the instructions prior to beginning this project. You will need a Cutting Ruler, Scissors, Rotary Cutter, Creative Grids® Half Square 4-in-1 Triangle Ruler, Cutting Mat, Pins, Iron, Starch, Sewing Machine and a ¼-Inch Presser Foot.
The table below indicates the fabric requirements for the ENTIRE quilt. Additionally, it provides information on the color names and the color letters. We recommend quilter’s weight cotton for this project.
We used Cotton + Steel Basics fabric. We have also created a fabric bundle for this quilt and all the fabrics follow the monthly instructions exactly.
Use the Block Layout Guide below along with the Cutting Chart to cut out all the fabrics. It is helpful to press and starch your fabric prior to cutting and sewing. This will allow for more accurate cuts and also stability when piecing the fabrics together.
We will use the corresponding color to the block to indicate the Right Side of Fabric (RSF). White will indicate the Wrong Side of Fabric (WSF).
Create Checkboard Blocks
You will create 16 individual Log Cabin Blocks in this section.
STEP 1: Create 3 Strips
Take one BLOCK 1 and sew it to one BLOCK 2 along the Width of Fabric (WOF) with the RSF facing each other utilizing a ¼-inch seam allowance. Press seam towards darker fabric.
Hint: Starch the strips prior to sewing to help add stability to the fabric.
Repeat with remaining strips to create a total of 3 sewn strips.
STEP 2: Cut Strips & Finalize Blocks
Cut sewn strips into 3½” segments to create a total of 32 blocks.
Sew two of the blocks together by reversing the direction of each block. Nest seams to create clean points. Sew with a ¼-inch seam allowance along the long side. Press open seams.
Repeat steps above to create 16 completed checkerboard blocks.
Create Half Square Triangles (HST)
You will create 16 individual Half Square Triangle Blocks in this section.
STEP 1: Create Triangles
Cut square BLOCK 3 and square BLOCK 4 in half along the diagonal to create 16 Block 3 triangles and 16 Block 4 triangles.
STEP 2: Create HST
Take one triangle Block 3 and place it on one triangle Block 4 with RSF. Sew with a ¼-inch seam allowance along the diagonal line.
Repeat to create 16 sewn triangles.
STEP 3: Square Off HST
With your Creative Grids 4-in-1 Half Square Ruler, place the bottom edge seam line along the 6” line. Make sure the point of the ruler is inset from both edges of the fabric. Trim off excess fabric showing on the two sides of the point.
Open up triangle and press seams towards the darker fabric. You should have completed 16 Half Square Triangle Blocks.
Assemble Hourglass Blocks
Layout all your fabric pieces as shown in diagram below.
Sew one CHECKERBOARD BLOCK to one HALF SQUARE TRIANGLE to create the top of the Hourglass Block as shown in diagram below. Place the HST Block on top of the Checkerboard Block with RSF. Sew with ¼-inch seam allowance. Pay close attention to the fabric color placement.
Sew one CHECKERBOARD BLOCK to one HALF SQUARE TRIANGLE to create the bottom of the Hourglass Block as shown in diagram below. Place the Checkerboard Block on top of the HST Block with RSF. Sew with ¼-inch seam allowance. Pay close attention to the fabric color placement.
Press seams towards Half Square Triangle Blocks.
Sew all three rows together. Nest seams and pin. Sew using a ¼-inch seam allowance. Press seams open. This block should measure 12½” x 12½” (finished size will be 12” x 12”). Press open seams. Repeat steps to create 8 Hourglass Variation Blocks.
You should have a total of 8 Hourglass Variation Blocks and 4 Log Cabin Blocks from last month’s tutorial. Set these blocks aside for now. In the future, we will give you instructions on how to use these blocks to create the quilt top. Stay tuned!
Join the Quilting Fun!
We hope that you continue our ten-month Little Fabric Shop Quilt journey. Follow along with the Instagram #littlefabricshopquilt so that we can see your progress and be inspired by your work. Stay up-to-date on this event and all the happenings at Little Fabric Shop by signing up for our Newsletter located on the bottom of our homepage. Happy Sewing!!