Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Elsie: the tutorial

I shared the Elsie quilt and story on Friday in this post. And after getting a few questions about it, decided to write a little tutorial on how I make this block. It's super easy and very fun. I used 2 1/2'' strips but you can use your favorite method for half square triangles.

Here are the directions to make one block...

Elsie Block 10''

Cutting Instructions:
From the dark fabric- cut 9 squares 2 1/2'' x 2 1/2''
From the dark fabric- cut one strip 2 1/2'' x 14''
From the light fabric- cut 8 squares 2 1/2'' x 2 1/2''
From the light fabric- cut one strip 2 1/2'' x 14''

Layer the dark and light strips right sides together and cut 8 half square triangle sets using a 45 degree ruler as shown above.

Trim the corners to prevent bulk at the seam intersections later.

Sew these together 1/4'' along the long cut edge as shown above. Press open and press the seams to the dark fabric.

Lay out the squares and triangle squares as shown and sew them together into a four patch. Make four of these for each block. Press the seams away from the triangle squares.

Sew a light square to a dark square along one side. Make four. Press toward the dark square.

Take two of these two square units and sew them to either side of the one remaining dark square to create a long strip of five alternating squares. Press toward the dark square.

Sew two of the two square units to two of the four patches.

Sew a four patch unit to each of these units.Sew these units to either side of the five square strip.

This photo shows the pressing. Press the block from the back side first to set the seam allowances in the correct directions, then press the block from the front.

Trim the block to exactly 10 1/2'' if needed. 

I made 42 blocks and set them in 6 rows of 7 blocks for a quilt that measures 60'' x 70''. I reversed the light and dark color placements in every other block to create the checker board look.

Enjoy every block!


  1. Thank you for this great tutorial! I am always on the lookout for great patterns for charity quilts to use my scraps, and this one is a winner!

  2. Love this quilt! I also love scrap quilts and have plenty of scraps. Thanks for so generously giving us the tutorial.

  3. Thank you for the great tute! This block is on my long list of must-makes.

  4. Lovely! Basically it is a Sisters choice block, right?


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