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Hour Glass Quilt Block Tutorial

I’m in the process of making my son a twin quilt for his bed. I decided to make it using an hour glass quilt block pattern. Since I’m making (what feels like) a million hour glass blocks, I thought I’d write up a little tutorial.

I’ll go ahead and say that you can find this tutorial all over the Internet and everyone seems to have their own little spin on it, so this is just how I make them.

And I’ll go ahead and say that if you’re totally new to quilting, use my pictures to guide you as much (if not more) than my words. I try to make my tutorials as clear as I possibly can, but a picture’s worth a thousand words, right? Also, go ahead and read the entire tutorial before you start making your blocks. When I was new to quilting, I found this helped tremendously.

Ok….first cut your squares.

I cut mine 5.5 inches. You can cut yours any size you want. This tutorial will work with any size block.

fabric squares cut for hourglass quilt

Then put right sides together and draw a line down the middle, from one corner to the other. (It doesn’t matter which corners you use.) I used a regular pen (It was actually one of those Sharpie pens, they’re pretty bold.) and my quilt ruler and just drew a straight line. It doesn’t matter what kind of ink you use because you’re not going to be able to see your line when you’re finished anyway because you’re going to cut right down it.

draw diagonal line from corner to corner

Now sew a straight line down beside both sides of the line you drew. Sew 1/4 inch away from each side of the line. I used my quarter inch foot to keep my seams exact. (And if you don’t have a 1/4 inch foot, buy one. Now. Seriously. They are not expensive and they make quilting so much easier, exact and enjoyable. Just Google quarter inch sewing foot and you’ll see lots of options.)

I sewed down one side of the line I drew…….(remember, using a 1/4 seam allowance)

sew straight line using quarter inch foot

and then I flipped it over and sewed down the other side of the line. (again using a 1/4 inch seam allowance)

sew straight down other side

Now take your square and place your quilt ruler on the line that you drew. Your quilt ruler should touch both corners. (use my picture if you don’t understand!) Use your rotary cutter and cut straight down the line.

use rotary cutter to cut hourglass block

Don’t move your fabric at all. Take your quilt ruler, place it on the square (Now your square is in two pieces, but it should still look like a square because you haven’t moved your fabric yet.) lining up the other two corners and cut straight down that way, too.

rotary cut other half of hour glass block

Now you should have 4 pieces that look like this.

4 pieces after rotary cutting

Take those 4 pieces and iron them open. Press your seams towards the darker fabric.

press seams towards darker fabric

Take the 4 pieces you’ve ironed and arrange them so that you have 2 blocks that look like this. (These have not been sewn together, yet.)

two hour glass quilt squares not sewn yet

Now you’re going to prepare these to be sewn together. Arrange them placing right sides together.  (I put the green arrow to try to show you that I was folding the top piece down so that it lays on top the piece under it.)

place right sides together

Pin them together, if you want. (Not 100% necessary, in my opinion, but I like to pin these before sewing.)

pin triangles right sides together

Now sew them together, using a 1/4 seam allowance.

sew triangles together

Now you should have this.

two hour glass quilt blocks sewn together

Go back to your iron and iron them open. Use your best judgement on which way to iron the seams. As far as I know, it doesn’t really matter, since there’s now way to totally iron all your seams towards the darker fabric. I iron the way the seam seems to want to go, if that makes sense. If I’m wrong here, someone let me know, but it seems to work just fine!

press your quilt block seams

ta da! This is what you should have!

hourglass squares

Square them up.

use ruler and rotary cutter to square up block

And you’re all done!

two finished hour glass quilt blocks

 

Comments

  1. How many different fabric patterns did you use, and how much fabric of each did it take to make this quilt?

    • Oh goodness. Let me go back and look. That one’s still a work-in-progress. I got tired of it. It ended up being little too busy, imo, so I’ve been thinking about changing it up a little. I know I ordered 1/2 yards, though. I’ll look tonight and see!

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  1. […] sad state of my hourglass quilt. I have a new plan, however. I’m going to try sashing. Otherwise, it’s just too busy, […]

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