Here’s another fun technique you can try – disappearing stripes quilt blocks using simple strips. You can cut your own, or use precut Honey Bun strips which are 1-1/2 inches wide or Jelly Rolls which are 2-1/2 inches wide. For this sample, I used some honey bun strips and some I cut myself. So let’s get started, I’m going to show you a few variations.
For these first blocks, you’ll need 3 each of two colors of strips. Make your strips as long as you want your beginning block to be. For example, I cut these strips 6-1/2 inches long and will sew 6 of them together, each 1-1/2 inches wide. So after seam allowances, the six strips will be a block 6-1/2 inches wide and 6-1/2 inches long. Sew the strips together, alternating the two colors.
Carefully trim the block in both directions so it’s nice and square (and all your blocks are trimmed to the same size if you’re making more than one of them).
Cut your blocks in half diagonally, both ways, so you end up with 4 triangles. Be sure your cuts are a nice accurate 45 degree angle so everything fits together nicely. Make one more block and cut it the same way.
Pair up the triangles so each pair has the stripes going in two directions. Put four of these pairs together and you have a cute quilt block! Flip each pair around and you have a different block design. You could alternate these two blocks to make a pretty cute quilt or table topper.
Now let’s try something similar – I’m still using 1-1/2 x 6-1/2 inch strips (a honey bun assortment this time). Using two different color schemes, cut 12 of each color and sew them together into two blocks of each color.
First option is to cut each block in half diagonally, turn them and put them together, alternating colors. This makes a pretty cute block already, and so simple.
The second option is to cut them diagonally in both directions, match them into pairs of the same color but with halves swapped so the strips go both directions in each new two triangle square. Do the same with the second set of colors, then alternate the two colors of squares for a really pretty block.
Now for one last variation on the strip blocks, this time you need an uneven number of strips, in two colors, and the blocks still need to end up as wide as the strips are long. For this sample, I made my strips 1-1/2 x 5-1/2, and used 5 for each block. When sewn together, the block is 5-1/2 inches wide.
Trim them down nice and square, then cut each block diagonally in both directions. Now you can swap pairs of triangles, using 4 to make a box kind of design and the other 4 to make a cross.
Notice that you will have triangles to make the box in both colors and the cross in both colors. So this technique gives you 4 small block designs to play with.
Play around with pairs some more, and you can come up with all kinds of really cute block designs. Here are three ideas to get you started, each one using 8 triangles, which was 2 small blocks to start with.
I hope you have fun designing all kinds of blocks with this method. Play around with different color combinations and have fun. You can use construction paper or scrapbooking paper instead of fabric, to make the shapes to play with. I’ll see you next time with one more of these disappearing shape techniques – next up is windmills!