I'm attending a Yahoo group quilt along to make a gorgeous quilt called "Mill Girls". There is a lot of hourglass blocks in this quilt, both in the blocks and in the border. I thought I should share my way of making the ones that is needed for the blocks.
 The block will measure 3 1/4" .


This way will save me from clean cutting, and I really don't mind to save hours of clean cutting blocks :o) 

Start with tracing the 1/4" seam line on each side of the middle of the 4" blocks. I mark the back of the white pieces with a pigma pen (the one I use to trace stitcheries). If you mark on the white fabric, be sure not to mark it to hard, so it will appear on the right side of the fabric! I'm using a ruler that is 1/2" wide. This is such a nice tool to use, since you don't need to deal with a big ruler when marking like this!

Lay the white fabric on one of your colored pieces right sides together. Use your walking foot and stitch one or two thread widths to the left of the right marked line. Do the same with the left marked line, but be sure to stitch one or two thread widths to the right of the marked line (Both of your seams will be between the traces lines). Look at the photo. You have to do this to make these blocks measure right at the end.
You can serial stitch many blocks and leave the threads between them uncut until you do stitch both of the seams, and then cut the threads between them all. 

Press the seams towards the colored/darkest. First from one side, then from the other.

Cut along the center of the blocks, right between the two seams. Press again if you'd like (I usually do that).
You will have two identical half square triangle pieces from one 4" block

You now need a pair of blocks to make one hourglass block. On one of the pieces use the same method like you did on the 4" blocks you started out with. Place the ruler and trace a line 1/4" from each side of the middle. 

Be sure to lay the pieces so they will turn out right, and the seams have to go each way, so the seams locks well when you're done. Use your walking foot and stitch one or two thread widths to the left of the marked line . Do the same with the other marked line, but be sure to stitch one or two thread widths to the right of the marked line.

Press the seams towards one side. Doesn't matter which one. First from one side, then from the other.

Cut between the two traced lines (from corner to corner), and you now have two identical hourglass blocks!

ALWAYS measure to be sure you have the right size of your blocks. If yours is a bit too wide, you just clean cut. If your blocks are smaller than 3 1/4", you have to adjust how close you're stitching along the sides of the traced lines. 

Cut off the dog ears on your block, and you can start piecing the hourglass blocks together with the rest of your blocks to make each unit for the quilt block.

I'm so excited to start sewing this quilt together with many others. I think more than 30 ladies joined the quilt along :o) 

I hope this tutorial was helpful, and if you have any questions just leave a comment and I'll be able to reply to you :o)




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