BLOCK MAKING INSTRUCTIONS
by Patricia Cummings; photos by Jim Cummings.
Directions for Rotary Cutting
Civil War Reproduction Fabrics are preferred for this project.
Seams are ¼” throughout. Accuracy is important.
**Block should measure exactly 12 ½” when assembly is complete. With these directions,
that task will be easy!!!!**
Needed: rotary cutter, mat, 6" x 12" or 6" x 24" ruler, fabrics, thread, and your
Please read all directions for each step before proceeding.
1) Choose fabric for the four large side triangles. Cut a 10 ¼” square.
(Some people have found it easier to cut a 10 3/4" square). Divide square into four equal triangles by cutting across the
square, diagonally, in both directions.
2) Cut (4) 2 5/8” x 8 ½” strips. (The length is longer than actually needed,
but the excess will be trimmed from the corners, later).
3) For center square, cut one 2 5/8” x 2 5/8“ muslin square.
4) Lay out all of your pieces and retrieve as needed for sewing.
Overview: Think of the layout as being composed
of “two sections," each of which has two triangles attached to one center strip.
Once constructed, each “section” will be joined to a unit that consists
of two strips with the signature muslin block in the center.
1) First, sew one triangle, right sides together, to a strip.
Strip will overhang outer edge and will be trimmed later. Visualize that the longest
side of the triangle will lay on the outer edge of the finished block.
2) Sew other triangle to the other side of this same strip.
3) Press the section
4) Next, sew a strip to opposite sides of a center signature square, so that you have
one long strip. Press seams toward the center (muslin) square. Set aside.
5) Repeat steps 1, 2, & 3 to make other section. Press seams toward triangles.
Assemble the Sections and Center Strip:
1) Right sides together, pin the long center strip onto one of the pieced sections,
nestling the seams together. Where the seams meet, place a pin on either side of the seam, and in the middle to keep the seam
from moving. Sew together. Press toward triangles.
2) To this combined unit, complete the block by adding the second pieced section,
sewing it to the other long edge of the center strip. Press as before, toward triangles.
Lightly press the block again, avoiding steam and letting the heat and weight of the
iron do its work rather than any aggressive back and forth motion on your part.
Press seams toward the center square so that there will be opposing seams when you
add this strip to the two pieced triangle sections
The easiest way to trim this block so that it is perfectly square, is to use an Omnigrid
12 ½” square ruler. If you do not have one, you can use any other ruler for rotary cutting that helps you to achieve
Before I had a 12 ½” ruler, I made a plastic template that is exactly 12 ½”,
placed sandpaper grips on the back, and sometimes used a pencil or marker to trace around the block, or simply overlaid the
ruler and used the plastic template as a cutting guide, making sure it didn’t slip.
Add Your Name
Your block is almost complete!
To add your name and place of origin in the signature square, first iron a piece of
freezer paper on the back of the muslin square to stabilize it.
Use a Sakura Micron Pigma Pen, nib #05, to carefully write your name. (These pens
are readily available at your local art supply store, or in some quilt shops). If you have not tried one of these pens before,
experiment with it on a piece of scrap fabric so that you will get an idea of how it feels to use it for writing on cloth.
Heat Set your Signature
One block finished! Now, wasn’t that fun and easy?
Thanks to Pat and Jim Cummings for the quilt directions, which can also be found on
her website -- www.quiltersmuse.com.
Copyright 2005, Quilter's Muse Publications, Patricia L. Cummings, Concord,
NH. Not to be used for commercial purposes. Download one copy for your personal
use only. Questions? Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for helping to comfort grieving families.