How to Make a Quilt Unit

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 30,716
    Quilter Barbara Black demonstrates how to quilt and how to make a quilt unit.

    Barbara Black: Hi, my name is Barbara Black and I am a professional quilt maker and teacher. Today I am showing you how to make a quilt. Now let's make the units for the quilt. The units that go into this quilt block are a half square triangle unit with these two triangles sewn together that make a square and a quarter square triangle unit, that's a square that's comprised of four triangles. Using the fabric that you cut in the last segment, you will take the two dark triangle squares and lay them face up on your board. Take the accent fabric and put it face down on top of the dark fabric and one of the white squares and place it face down. That's right sides together onto the other dark square. Your two medium fabrics, lay them face up and take the remaining two white squares and place them face down. Using a pencil and your ruler draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on all four of the pairs of unit. Then you are going to sew a quarter of an inch on either side of the pencil line on each of these four sets of pairs of fabric. Once you have sewn a quarter inch on either side, you will use your ruler again and cut the diagonal line, that was the line you do the pencil with from corner to corner, doing that on all four of the pairs of fabric that you have. Take them to your iron and you want to press towards the darker side. You set this seam quickly with a nice hot iron and use the edge of the iron to press these seam open, now this one up, okay. Now we want to take these pairs and because these are the quarter square triangle units, we want to take one of the dark squares that has the white triangle and the other one that has the light blue fabric and join them together. You put those seam allowances, so that they just lay together since they have both pressed toward the dark that's quite easy to do. You place them in there and once again using your ruler and your pencil, draw a pencil line. If you had a dark fabric, it's hard to see. A silver pencil allows you to draw a nice visible line.

    A great tip for your piecing is to start with a scrap of fabric, we call it a Thread Kitty and it is just a chance to put your few stitches into this scrap of fabric and it leaves the thread in there instead on your piece of work that you don't want extra threads on. I am going to sew one quarter inch again on either side of the pencil line. I will take another thread kitty for the end, end that off and go back and sew on the other side. You want to cut this apart as well now from point to point and we will press these toward the dark fabrics again and without having to cut any individual triangles, you have the units sewn together. By using the four-and-a-half inch size that we used we have over sized units. Now we want to trim them to be the accurate size. They need to be trimmed to three and a half inches. For the half square triangle, there is only one measurement you have to deal with and that is the diagonal line. Using your square ruler you have a diagonal line. Place it right even on the diagonal, this is the first cut so it's important and you make it straight. Turn the block 1800 place the diagonal and place again and this time you want to make absolutely certain you have a three and a half inch line at the bottom and a three and a half inch line on the side and that the diagonal is straight, go up and over. For the quarter square triangles you have couple of things to look at. We are going to measure from the center out and half of three and a half is one and three quarters. So you find the dot on the ruler, that is one and three quarters, place it right in the middle and place your diagonal line on the diagonal seam that you have sewn. Cut straight up, straight over, turn the unit 1800 and repeat. The first cut is important and the second cut is critical because that's the one where you are really making your three and half inch square unit. You will repeat this with all of your units, so that you have four half quarter square triangles and four half square triangle units and now it's time to learn how to assemble the block for the quilt.