Quilt Block of the Month - October 2018

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Author: Elanda Tonil, October 2018

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This month’s block is one of my favorites! It is called a Card Trick block. I love the overlapping look and the 45 degree angle at which it’s set. The block looks more complex than it is, in fact it is basically a 9-patch block, with those individual squares a bit more interesting than in a plain 9-patch.

Full image

  • When working with triangles, always press your seams flat before you press them to either side. This will minimize the stretching that comes with sewing along the diagonal.
  • Unless you are very consistent with your scant ¼” seams, I would recommend cutting these all slightly large. It’s easier to trim a little off than to add a little more.
  • Handle your fabrics very gently once you have them cut. Since the entire quilt is made of triangles, it will be very easy to stretch or distort them!



Of each of the darker fabrics:

Cut 1 – 4 7/8” square

Cut 1 – 5 1/8” square

Of the light fabric:

Cut 2 – 4 7/8” squares

Cut 1 – 5 1/8” squares

Step 1

Step 1.1

Cut your fabrics and sort them by size.

Step 1.2

Cut each of the larger squares, light and dark fabrics both, into quarter-square triangles. If you line them up carefully, you can cut a few at the same time.

Cut the larger squares along the diagonal into half-square triangles.

Step 1.3

You will now have 4 small triangles of each fabric measuring 5 1/8” on their long edges. You will also have two larger triangles of each dark fabric and four of the light fabric. These should measure 4 7/8” on their short edges.

Step 2

Step 2

Lay out your fabrics and choose your layout. Lay this out in essentially a 9 Patch, so you can prepare each smaller square to then piece together to form the end block.

Make sure you like how the colors play together and look. If not, now would be the time to switch one or more out.

When you find an orientation you like, I would recommend taking a picture of it. The next few steps will be confusing to orient if you don’t have something concrete to look at.

Step 3

Step 3

Prepare each interior square for sewing as shown above.

In the four corner pieces, lay one side atop the other, right sides together. Pin along the long edge.

In the center piece, it doesn’t matter what order you sew these in so long as they’re adjacent, any order you sew them will be functionally equivalent.

In the four squares with three triangles, lay one of the small triangles atop the other right sides together. Pin along the edge you pivoted the top piece around.

Double check that you have pinned the correct edges so the colors will end up in their correct locations.

Step 4

Step 4

Sew along your pinned seams in each row. You can chain them all or just in rows, whichever works for you.

Press your seams flat to set the seams before you press to the dark. You may choose your own direction of pressing, but I strongly recommend pressing to the dark. It will make for some excitement in getting the corners to match up, as well as some thick sections, but it will make the “cards” pop, looking like they’re sitting on top of the lighter fabric.

Step 5

Step 5

Now pin together the remaining seams to finish off the remaining interior squares.

Sew along these seams. Again, be very careful with these triangles so you don’t stretch them out of shape.

Step 6

Step 6.1

Press to the solid triangle, not only to reduce bulk when it comes time to quilt, but also for the appearance. . This pressing pattern is a big part of creating the optics of having the cards atop each other in the spiral.

On the center piece, make sure your seams are all going the same direction, in a spiral, so you can fan the center seam.

Step 6.2

Square up your pieces now. Each one should be 4 ½” at this point. When trimming, make sure you keep your center seam going fairly exactly from corner to corner, not off to one side. If there are any that are too small or twisted, you can try pressing them again. If you must pick out the seam and re-sew it, consider just making a new piece. Picking out a diagonal seam will very often stretch it.

Step 7

Step 7

Now pin the top center piece to the top left. From here you have two choices

1. You can pin the entire row together and then chain stitch the rows together along each of their seams. To do this, pin the top center to the top left, then lay it back out as well as you can. Next, pin the top right to the top center. Do the same pinning for each of the rows. I then sew the furthest right seam of the top row, and chain it with the furthest right seam on the second, and then third. Then I go to the next furthest right seam, sew the seam on the top row, and chain it with the second, and then the third. This will leave your rows all attached at the seams by your chain stitches. Just cut them apart, then set the seams and press to your preferred direction

2. Alternatively, you may do them one at a time. Pin the top center to the top left, the middle center to the middle left, and then the bottom center to the bottom left. Press to set, press to your chosen side, and lay them back out. The pin the remaining pieces to your strips, sew, set, and then press.

Step 8

Step 8

Make sure your vertical seams line up, then pin your rows together and sew! I press the seams away from the bulkier seams.

Congratulations! You have now finished a Card Trick quilt block!

Final product