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The North Wind quilt block is a traditional quilt block that can add a classic and elegant touch to any quilt project. Here are the steps to sew a North Wind quilt block:
- Fabric (2 colors: one for the background and one for the North Wind design)
- Sewing machine
- Rotary cutter
- Cutting mat
- Quilting ruler
Choose two contrasting fabrics. One fabric will be the background and the other will be used for the North Wind design.
Cut the fabric into the following sizes:
- Background fabric: one 10.5-inch square and four 3.5-inch squares
- North Wind fabric: one 5-inch square and four 2.5-inch squares
Take the 5-inch North Wind fabric square and cut it in half diagonally to create two triangles.
Place two of the 2.5-inch North Wind fabric squares on opposite corners of the 10.5-inch background square, right sides together. Sew them in place using a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Repeat step 4 with the remaining two 2.5-inch North Wind fabric squares on the other two corners of the background square.
Take one of the triangles cut in step 3 and place it on one of the corners of the background square, right sides together. The longest edge of the triangle should be aligned with the edge of the background square. Sew the triangle in place using a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Repeat step 6 with the other triangle on the opposite corner of the background square.
Press all the seams flat with an iron.
Take one of the 3.5-inch background fabric squares and place it on the corner of the background square that has a North Wind triangle sewn to it. Sew the square in place using a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Repeat step 9 on the other corner of the background square with the remaining 3.5-inch background fabric square.
Press all the seams flat with an iron.
Your North Wind quilt block is complete!
Repeat the above steps to make as many North Wind quilt blocks as needed for your quilt project. Once you have all the blocks sewn, you can arrange them in any pattern you like and sew them together to create a beautiful North Wind quilt.
This is a great technique for making half square triangles that eliminates the need to directly manipulate the stretchy bias of the triangle. It utilizes two easy to cut squares producing two half square triangles.
On the back of the lighter fabric, draw a pencil line, diagonally from corner to corner.
Stack a pair of light and dark squares, right sides together. Sew a 1/4 inch seam allowance on each side of the line.
You will end up with something like this.
Now cut along the diagonal line.
Press the seam together to set the seam. Then press towards the darkest fabric.
To trim the block to the exact size line up the diagonal 45°angle with the ruler on your seam.
And then carefully trim your block with a rotary cutter.
Sew the squares together.
Mark the wrong side of the unit with a pencil line aligning the corners of the squares and the intersection of the seams.
Line up the corner of the square or triangle you will add to the corner of the unit:
Sew a seam one thread's width from the marked / ironed line. This tiny allowance makes room for the fold of the fabric so that the point isn't cut off the triangle.
Then fold the triangle into position, using the squares to assist alignment then press.
Trim away excess fabric to reduce bulk. Leaving a 1/4" seam, and trim the ears.
How to Resize Quilt Blocks:
The first step in modifying any quilt block is to decide on the size of your finished quilt block. You can come to a decision based on a number of factors: doubling a pattern, cutting your pattern in half, or choosing the size based on your available fabric.
NOTE: When working from a pattern’s cutting instructions, make sure you remove the seam allowance before doubling or tripling the size. For instance, if your pattern calls for 3-1/2″ squares, first you’ll subtract the sum of the seam allowances (1/2″), double the finished block size (from 3″ to 6″), and add the seam allowance back in (1/2″). So, when all is said and done, you will cut a 6-1/2″ piece of fabric.
Resizing Square Blocks:
Square blocks are the easiest to resize. Simply add to your finished block measurement. For example, if you’d like your finished block to be a 4″ square, you’ll need to cut a 4-1/2″ square of fabric.
Resizing Rectangular Blocks:
Similarly to the square, for rectangle blocks, you’ll add to the length and width measurements of your finished block. If you’re doubling block that measures 3″ x 4″ in your quilt, you’ll cut a 6-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ rectangle of fabric.
Resizing Half-Square Triangle Blocks:
When you want to change the size of a Half-Square Triangle block, add 7/8″ to the desired finished block size. To make a 4″ finished block, you’d cut 4-7/8″ squares.
Resizing Quarter Square Triangle:
Since there are two cut lines and two seam lines in a Quarter-Square Triangle block you’ll need to add 1-1/4″ to the desired finished block size. For a finished block that’s 4″, you’d cut your squares 5-1/4″.