The tilted/tipsy square frame is a useful way to enlarge a block. Here is the sample I will use for measurement examples:
Measure your center (and remember you will lose 1/2 inch to seams. Mine measured 8 inches, so it will become 7 1/2 inches finished.
You will be cutting two rectangles then cutting on the diagonal to get four triangles.
To get the width needed for the triangle, subtract the finished measurement of the center from the desired finished measurement of the block to get the needed width to add (12 – 7 1/2 = 4 1/2 inches in the example) . (The principle here is to design from finished measurements then add seam allowance when planning the cutting.) To plan the rectangle to cut, add an inch and a half to the finished width for seam allowance to be on the safe side, and cut a strip (6 inch strip for the example). The extra is for the loss when seaming sharp angles. There will be some trimming at the end. The very daring quilters can experiment with smaller seam allowances if you are willing to trim smaller than your desired size if necessary. Remember that 7/8 inch is the exact amount to add to HSTs, so no less than that.
Now for the length of the rectangles. Add an inch and a half to your desired finished block size. (For the example, the end result desired is 12 inches so I cut 13 1/2).
Cut two rectangles, then cut the diagonal to get four triangles. About that diagonal. If you want to be able to put the pieced center on top when you sew, cut the diagonal from upper left to lower right. (If using a solid, it doesn’t matter because there is no right and wrong side to most solids. If you don’t care which piece is on top it doesn’t matter; if you cut the opposite way, start sewing on the other side.)
Lining up for the first partial seam.
Note that the STRAIGHT edge lines up with the left side of the center and the top is a straight line. Flip the center piece onto the triangle so that right sides are together and start sewing at the top corner, ending about 2 inches from the bottom of the center piece.
You will fix that hanging bit of the triangle after the third seam. Press the seam however you like.
Now you are ready to make a complete seam with the next triangles.
Note how you always attach the straight edge to the corner away from the previous triangle, and now it is possible to sew the whole length of the seams. Press after each seam.
For the fourth triangle, fold up the tail of the first triangle to where you stopped sewing.
Now there is room for a complete seam. Sew then press. Then simply fold down the first triangle and finish that seam and press.
Use a square ruler to trim the block to the UNFINISHED size (in the case of the example, 12 1/2 x 12 1/2). Position the ruler so that the four points of the center square are as close to an equal distance from the 12 1/2 edge as possible. (Mine are usually 1/8-1/4 off. But it is a tipsy square, so a little variance doesn’t really matter. You will be trimming all four sides. (The photo of the example looks like the right is off by more; I don’t remember if that is a fact of the photo or the block itself, and the blockis already gone, so I can’t check.)
Don’t you love the high tech illustrations? 🙂
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