2021 Seattle MQG Block of the Month Project: Salsa Medallion
Wow, it’s August already! Believe it or not, this is the last month for a new border prompt. It doesn’t mean it has to be your last border, however. You can keep adding borders until your quilt is the size you want it to be. Feel free to go back and use some of the additional border ideas in the previous blog posts.
Our theme this month is “Diamonds”. As a general principle, you can create patchwork diamonds in two ways. (1) Cut a diamond shaped piece of fabric and fit edges around it to create a square or rectangular block, or (2) create diamonds by putting together two triangles. There are multiple techniques you can use for each of these approaches and I’ll describe them below. First, however, let’s look at some ways to use the diamond shape in borders.
Rows of Diamonds
The most basic approach is to create rows of diamonds, either horizontally or vertically.
You can also mix and match horizontally and vertically oriented diamonds.
Want to get even fancier? How about piecing diamonds inside of diamonds? Kirsty of Bonjour Quilts has created a nice tutorial for piecing this kind of block. https://www.bonjourquilts.com/diamond-quilt/ It would also lend itself to foundation paper piecing.
You don’t need to make an entire border full of diamonds. You can make a few and space them, uniformly or eccentrically, in your border.
Wonky Diamonds (“snowball” corners)
Don’t want uniform diamond shapes? Go wonky. Cut some wonky diamonds, then piece the surrounding fabric on to create rectangles or squares. This is sort of like making square-in-a-square blocks, but the angles of stitching are different (think rectangles instead of squares). If that feels a bit too freeform, draw yourself a wonky diamond in a square (or rectangle) on paper and foundation piece it (improv paper piecing for the win!).
Working with color values, you can create the effect of a coiled ribbon, with fairly easy piecing (block lines shown to help you visualize the base blocks).
Diamonds based on triangle shapes
The first border example below can be made two different ways. You can make two-color hourglass blocks (quarter square triangles, first example) or make square-in-a-square blocks (second example). The row of on-point square diamonds will look the same, but the location of the seams will differ.
You can use half square triangles (HSTs) and flying geese to create a chevron effect. The light blue chevrons look like diamonds but are actually created by the piecing.
These fancy diamonds were made by SMQG member Amy Steed as a border for a pillowcase. This design can be made with Julie Herman’s Hex and More and Sidekick rulers. Other specialty rulers that simplify the cutting and piecing of this sort of design include the Tri-Recs rulers and the Creative Grids 60 Degree Diamond ruler. If you own one of these rulers, you may want to check out some of the various diamond patterns that can be created with them.
Feeling really spicy? How about using value and contrast to create the look of argyle? This wouldn’t be that hard to piece, but it would be laborious with all the precision cutting and lots of bias seams.
Here are some additional tutorials that may help you figure out how to piece your diamonds if you aren’t sure where to start.
Tips for piecing bias edges (Krista Moser): https://f220a29c-5e18-4367-aae9-142ef117c58d.filesusr.com/ugd/a51756_5e6cfea5e15048c48ccfe9a24d8c02ad.pdf
Diamond in a rectangle- pieced and paper pieced: https://seamslikeadream.com/diamond-in-a-rectangle-quilt-block/
Hourglass tutorial/multiple sizes: https://www.generations-quilt-patterns.com/hourglass-quilt-block.html
Square-in-a-Square/Basic method https://www.seasonedhomemaker.com/square-in-a-square-quilt-block/
Square-in-a-Square/Enhanced method: Julie Cefalu uses a couple of extra steps and some clever tweaks to make perfect square in a square blocks easily. https://thecraftyquilter.com/2012/07/perfect-square-in-a-square-technique/ This could readily be adapted to create central diamonds instead of squares…
|Scattered diamonds||More diamonds per side||Pieced Diamonds|
|Wonky diamonds||Ribbon effect||Argyle look|
|Square-in-a-square diamonds||Make lots and lots of diamonds|
|Chevrons (HST blocks)|
Don’t forget to tag your progress: #seamqgsalsaBOM
We will aim to post the next instructions close to the September meeting. Stay tuned, and happy sewing!