Friday, August 5, 2011

Quilt Block Tutorial - Perspective

This block has been designed especially for Desperate Housewife’s Quilt-as-you-wish-Along

I have been wanting to design a quilt based on the works of M.C. Escher and his use of dark,light and shadow.  Whilst this block is nowhere near that end result, that was the starting point of my inspiration for this block.  Depending how you focus your eyes when you look at it, you can get the idea of a 3D shape with the dark patches being further away than the light patches.

The block is made out of 1" strips and 2-1/2" squares, so could be good for scraps but you'd have to have the right shades in your scrap bin.  This block requires very accurate cutting and sewing of the strips because, with so many seams, a slight variance in each seam adds up to a big difference in the overall finished size.

You will need:
4 shades of the same colour fabricbackground fabric

4 rectangles of each colour 1"x8-1/2" (total of 16 rectangles)
8 squares 2-1/2"x2-1/2"

All images can be clicked for a larger view.
I am working with fat quarters so I have just cut strips off the fat quarter and will cut the rectangles down to size after I have sewn them.  In this case I need two strips of each colour.  If you are working with a full width of fabric you only need one strip of each colour.

Join the strips into pairs, the two lighter shades together and the two darker shades together

Now is a good time to check your seam allowances.  Your joined strips should measure 1-1/2" wide.  If they are too wide you can trim a little of each side.

Next, join the lighter pair to the darker pair, ensure that the lightest and darkest shades are on the outside.

Again check your width, it should be 2-1/2", but this time you have to be careful with just trimming the excess off, if it is too much your strips will be uneven.

Now it's time to cut your strips to length.  Cut a total of four rectangles 8-1/2" long.  (I have laid mine out with the dark shades in the centre as this is how they will be sewn together in the end)

Next, take your squares and draw diagonal lines through the centre of all of them (on the wrong side of the fabric)

Place the squares on the corners of the rectangles, ensuring that the diagonal lines point in towards the dark strip (see black lines added to below image, right hand side. Remember to click image if you want a larger view)

Sew ON the drawn line.  I have also sewn again 1/2" from the first sewing line so I can save my bonus half-square-triangle blocks for later.

Trim off the corner pieces 1/4" from the main sewing line (or in the middle of the two sewing lines if you have done this also)

Press the triangles out flat

Now sew the pairs together as they are on the mat, with the dark strips together.  Then sew the two pieces together for form the completed block

Here are some layout ideas for you
No rotation

Rotating alternate blocks
This rotating alternate block layout could give you some interesting effects if you used two different background fabrics.  Can you see the wrapped sweet/lolly/candy image?

Rotating alternate rows
** Please note, this design is for personal use only, it may not be reproduced or used commercially without prior written consent **


  1. Wow, I love it. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  2. That is AMAZING - love the 3D effect! You are so creative!

  3. LOve the purple and the graphic element!



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