Lesson # 2 - Rectangles
One of the most often used shapes in
quilting is the rectangle. Rectangles are easily modified to make other
shapes, like the flying geese, and star points.
Pictured above is a rectangle make
of pieced strips cut from 4-inch squares.
We are going to practice making rectangles,
and then we are going to cut them down to squares.
If you have 4-inch squares, use your ruler
to cut them into 1 1/4 inch wide strips. You will be able to get three strips
out of each 4-inch square, with only 1/4 inch going to waste.
If you are cutting your squares out
of fat quarters, practice cutting 1 1/4 inch strips.
If you sew four 1 1/4 inch
strips together, you should end up with a piece that is 3 1/2 inches
wide. ( 1 1/4 times 4 is equal to 5 inches. Take away
1/2 inch for each seam allowance, and that equals 3 1/2 inches).
Again, this is a good test for
your 1/4 inch seam. If your rectangle is not 3 1/2 inches, you
need to adjust your seam width and check your cutting.
It is quicker to cut multiple
layers of fabric at the same time, but when you are learning, just do
one layer at a time.
One of the uses for rectangles sewn
together is to make what is called a "piano key" border on a quilt.
As you can see from the picture on the left, the border is made of of joined
rectangles. It looks like a keyboard, hence the name.
In the picture below, a 4-inch square is
being cut down to a 3 1/2 inch square. If you have 4-inch squares,
practice cutting them down.
Join 4 of your strips of fabric
cut 1 1/4 " wide.
Then trim these to 3 1/2
inches so they will be a square.
Do not throw away fabric, unless it is
very, very small! Quilters save every bit and piece of fabric possible
for use in other projects.
Practice until you get them right, and then set the good ones aside for future use.
You can now combine the whole squares with the squares made from the
Challenge Block for what you can do with just
On to Lesson
#3 - Triangles