I have a fun Diamond quilt block tutorial for you today!
I’m actively working to reduce my scrap pile this year, which is how this diamond quilt block came to be.
If you’ve ever sent out a quilt to be long-armed, you’ll likely have a collection of scraps just like this:
Because your backing needs to be 3-5″ larger than your quilt top (in each direction), you end up with a lot of long, skinny scraps. These are perfect for the rectangles needed to create the half rectangle triangles in this diamond block.
This is what you need to make one block. The blocks are 4.5″ x 8.5″ unfinished (4″ x 8″ once sewn into a quilt).
Each diamond quilt block needs:
- two 3″ x 6″ background fabric rectangles (white)
- two 3″ x 6″ pattern fabric rectangles (Amy Butler)
- four 1.5″ solid fabric squares (Kona Medium Pink)
Firstly, you need to cut the four rectangles diagonally – now pay attention here! You need a top-left-to-bottom-right and a top-right-to-bottom-left cut in EACH fabric. You also need to draw a diagonal line on the back of each of the 1.5″ squares.
Sew the Half Rectangle Triangles (HRTs)
Let’s get sewing! You need to match each patterned half rectangle with a background fabric half rectangle:
Take a set of triangles and place them right sides together along their long edges.
You need to offset the triangles slightly. The triangles have two points – one more acute (skinnier) than the other. This skinny point needs to overhang the less skinny point of the other triangle by a quarter inch.
Same for the triangles with diagonals in the other orientation.
When the blocks are sewn, press two blocks with the same orientation toward one fabric and then the two blocks in the other orientation toward the other fabric. This is important as it will enable the seams within the block to nest:
How to Trim Your Half Rectangle Triangle Blocks to 2.5″ x 4.5″
Buy some Bloc_Loc half rectangle triangle rulers! I’m not going to lie, they aren’t cheap but these babies will save you tons of time. I really love HRTs and make them often, so these have been a good investment for me.
I bought the 8.5″ x 4.5″ HRT rulers* in the 2:1 aspect (the long edge is twice the small edge). They’re great because you can use them to trim any 2:1 HRT that size and smaller.
But if you aren’t ready (or don’t want) to spring for the rulers, no worries. You can trim these half rectangle triangles to 2.5″ x 4.5″ with a regular ruler. To do this, you first need to trim the blocks to 2.5″ wide:
Next, take a quilting ruler and start at one of the corners with a diagonal. Line up one edge of the ruler with the long edge of the HRT. Then slowly slide the ruler down the unit (keeping the ruler/block edges lined up) until you find the spot where the diagonal is exactly a quarter inch from the long edge.
Once that spot is located, the part of the HRT extending past the top of the ruler can be trimmed off. Because the diagonal is now a quarter inch from both edges, when it is sewn together with another unit the diagonal will form a lovely point
Turn the HRT around and repeat the process with the other bisected corner. Before you trim the top off the opposite side, make sure your block is 4.5″ long when you have the diagonal matched up.
Now you’ll have an HRT block that measures 2.5″ x 4.5″. Perfect.
Create the Centre Diamond
Next step is to place the solid square and HRT unit right sides together, lining the square up on the corner of the patterned triangle. The diagonal should be oriented as shown below:
Sew along the pencil line and then trim a quarter inch from the seam line:
Press the seam in the same direction as the HRT seam (again, to facilitate nesting later). And when you’re standing at the ironing board and thinking, “what way did I need to press this again?”, it’s easy – just copy what’s already there!
Sew the Diamond Quilt Blocks
Here’s where it all comes together.
Sew the unit pairs together (I like to sew the long edges first). I press these seams open to reduce bulk.
Then sew the two pairs to form a block. It will measure 4.5″ x 8.5″ unfinished.
Shazam! That’s one good looking block! :)
I like having the print as the main fabric with an accenting solid in the middle. But you could reverse it and put the patterned fabric in the centre. Or use two patterned fabrics – but be sure there’s enough contrast between the two so that the piecing is noticeable.
Diamond Quilt Layout
These blocks will make a great scrappy quilt. I think I’m going to use thin white sashing between my blocks (1.5″ strips for 1″ finished sashing). I also think offset rows of these blocks, without sashing, would look really good:
Because these blocks have a 2:1 ratio, two of the blocks together on their shorter edges will equal the long edge. That way you can alternate the block directions to create a fun design:
Phew, that was a long post! Thanks for reading to the end and I hope you’re inspired to attack your scrap pile and make some diamond blocks.
If you’re a fan of half rectangle triangles and want to experiment with other sizes, I have another post on sewing and trimming HRTs over here.
Happy sewing and scrap busting.