Sunday, 12 January 2014

Block Buster Sunday #2 Economy Block Tutorial

Welcome to Block Buster Sunday #2
This week I'm exploring the Economy Block which is also known as a Square In A Square block.
I would rate this as an easy block, with the proviso that you do need to have some sewing experience as  there are bias cut edges, which can stretch if you are not careful.
I recommend starching the fabric before you cut, particularly if you are a beginner quilter.

My tutorial is for a rotary cut and pieced block, and I have given cutting instructions for 3 sizes of block -  6", 8"and 10" finished. You can of course paper piece this block and there are free templates available if you search the internet.

For a 6" finished block you need to cut:
1     3 1/2" square for  A
1     4 1/4" square for  B
2     4"       squares for C

For a 8" finished block you need to cut:
1     4 1/2" square for A
1     5 1/4" square for B
2     5"       squares for C

For a 10" finished block you need to cut:
1     5 1/2" square for A
1     6 1/4" square for B
2     6"       squares for C

The size of the C squares allows for a little trimming when the block is finished.

Cut square B diagonally in both directions to give 4 quarter square triangles. Cut both C squares diagonally in half to give a total of 4 half square triangles.

Pin the long edge of a B quarter square triangle to one edge of A.
For the first few blocks I lined up my ruler against the edge of A and ensured that the point of the triangle was exactly in the middle of the square. After a few blocks you get a feel for where the centre is, and can eyeball it.

Do the same on the opposite edge.

Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew in place.

Trim off the overhangs and press the seams away from the centre.

Repeat for the remaining 2 sides of the inner square.

Place one of the C half square triangles on the outer edge, using a ruler to help ensure it is centred correctly (that diagonal line through the centre of the ruler helps enormously!. Pin in place.

Do the same for the opposite edge. Sew in place.

Press seam allowances away from the centre.

Repeat for the remaining 2 sides.

Press open and trim. You need to ensure that you have 1/4" beyond the points on the B sections and that where the vertical lines on the ruler run through the top and bottom points is exactly half the unfinished size of the block.
My block is 8" finished, (8 1/2" unfinished), so it is the 4 1/4" line that runs through the top and bottom points.

Pin It
The block can provide some very different effects.
The scrappy look:

Planned and limited colours:

Limited colours and sashing:

Planned colours across several blocks:

Which effect do you like the best?


  1. Those layout effects are amazing. Love the last one, though it won't be for me, as I coincidently got on and made my first economy block this morning :-) Mine will all be scrappy, but I like the thought of sashing...

  2. it's a lovely block Julie so many possible variations, it must take you ages to do these tutorials, thank you for sharing them with us. :)

  3. Absolutely amazing. What patience ! Thank you for such detailed pictures and a wonderful tutorial .love Linda

  4. This is on my (growing!) list of what I might get around to in 2014 and I like the last option too :)

  5. I'm a scrappy girl myself!
    You're my new favourite patchwork guru!

  6. your measurements for an 8 inch block and a 10 inch block are identical. I don't see how that can be.

  7. your measurements for an 8 inch block and a 10 inch block are identical. I don't see how that can be.

    1. My apologies. It was a copying and pasting error. I've edited it so the correct measurements are available now :-)


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