Friday, February 10, 2017

60° Rainbow Diamond Block Tutorial

Hello everyone and welcome!
This is a tutorial for setting 60° diamond blocks with 30° background pieces for a 12.5" block that looks like this:
I am not explaining how to make the 60° diamonds in this tutorial, but I do offer tips for how to get matching points on them.  Here is a great tutorial for making diamonds  (45°) at the Moda Bake Shop, be sure to make your cuts 60° if you use their tutorial.
- use a small stitch length (1.7 on my machine, ~15 stitches to the inch)
- press your seams open as much as possible to reduce bulk
- use Mary Ellen's Best Press or starch on your fabric BEFORE cutting, as the majority of this block is assembled on the bias
- you will need a ruler with a  30° and 60° line on it (standard on most 6" x 24" rulers, I have one of the Olfa Frosted rulers)
- you will also need a large square ruler that will give you a 12.5" square
Fabric Needs (for one block):
(8) 2.25" x 6.5" background pieces
(1) 8.5" x WOF background, sub-cut into (4) 30° triangles (explained below)
(4) 60° diamonds (I made mine from 2.5" strips cut from various fat quarters).
 First, you want to make your diamonds.

To get your points to match, take two pairs of diamonds and line up your pieces so that the seams meet as shown above.  In my case the light green and the dark green seams will be aligned.  You will also see on either end little tips sticking out, similar to the jeans photo below.
This photo is from the backing of my niece's quilt I made in 2016 :)

 I like to pin the points like this, it helps keep the fabric from folding under when being pushed/pulled by the feed dogs on the sewing machine.  After sewing this seam, press your diamond open.
 Fold the 8.5" background strip in half and trim the unfolded edge so the ends are even.  Line up your ruler as shown, with the 30° line along the cut end, and cut (2) triangles.
 Move your ruler to match up the other 30° line on the cut you just made and cut out another (2) triangles.
 Decide which point you want to point to the outside of your block, and place one of the 2.25" x 6.5" rectangles on it, letting the extra hang over the end that will be the outside corner.
 Sew and press open the background and trim off the excess even with the diamond.
 Now place another 2.25" x 6.5" on the other outside portion of the diamond and sew on.
Press open the background and trim off the one end as indicated in the photo.
 Take one 30° triangle and mark the small pointed end about half an inch in, then line up the inside diamond with the marked point so that when they are sewn together, the background triangle will be on the right side of the diamond.  Sew the pieces together from the inside point out.
*If you sew from the outside in, your points are far more likely to become uneven and create a mound in the center*
 Press the seam open and trim off the excess INNER point, do not trim the outside away.
 If needed, trim the background to be about 1/8" from the inner point of the diamond.
 Repeat for the other three diamonds.  The centers should look as if they are slightly off-center, this is to account for the next seams.
Sew the quarters together, again from the center out.

The points should look like this.
 Then sew the halves together.
 Your block will look similar to this now, a little rough around the edges.  :)
 Now square up the block by aligning the points with the 12.5" marks on your ruler.  This block happened to match perfectly on all four diamond points, my next one did not, but there is plenty of background to still get a 12.5" block.  And it still looks great!
I have a total of five blocks made so far and plan to get up to nine in the future, but have a number of previous projects to catch up on first.

If you make this block I would love it if you send me a picture (brandizzle7133 at gmail dot com) and feel free to ask questions or leave suggestions if anything is unclear.

Have a wonderful day!


Linking up with:

Let's Bee Social

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts


Mary said...

Nice to see a new way to cut those set-in pieces. Pretty blocks. Hope to see more soon. Maybe Guild will be full of shared inspiration this coming week.

Kitty Pearl said...

That's genius to make background part of one dia!ond. Great demo pics too!