teaching sewing confidence, tip by tip

Thursday 21 August 2014

Trapped Square Block Tute - NYC Metro MOD Quilt Guild Bee

I'm skipping my July Bee Block (I've made it but not had a chance to write it up yet) and instead I'm sharing my August Bee Block for Queen Bee Kim.

 The package included 3 solids - 1 fat quarter of Kona navy and another of orchid and an 18" x 11-1/2" piece of white.  The instructions were a 12-1/2" square using only the enclosed fabrics - make a "modern" sampler block, wonky or asymmetrical.  The extra fabric can be used to make an additional block experimenting with ideas and any size if time allows.

So I set about thinking what 3 colour block I wanted to create and having decided on a design I sketched out 3 colourways and decided on #3 - I liked how the white squares were trapped inside the other colours - hence the name I've given it 'Trapped Square Block'.  Amazing just how different the same block can look just based on colour placement.

I've taken pics along the way so if you'd like to have a go at making the block yourself here's my tutorial.

Trapped Square Block

Cut (4) 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" squares colour 1 (navy)
(4) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" squares colour 1 (navy)
(4) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" squares colour 2 (white)
(4) 4-1/2" x 2-1/2" rectangles colour 3 (orchid)
(1) 4-1/2" square colour 3 (orchid)

Layout design as shown below

First, let's sew together all the small colour 1 (navy) and colour 2 (white) squares using a scant 1/4" seam.  You can chain piece the 4 sections as I've done below.

Press the seams closed to set the stitches.

Press the seams towards the navy.

Turn over and press the seams again ensuring there are no folds or creases.

Pop these 4 sections back into the block design and it should look like this.

Next, we're going to join the each colour 1 (navy) and colour 2 (white) square section to a colour 3 (orchid) rectangle.  Again using a scant 1/4" seam and chain piecing as shown in the photos below.

Press the seams closed to set the stitches.

Then press again towards colour 1 (navy)

Turn over and press the seams again ensuring there are no folds or creases.

 Pop these 4 sections back into the block design and it should look like this.

Join each column of blocks and press each seam towards the 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" square as shown below.

The first column joined.

Both outside columns joined.

All 3 columns joined.

Time to check how those seams are pressed.

Then join the side columns to the centre section - nesting and pinning as described in my Easy Scrappy Nine Patches tute.

Press that seam in towards the centre colour 3 (orchid) 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" square.

2 columns joined, just need to add the final column and press the seam towards the centre.

And here's your finished block with perfect seam joins.
Unfinished size 12-1/2" square/Finished size 12" square.

And a final look at the back seams.

And a couple more angled pics.


Updated 13 November 2016
I've put together an EQ7 image of how the Trapped Square Block can look made up into a quilt.

and I've turned the block into a pattern too, available from the second week of November 2016

Time to make the experimental block using the leftover fabric.

And how those blocks might look together in a modern sampler quilt.


As always you can check out all the blocks that our Bee make for Kim on my Quilty - Modern Sampler Blocks Pinterest Board - I used this board back in September 2012 when we made modern blocks for Queen Bee Nicole - I'll add more pins as each person in the Bee posts photos of their finished blocks and you can see my NYC Mod Quilt Guild Post here too.

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  1. I like them both. You are very clever to have thought of 2 blocks.

  2. I like, I like...both of them.

  3. Awesome block Chrissie! Thanks for the fantastic tutorial...

  4. what a fun pattern and great tute! thanks for sharing the step by photo step! I think I could do this!

  5. This looks so beautiful. love the colors.

  6. What a fun block! The color placement really makes everything pop.

  7. Nice that you came up with 2 blocks to use up the fabric :-)

  8. I love your block made from the left overs. I'm all for less wastage.

  9. Thanks so much for sharing this fantastic tutorial, Chrissie! Love your Trapped Square and both your blocks look fabulous!

  10. I love it! I'm so in awe of people who quilt. I can barely remember how to turn my sewing machine on, let alone make something amazing with it. One of these days I hope I can get there :)

  11. Ooh, love this block! Thanks for the tute -- I pinned it!

  12. Beautiful - I pinned it to my to-try-list :)

  13. Great block. Thanks for the tutorial; I shall certainly be using it.

  14. I love this block, Chrissie! Thanks for the tutorial. I've pinned it too.
    Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

    1. I love that so many of you have pinned it Julie, it's been a really popular block tute :D

  15. Love this block! Gonna have to try it soon! And I love the second "leftover" block, too!
    Thanks for the tutorial!

  16. This is a great block! thanks for the tutorial

  17. Awesome! Once again you make it look so easy. I will surely make this one too. And I love how you used the left over pieces to create the second block. You rock!

  18. Good post to rejuvinate!! THanks for sharing at Tuesday Archives this week. :)

  19. Definitely going to try this block. Thanks for sharing. Did you make a complete quilt with this design. If so, would love to see it. Again, thanks.


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