Any Way You Want It – A 50 State Quilt Block Journey – I have been trying for months to find out if there are official or unofficial United States Quilts Blocks and just haven’t been able to find anything up to this point. In my research I did find that Hearth and Home in 1912 solicited quilters to submit a quilt block that they thought represented their State, and they then published them. The publication was done in Newspaper print so was not printed for posterity.
People over the years have tried to find these blocks and I think I found a publication in 1977 that was able to put all these blocks together. My journey is going to try to re-create these blocks during the year of 2022 for each of the 50 states. I haven’t seen all the blocks yet, but I feel that I am up for the task!
We will be starting with the Florida block because I live in Florida! It is a great place to start and for all of you in the states that have cold weather or snow, we can warm things up with some tropical weather. The block is call Sunshine and I re-created a 12 1/2″ square block to look similar to the one in the publication. It does look like rays of Sunshine, but I also think it looks like an Orange slice!
If you would like to make this block with me, click below to grab the free templates from our Free Resource Library.
4 fat quarters of your choice. I am part of the Fat Quarter Shop Hoffman Batik of the Month club and my batik’s accumulate so that is how I got my fabrics for my blocks. I chose tropical colors, the color of a Hibiscus, sand, sea and sunshine are incorporated into my blocks.
Step 1 – Grab the templates and cut your strips!
The following strips will need to be cut for each of the templates.
- Template 1 – Cut 6 pieces (cut from a 4 1/2″ strip)
- Template 2- Cut 4 pieces (cut from a 6 3/8″ strip)
- Template 3- Cut 18 pieces (cut from a 1″ strip)
- Template 4- Cut 18 pieces (cut from a 1″ strip)
Once your strips are cut, then use the templates to cut your pieces out of the corresponding strips. You could stack your strips and cut multiples at once if you are confident. Just make sure the strips are lined up and use a clip to hold them in place.
Step 2 – Layout your pieces according to the pattern
Layout your pieces according to the pattern so that you know where all the pieces will go. Now that they are laid out, we will start with one center triangle, 3 strips and 3 diamonds to build our first triangle block. Once you know how to put together one triangle block then you can finish the other 5 blocks! I am using the Prop It 18″ x 18″ Quilt Block Assembly Easel to hold my pieces in place and carry them back and forth from my table to my machine.
Watch my video tutorial for this block!
Step 3 – Build your first triangle
Start with the triangle and one strip. Match the shorter side of the strip to the triangle and match the ends, pin in place. Then take the other two strips and sew one diamond to one strip and two diamonds to the other strip and sew 1/4″ seam. Press the seam towards the diamonds and, and then towards the strip without the diamonds.
Take your new strip and sew it onto the triangle matching ends and also checking that the end of the seam at the diamond and the end of the seam of the previous strip are 1/4″ from each other. This will make sure your points of the triangle and the diamond will line up. Iron seam towards the strip.
Finally we will sew our last strip to the triangle. Line the strip up from end to end on the triangle with the previous strips and make sure that each of your diamond seams are 1/4″ from the previous strips. Please refer to the picture. Iron the seams towards the strip.
Your first triangle is done!! Now you can do the other 5 triangles exactly the same way, follow the steps above.
Step 4 – Assemble each half of the block
Lay your pieces out according to the pattern picture and the picture below. Start with the Half Triangle followed by 3 triangles, and another half triangle.
Start with the left half triangle and line it up with the triangle next to it start with the top of the triangle. Sew at 1/4″ seam and iron the seam OPEN.
Next we will sew the 2nd triangle to the first, making sure to line up the diamond seams. This will make sure your diamonds line up with each other. So start by lining up the diamond seams, and then pin in between. Sew 1/4″ and iron the seam OPEN. Do the exact same thing for the 3rd triangle.
Add the last half triangle by lining it up at the top of the block, sew 1/4″ seam and free seam OPEN.
Your first 1/2 of the block is done, repeat the above instructions to assemble the other half!
Step 5 – Put the two halves together.
At this point trim any points that may be sticking out, and lay your two halves together right sides together and match the middle diamonds. Start with lining up the diamond seams up on each end of the halves. Now go to the center and line up the “V” where all 3 of the diamonds meet. Now that these three areas are lined up correctly, pin the rest of of the block and carefully sew a 1/4″ seam allowance and iron the seam open. Make sure that all your points look good at this time also.
Step 6 – Add the top and bottom strips
Your block should be 12 1/2″ wide by 11″ tall. We will be adding a strip (same color as the half triangles) to the top and bottom so that we can get a 12 1/2″ square block. I used 2″ strips so that I knew I would have plenty to cut it down to 12 1/2″. Sew these strips 1/4″ and press towards the strip.
Now we will trim the block to 12 1/2″ square by using a 12 1/2″ square ruler and setting the center seam of the block on the 6 1/4″ line of the ruler. This way we will have equal amounts of fabric on each side of the center seam. Trim your block using this method.
Congratulations! You have now completed the Florida Sunshine Block. Thank you so much for reading this and sign up to our newsletter so you don’t miss all the other state blocks we will be doing. Let me know what you think and what state you are excited to see.
Thank you for coming along with me on this Any Way You Want It – A 50 State Quilt Block Journey!
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