Welcome to the 9th block in our Any Way You Want It – A 50 State Quilt Block Journey. We are introducing the Massachusetts quilt block! To see our other State blocks (click here – State Quilt Block Journey)
In 1912 Hearth and Home solicited quilters to submit a quilt block that they thought represented their State, and they then published them and I am recreating these blocks for us to make!
The Massachusetts Quilt block is quite the block. This took a lot of thinking to figure out how to make sure this turned out to be 12 1/2″ square in the end. It has 56 blocks made up of triangles sewn together. That is at least 56 seams in this block alone! Seams can shrink a block pretty quickly. This block is beautiful, but it needs some patience and time to complete. I used the colors of the Massachusetts State Flower the MayFlower as inspiration for my colors.
Below I will show you how to put this block together and I have created a video tutorial for this block also. I would suggest watching the video because there really is a lot going on in this block. I show you how to put this together from the center out, and when to use a skant 1/4″ seam and when to use a 1/4″ seam.
Go grab the cutting directions and templates for this block below and let’s get started! The pattern includes cutting the templates and instructions on cutting the strips for your templates.
To Begin With
As I stated above I have created a detailed video on the order of putting all the seams together, how to iron them so you get seams that will nest and how to put it all together to get the finished block!
This is a two color block. I would suggest using complimentary but contrasting colors for this block. I tried to match colors of the Massachusetts State Flower, the Mayflower as much as I could with my Batik Fat Quarter Stash.
Tips for this block before we start
- 1/4 seam″ is used to sew pieces together, but a skant 1/4″ is used to sew the rows together. A quarter inch sewing foot works great for this!
- Cut your strips with the grain of the fabric. This will help prevent stretching the fabrics when sewing. We want the fabrics to keep their shape.
- Use the cutting instructions and replace your colors so you know which pieces to cut from each color.
- You don’t “need” to use the templates to cut the pieces for this block, the rotary cutting instructions will show you how to cut the triangles.
- Cut your pieces by the color of the fabric.
- Measure your block as your building it out to make sure you are on track to a 12 1/2″ square block in the end.
Step 1 -Choose Your Fabrics and Cut your Templates
The templates that you have downloaded tell you how wide to cut strips for each template. It also tells you many of the template are needed in the block. This is where you will need to figure out how many you will need for your colors.
Take your fabric and square it up with the grain and cut your strips to the width needed according the pattern. The number of strips will depend on the width of your fabric.
Cut your templates from the fabrics using the rotary cutting instructions or you may use the templates that I have provided.
I would suggest not cutting the tips off of the triangles yet, we will be measuring the square made by sewing the triangles together and we will cut the tips off when measuring.
Step 2 – Sew your triangles
At this point there is no need to lay your block out. There are too many triangles, we will sew all our triangles together now. Match up a green (dark) and lavender (light) triangle and sew along the long edge with a 1/4″ seam. Sew all 56 of each color exactly like this, and you will have 56 squares with a light and dark triangle.
Iron the newly formed squares towards the dark fabric. Now we will check that each of our new squares are 1 1/2″ square. Square it up using the diagonal seam with the diagonal line on the ruler and trim. This will get the rabbit ears off one side, turn and trim and cut the rabbit ears off the other side.
Step 3 – Lay out your block!
We can now lay out our block on our block easel. The easel works great in keeping all these small pieces from scooching around and falling off.
Start with the piece in the middle and start working from the middle out towards the outer row. There are 4 HST’s next to the center block on each side, and 10 HST’s on each side of the outer row.
Make sure that your corner blocks are opposite of each other from the outer to the inner corner blocks. Please refer to the legend or the block picture for laying your block out.
Step 4 – Sew the Inner square
Now we will sew the HST’s next to the inner block together. Sew two together and then sew those two together to get a strip of 4. Your strip of 4 should measure 4 1/2″ x 1 1/2″. Sew all 4 around the center piece and make sure they are all 4 1/2″. Now we will sew the corner blocks on two opposite side strips you just made, making sure you keep the corner blocks in the correct place.
Next we will sew the two strips without the corner blocks to two opposites sides of the center piece. Match the ends and pin the middle and this is where we will sew a SKANT 1/4″. Iron the seams towards the center piece.
Finish the center by adding the other two strips to the other sides, match and next the outer seams, match ends and pin the middle and sew here a SKANT 1/4″ seam. Iron towards the center piece. Your blocks should now be 6 1/2″ square.
Step 5 – Sew the light and dark strips on
Place the 6 1/2″ green (dark) strips onto the newly created block on opposite sides and sew a SKANT 1/4″. Iron the seams towards the dark strip.
Now place the 8 1/2″ green (dark) strips onto the other two sides and sew a SKANT 1/4″ and iron towards the strip. Your block at this point will be 8 1/2″ square.
Repeat the above two steps to add the lavender (light) strips to the block. After these strips are added your block will be 10 1/2″ square.
Step 6 – Finish the outer rows
The outer rows will go together just like the inner HST’s like we did in Step 4, except there will be 10 instead of 4. Assemble the four sides just like Step 4, make sure your corner blocks are placed correctly. Your HST rows will measure 10 1/2″ when finished before the corner blocks are added.
Once your rows are finished we will add them to the block we have completed so far. Add the two shorter 10 1/2″ strips to the two opposite sides and sew at a SKANT 1/4″. This time we will iron towards that outer row to help get our seam open so we will eventually end up with a 12 1/2″ square block.
Next add the last two rows to your block, matching and nesting seams where necessary. Sew these with a SKANT 1/4″ also and iron towards the outer row.
Step 7 – Measure and Trim your block.
At this point you can measure your block and see if it is 12 1/2″ square. If it is over 12 1/2″ then you can trim off the edges. I line up a 12 1/2″ square ruler and make sure to run it diagonally through the block and square it up that way.
Step 7 – Your Massachusetts Quilt Block is Complete!
Share your newly created block with your friends on Social Media! Use the #massachusettsQuiltBlockCC and see what other people are making!
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Watch the YouTube video we made for assembling this block!
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