Welcome to the 11th block in our Any Way You Want It – A 50 State Quilt Block Journey. We are introducing the Alaska 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 Alaska Quilt block is fun quilt block to put together. Break this block down to it’s smallest parts and you just have blocks to sew together from there. My inspiration for this block is from the Northern Lights that Alaska is known for.
Below I will show you how to put this block together and I have created a video tutorial for this block also. The video will show you how I assemble little blocks and then put them all together to become the single 12 1/2″ square block.
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 smaller blocks 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 three color block. I would suggest using complimentary but contrasting colors for this block. I tried to match colors of the Norther Lights as much as I could with my Batik Fat Quarter Stash. I am in two Batik of the Month clubs and I have a lot of Fat Quarters to choose from.
Tips for this block before we start
- A 1/4 seam″ is used only on the HST squares, a quarter inch sewing foot works great for this!
- When the blocks are sew together, we will use a skant 1/4″ to help get our block out to 12 1/2″ in the end.
- 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.
- I would use the templates to cut the notches out of all our your triangle pieces, the rotary cutting instructions will show you how to cut the triangles.
- Cut your pieces by the color of the fabric.
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. The rotary cutting instructions also work great for this block, and that is what I used to cut my pieces out.
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 pieces from the fabrics using the rotary cutting instructions or you may use the templates that I have provided.
I would suggest using the templates to cut the notches off the ends of the triangles, this will help immensely when lining up your pieces later.
For Templates “B” & “D”, if you are using a Batik material, only use template “B” because a batik doesn’t have a front and back side. If your fabric has a front an back, then you will need to cut 4 of “B” and 4 of “D” so that you have mirror images of your fabric.
Step 2 – Sew your triangles
First thing we will do is lay out our block with all the pieces in the order that they will lay in the block. This will help keep your pieces orientated the way they will need to be to complete this block.
We will start working with what will eventually be the inner 9 blocks.
For the very center block, (an hourglass design) sew the light and dark (green and blue) together on the shorter end of the triangle with a 1/4″ seam. Iron towards the dark (blue).
Next sew together the corner HST’s together along the long edge with a 1/4″ seam. Iron towards the dark (dark).
Now we have all 9 blocks in the center ready to sew together in rows. Starting on the left, put the square patch onto the HST squares on the top and bottom rows and pin the side you will sew, and line up the edges. For the middle row, take the square patch and put in on the middle quarter square triangle block and pin the side you will sew. Line up the edges.
Sew these three seams with a skant 1/4″ and iron them towards the square patch. This will insure that your three rows will have opposing seams and will nest very nicely.
Repeat the above to add the last block onto each row, make sure that your HST squares are oriented the correct way and pin the side you will sew. Iron as stated aboved.
Now we will put the three rows together by nesting the seams and matching the edges. Sew a skant 1/4″ and iron towards the outside rows.
The inner block is complete.
Step 3 – Assemble the outer rows
We will need to put together the outer rows before we can attach them to our center block.
To start with, sew one of the HST’s to the Square patch in the middle of the outer row. Line up the corner and straight edges taking care to pin the side you are going to sew. Sew at 1/4″ and iron towards the triangle. Repeat for the triangle on the other side of the square patch.
Next we will add the edge pieces to the section we just sewed. Carefully put the seams that you will sew together and pin, making sure that your edges are lined up. Sew at 1/4″ seam and iron towards the outer piece. Repeat for the other side.
Now can add the corner patches to both sides of one row on opposite sides of the blocks. Sew these on at skant 1/4″ and iron towards the center of the row.
Step 4 – Add the Outer Rows to the Center Block
The other two outer edges can be sewn to the center block, make sure that the square patch is still pointing to the center block. Sew these on, matching edges, with a skant 1/4″ and iron away from the center block.
Next add the outer edges with the corner patches sewn on to the center portion of the block. Match the seams by nesting them, and sew with a skant 1/4″ seam. Iron away from the center of the block.
Step 5 – Your Alaska Quilt Block is Complete!
Share your newly created block with your friends on Social Media! Use the #AlaskaQuiltBlockCC and see what other people are making!
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When you put this block into a quilt, it makes for a stunning display!
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