Welcome to the 12th block in our Any Way You Want It – A 50 State Quilt Block Journey. We are introducing the Illinois 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 Illinois Quilt block is a pretty easy and fun quilt block to put together. Break this block down and it is a 9 patch, assemble the patches and then sew them together! My inspiration for this block is from the State Gemstone of Fluorite, which has green, purple and white tones. This is a two color block, so I chose purple and green!
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 two color block. I would suggest using complimentary but contrasting colors for this block. I tried to match colors of the Illinois State Gemstone 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 on this block, 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.
- 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 rotary cutter instructions that you have downloaded tell you how wide to cut your strips and to cut your triangles. It also tells you many of each 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.
I would suggest cutting your templates by color. Cut your pieces from the fabrics using the rotary cutting instructions or you may use the templates that I have provided. I used the rotary cutting instructions to cut all the pieces, but then I used the templates to cut the notches off the ends of the triangles.
Once you have cut all your templates out, lay out your block per the pattern!
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 now sew almost all our triangle pieces!
First put together the corner triangles together along the long edge right sides together, matching notched ends. Clip the side you are going to sew.
Second, add one side of the flying QST to the HST on the flying geese blocks, right sides together, and clip the side you are going to sew. Matching notched ends. We will sew the other side on in the next step.
Last we will sew two HST’s to the center block on opposite sides, matching notched ends. Right sides together. Clip the side you are going to sew.
Sew all these pieces together on the edges that you pinned or clipped with a 1/4″ seam. Sew all seams towards the darker color, purple in my case.
Once you are done sewing and ironing your seams, lay your sewn pieces back in place in the block layout.
Step 3 – Finish Flying Geese and Center Block
First we will add the other HST to the flying geese blocks, right sides together, and clip the side your are going to sew, match the notched ends.
Second, add the last two HST’s to the center block, matching notched ends, right sides together.
Sew all these seams with a 1/4″ seam and iron towards the dark like we did in the second step.
Step 4 – Sew the Flying Geese together
At this point we can sew the two flying geese together. There will be four sets of these. Match ends and edges with right sides together making sure the point of one goose is at the base of the other goose. Sew a 1/4″ seam and iron these seams open.
Place your flying geese back in the layout making sure the base of the geese is facing toward the center block.
Step 5 – Sew the blocks in each row.
We are now ready to sew the 9 patch together by sewing the blocks in each row together. A great thing about his block is there are no seams to match!
FIRST – make sure that your blocks are laid out the correct way, according to the pattern. It is easy to get a block turned around. Once they are in the right place we will take the far left block and line it up with the center block in each row. Match the ends and line up the edges with right sides together.
Second – we can sew all three of these seams right now with a skant 1/4″. The reason we use a skant 1/4″ is because of the amount of seams in this block will shrink it some.
Iron the top and bottom rows towards the outer block, and iron the center row towards the center block. Put your blocks back in the correct order and add the third block to each row, right sides together and matching ends and edges. Sew a skant 1/4″ and iron in the same direction as the first blocks.
The rows are now complete!
Step 6 – Sew Rows together and your Block is complete
At this time we will sew the rows together by matching the seams and because they were ironed in opposite directions, these seams will nest together to make them flat. Line up the ends of each row and keep your edges together and sew at a skant 1/4″. Sew the seams towards the outer rows.
Congratulations! Your Illinois State Block is now complete! Last thing to do is trim it down to 12 1/2″ square if that is what is needed.
Share your newly created block with your friends on Social Media! Use the #IllinoisQuiltBlockCC 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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