The Black Diamond Quilt Kit with the Half Rectangle Trimmer is a Fat Quarter Shop Exclusive. The kit includes the Black Diamonds Quilt Pattern, template, and Create fabrics for the 60.5″ x 60.5″ quilt top and binding. You can get the pattern for free and use your own mix of fabrics to make your own unique quilt!
I really liked using this tool. It gave me perfect rectangles which in turn gave me perfect squares. The secret is making a larger half rectangle block and then utilizing the tool to cut your perfect rectangle out of that!
The tool gives a 4.5″ x 2.5″ unfinished block which in turn becomes a 4″ x 2″ finished block. The seam allowance is also marked on the tool, so that you can see exactly what your block will look like in your quilt. I used to to help me grab some of my tiny beasts and make sure they would make it in the quilt.
This post is going to show you how I used the half rectangle trimmer to put this beautiful quilt together!
Here are some more pics of the finished quilt before we get started! I did my own quilting on this one so I could get it done in time for this post!
Choose your fabrics
Just like the pattern shows, I chose a solid for my background (Tula Pink Designer Essentials, Glacier). This will give a great contrast to the patterned fabric when you pair it in the half rectangle blocks. The pattern suggest 4 yards for the background.
I then chose to make a mix of black and white fabrics (Tula Pink Linework) and colors (Tiny Beasts). These fabrics were in the same color family as the background, but will give a great contrast to the background. The pattern suggests 17 fat quarters for the block prints.
The block accent is the center of each of the star blocks and I used a Charm Pack from Tula Pink Daydreamer & Linework collections to choose my 15 star centers. A 1/2 yard of an accent fabric can also be chosen for these.
Cut Your Fabrics
Cutting the fabrics isn’t too hard.
You will need to make sure that you get 150 of the background rectangles from your background cuts. I would suggest at this point, making two piles of 75 so you don’t have to count and separate them later! I found that when I cut a 6″ wide WOF strip, I could get 10 rectangles from each strip. This helped me keep track of how many rectangles I had.
There will also be 60 squares cut from the background fabric for the corners of the 15 star blocks that will be made.
There will also need to be 150 rectangles from the block prints, which is the fat quarters. To achieve this, 9 rectangles will have to be cut from each of the 17 fat quarters!
For the block accent (center of the star blocks), 15 squares will need to be cut from our accent fabric. My accent fabric is the Daydreamer by Tula Pink Charm Pack.
Preparing the background for the Block Prints
At this point you will need to prepared your 150 background rectangles to be made into the half rectangle blocks.
Hopefully you have separated two piles of 75 by now! I didn’t do that, so I want to make sure you do.. 🙂
Take one of the piles of 75 and mark a diagonal from the bottom left corner to the top right corner. This will be the First Point Unit Background Pile.
On the other pile of 75 a diagonal line will need to be drawn from the top left to the bottom right corner. This will be the Second Point Unit Background Pile.
Above we have our piles separated into First Point Unit and Second Point Unit.
Working with the First Point Unit background pile, pick a block print rectangle randomly and lay it face up vertically in front of you. Then lay one First Point Unit background piece on top of it, so that it the sits diagonally on the block print piece.
It will look funny the way it lays together, but will yield two half rectangle blocks. Pin these fabrics together.
Sew a 1/4″ seam on each side of the line we drew on the back ground. Each seam will be 1/4″ away from that center line.
Cut the block on the drawn center line and iron the block towards the background.
Repeat for Second point Unit background!
When you are done with both the First and Second Point Units, you will have 300 half rectangle blocks. There will be 150 with the seam going from bottom left to top right and 150 going from top left to bottom right.
Half Rectangle Trimmer Tool Time!
Now the fun begins!
Use the half rectangle trimmer tool to begin making all your half rectangle blocks to be used in the quilt.
The half rectangle trimmer has two diagonal lines to line up on your seams.
Grab your first rectangle, lay the trimmer tool on top of your rectangle matching the appropriate seam line on the tool.
The tool will not be straight with the block, but will be slightly askew. Move the trimmer tool until you have the fabric you want in the block making sure that the edges are not off of the rectangle.
When you like what you see, trim around the tool to get your perfect half rectangle block!
The trimmer will only work one way on your block depending on if it is the First or Second Point Unit, so there is no way to make a bad cut here.
The trimmer also has the seam allowance marked so you can see exactly what will end up in the quilt.
Star Point Blocks
Now that we have all the First and Second Point Units trimmed perfectly to size, it is time to assemble the star point blocks.
At this point I still have my First and Second Point Units in separate piles. I wanted a randomly colored quilt, so I mixed each pile up and will choose a rand First Point Unit and a random Second Point unit.
These will be put together with the background side of the blocks sewn together. I pulled sets of these out and put them in 6 piles of 10 so that I could keep track of the number of blocks I was making. There will be 60 of these blocks in the end.
Sew the First Point Unit to the Second Point unit on the back ground side of the blocks with a 1/4″ seam and iron the seams open.
This will yield 60 blocks.
Assemble the Partial Diamond Unit
Now that we have the 60 Star point blocks done, there will be 90 of each of the First and Second Point Units left. That is exactly how many of the Partial Diamond Units we will need.
I still had my piles of each First and Second Point Units, so I would randomly grab one of each unit and this time we are going to put them together with the block print sides together.
Sew the First Point Unit to the Second Point unit on the block print side of the blocks with a 1/4″ seam and iron the seams open.
This will yield 90 blocks.
Assemble the Star Block
For the star block, we will need the 60 background squares we cut in the beginning, 15 of the center block accent squares we cut, and the 60 star unit blocks we made above!d
The arrangement of the blocks is a 9 patch with the 1 of the center block accents in the middle, 4 of the star unit blocks on each side with the background point towards the center block, and then 4 of the corner background blocks.
We will work in rows sewing the pieces together and ironing towards the solid patch in each row. This will give us alternating seams in the rows, so that our rows will nest when we put them together to complete the block.
This will yield 15 star blocks.
Assemble the Diamond Blocks
The diamond blocks will utilize only the partial diamond blocks we made above. At this point, I chose 6 random partial diamond blocks and then put them together to make a diamond shape. Each of the Diamond blocks will have 3 diamonds in it.
Sew two partial diam units together to make a diamond, matching the center seam. Sew at 1/4″ and iron the seam open.
Once you have the 3 diamonds completed, then we will put the diamonds together matching the seams we just made. Sew this at 1/4″ and iron the seam open.
This will yield 15 Diamond Blocks.
Assemble the Quilt Top
We are now ready to assemble the quilt top!
You now have 15 star blocks and 15 Diamond blocks. The rows will be put together vertically with 6 blocks in each row. Three of the rows will have a star at the top and then alternating star and diamond blocks. Two of the rows will have a diamond block at the top and then alternating star and diamond blocks.
If you have a directional fabric in the center of your star like I did, be mindful to make sure that your block is directionally correct when putting your rows together.
I sewed my rows together at this point and ironed all my pieces towards the star blocks.
There will now be 5 rows, 3 with stars at the top and two with diamonds at the top.
Alternate the rows so that the star rows will be on the left and right edge and the middle row, then put the diamond rows in between!
Match all points and seams in your rows when assembling and sew a 1/4″ seam and iron your seams open.
Quilt Top Complete
Congratulations, you have completed the Black Diamonds Quilt with the Half Rectangle Trimmer tool. I would love to see your quilt, so leave a picture on my Facebook page in the comments on the corresponding post, and use the hashtag #blackdiamondsquilt on Instagram!
I also have a video tutorial showing the assembly of this quilt on YouTube. Follow me over there for all kinds of fun and exciting things.
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