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The Kansas Troubles quilt block pattern is a classic block that is perfect for beginner quilters who want to create a simple yet stunning design. This pattern consists of a series of half-square triangles that are arranged in a checkerboard pattern. In this tutorial, we will go over the steps you need to follow to create a Kansas Troubles quilt block pattern.
- Fabric (at least two different colors)
- Rotary cutter
- Cutting mat
- Sewing machine
Step 1: Choose your Fabric
To make a Kansas Troubles quilt block pattern, you will need to choose at least two different colors of fabric. You can choose any colors you like, but traditionally, this pattern is made with dark, rich colors. For this tutorial, we will use a dark blue fabric and a cream-colored fabric.
Step 2: Cut Your Fabric
To make a Kansas Troubles quilt block pattern, you will need to cut your fabric into squares. For this tutorial, we will cut 4-inch squares from each fabric. You will need a total of 16 squares (8 from each fabric).
Step 3: Create Half-Square Triangles
To create half-square triangles, you will need to place two squares of fabric right sides together. Use a ruler to draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of one of the squares. Sew a ¼ inch seam on either side of the line. Cut along the line to create two half-square triangles.
Repeat this process with all 16 squares, so you end up with a total of 32 half-square triangles.
Step 4: Press Half-Square Triangles
After creating your half-square triangles, you will need to press them to set the seams. Place the half-square triangle with the seam on top and press to one side. Repeat this with all 32 half-square triangles.
Step 5: Arrange Half-Square Triangles
After pressing your half-square triangles, you can arrange them to create the Kansas Troubles quilt block pattern. Start by placing two half-square triangles right sides together with the dark side facing up and the cream side facing down. Sew the two pieces together to create a square.
Repeat this process with the remaining half-square triangles until you have a total of 16 squares.
Step 6: Sew Squares Together
Once you have 16 squares, you can sew them together to create the Kansas Troubles quilt block pattern. Start by sewing two squares together, placing them right sides together with the cream side facing up and the dark side facing down. Sew the two pieces together using a ¼ inch seam.
Repeat this process with the remaining squares until you have sewn them all together to create the checkerboard pattern.
Step 7: Press Quilt Block
After sewing all the squares together, you will need to press the quilt block to set the seams. Place the block on the ironing board with the seam side up and press to one side.
Step 8: Trim Quilt Block
Finally, trim the edges of your Kansas Troubles quilt block pattern to make it even on all sides. Use a ruler and rotary cutter to trim the edges, making sure to maintain the 4-inch square size.
Congratulations! You have now completed your Kansas Troubles quilt block pattern. Repeat these steps to create as many blocks as you need to make a quilt.
This is a great technique for making half square triangles that eliminates the need to directly manipulate the stretchy bias of the triangle. It utilizes two easy to cut squares producing two half square triangles.
On the back of the lighter fabric, draw a pencil line, diagonally from corner to corner.
Stack a pair of light and dark squares, right sides together. Sew a 1/4 inch seam allowance on each side of the line.
You will end up with something like this.
Now cut along the diagonal line.
Press the seam together to set the seam. Then press towards the darkest fabric.
To trim the block to the exact size line up the diagonal 45°angle with the ruler on your seam.
And then carefully trim your block with a rotary cutter.
How to Resize Quilt Blocks:
The first step in modifying any quilt block is to decide on the size of your finished quilt block. You can come to a decision based on a number of factors: doubling a pattern, cutting your pattern in half, or choosing the size based on your available fabric.
NOTE: When working from a pattern’s cutting instructions, make sure you remove the seam allowance before doubling or tripling the size. For instance, if your pattern calls for 3-1/2″ squares, first you’ll subtract the sum of the seam allowances (1/2″), double the finished block size (from 3″ to 6″), and add the seam allowance back in (1/2″). So, when all is said and done, you will cut a 6-1/2″ piece of fabric.
Resizing Square Blocks:
Square blocks are the easiest to resize. Simply add to your finished block measurement. For example, if you’d like your finished block to be a 4″ square, you’ll need to cut a 4-1/2″ square of fabric.
Resizing Rectangular Blocks:
Similarly to the square, for rectangle blocks, you’ll add to the length and width measurements of your finished block. If you’re doubling block that measures 3″ x 4″ in your quilt, you’ll cut a 6-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ rectangle of fabric.
Resizing Half-Square Triangle Blocks:
When you want to change the size of a Half-Square Triangle block, add 7/8″ to the desired finished block size. To make a 4″ finished block, you’d cut 4-7/8″ squares.
Resizing Quarter Square Triangle:
Since there are two cut lines and two seam lines in a Quarter-Square Triangle block you’ll need to add 1-1/4″ to the desired finished block size. For a finished block that’s 4″, you’d cut your squares 5-1/4″.