I was inspired by this block, by Lissa from the Moda Lissa blog, for my third version of the April BGBOM block. After coloring several options, I knew I wanted a white “star” for the center surrounded by red. I tried red for all the 2 ½” squares but thought it was too much red, so I colored another version gold and loved it.
When I saw that there were 4 red squares, I realized I could make them using the square in a square technique instead of the flying geese. That also allowed me to sew half square triangle squares for the corner blocks.
For the all white square-in-a-square blocks, I could have used a plain 4 ½” square of white, but I liked how my inspiration block used two slightly different blues, so I used a tone on tone white fabric and really liked how it came out. I probably would not have ever put a plain white together with a tone on tone white fabric but after seeing these together, I will definitely try this combo again.
I didn’t have enough of the red fabric with the moose and bear to make all 4 side square-in-a-square blocks the same, so two are the moose/bear and two are the red polka dot. If you are using two different fabrics for your center star and a directional fabric for the center of the square-in-a-square block like I did, you have to be careful to put the second center fabric on the proper corner. This is where a graphed and colored version of the block comes in handy!
There are loads of methods out there for making half square triangle squares but since I needed eight units and all used the same two fabrics, I used the eight-at-a-time method as follows:
1) For 8 2 ½” squares, place two 6” squares right sides together and mark the back of the light fabric with diagonal lines from corner to corner and vertical and horizontal lines through the center like so:
2) Sew a ¼” away on each side of both diagonal lines:
3) Cut apart on the vertical and horizontal lines:
4) Cut apart on the diagonal lines:
If you have a Quilt in a Day Triangle Square Up ruler, you will trim the units to size before pressing them open like so:
1) Line up the 2 ½” line on the seam line and trim off the excess from both sides of the triangle.
2) Rotate the triangle upside down, line up the seam line on the 2 ½” line again and trim off the dog ears.
I pieced the triangle squares with the 2 ½” gold squares into 4-patch units.
If you used two different fabrics for the center star and directional fabrics for the square-in-a-square units, this next part requires careful attention!
Lay out your units in the order you need to sew them so that the directional fabrics are facing the right direction and that second color of the center star is lined up with the proper corner of the center square-in-a-square unit.
Sew into rows.
Sew the rows together. You will be more careful than I was and you will not sew the bottom row on upside down! (See where I took it apart and had to sew it back together?) I didn’t notice until I put it up on the design wall and realized I didn’t have a star in the center. Ooops!
I think I may have been able to piece this third version a little faster than the other two, but then I had to take apart that third row. Oh well!
Here are all three April blocks together. You would never know they were all from the same basic design.