Friday, August 8, 2014

{Tutorial} Tent Quilt Block

Hiya, strangers! It feels so good to be writing an actual blog post - woot! And, I'm super excited that I have a fun and quick tutorial to share with you today. I've always wanted to sew a camping-inspired quilt as I happen to love camping (although our last family experience was not so pleasant).

As it is my month to lead my circle of do.Good Stitches, I thought it a fun opportunity to give this camping idea a whirl. The obvious concept that came to mind was a block that resembled a tent. So, naturally, I Google-d "tent quilt block" and I came across this cool quilt by Andy of A Bright Corner blog.

Andy wrote a great tutorial on how she put together her quilt - do take a look. I don't think that Andy had tents in mind when she sewed her quilt, but many people commented that it looked like a little tent village. I was inspired for sure! However, after reading through Andy's tutorial, I realized I needed to come up with a different way to assemble these blocks as I wanted the tent part (middle strip) of my blocks to be uniformly darker, thereby defining the tent motif. So, that, my friends, is what my tutorial is all about.

This is a super quick, simple, and fun block to sew.  Let's get to it!

For each block, you'll need:
  • one 4.5" square - lighter/low volume for outer
  • one 4.5" square - darker/high volume for tent
  • one 2.5" square - lighter/low volume for inner tent

Next we'll make two half-square triangle (HST) units from the 4.5" squares. Take the two 4.5" squares and place them right sides together. On the wrong side of the fabric, draw a line on the diagonal from corner to corner.

Stitch 1/4" from this line on both sides. 

Then trim on the marked line. Open and press these two HST units as desired. You do not need to trim yet - we'll do that at the end.

Align your ruler and trim a small triangle off the darker side of your HST 1 5/8" from the seam. Repeat for both HSTs.  Psst: if this looks backwards to you, it's because I'm a lefty.

Take the 2.5" block and cut it in half on the diagonal. Take one triangle and sew it to the trimmed block as shown below. Make sure that your triangle is centered on the edge. Repeat with the other side and triangle and press seams as desired.

Now, square up each piece to 4". If you are new to squaring up a HST - make sure to maintain the seam points in the corners. I take my square quilting ruler, shown below and align the diagonal line with my seam. Then I trim the right side and top, turn the block 180 degrees, and trim the other sides.

You should have two 4" squares as shown below.  Place these pieces right sides together, pin to align the seams and sew together. Press seams as desired. Your tent block should measure 4" x 7.5".

And, that's it! Go make a slew of little tents. 

I've asked my Grace Circle ladies to make two blocks with 4 stacked tents each. We're using this very boy-ish color scheme of dark blues, greens, neutrals, and low volume. It might be the most limited color scheme I've ever chosen or used in a quilt - eek! I can't wait to see it come together.
Thanks for stopping by today and hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Happy Camping, errrr...Sewing!