Diamond rec block kate colleran designs
Exploring Quilting Basics

Exploring Quilting Basics – The Diamond in a Rectangle Quilt Block

Welcome to our series exploring the basics of quilting! Last time, we discussed the square in a square technique. Next time, we’ll be looking at half rectangle triangle blocks. To see all the posts in this series, click here

 

Hi Friends!

Today in the Exploring the Basics series, Tammy and I are chatting about the diamond rec unit- or a diamond in a rectangle quilt block!

Diamond in a Rectangle Quilt Block

This unit can be a block or a unit in a block. I have seen it used as a border block on a quilt.

Exploring Quilting Basics - The Diamond in a Rectangle Quilt Block by Top US quilting blog and shop, Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs.

Or in the classic Storm at Sea block. In this block, the triangles on each side of the unit are different fabrics.

Exploring Quilting Basics - The Diamond in a Rectangle Quilt Block by Top US quilting blog and shop, Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs.

A quilter might look at this unit and wonder, just how do I piece that? I know I  thought that when I first saw it! Let’s explore a few ways you can piece this block.

Paper Piecing

One way is to paper piece the diamond in a rectangle quilt block.

Exploring Quilting Basics - The Diamond in a Rectangle Quilt Block by Top US quilting blog and shop, Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs.

Easy peasy!

If you need information on paper piecing, click here to go to the post with tips on that technique.

Piecing

You can cut a diamond and 4 triangles and sew them together into the unit. How would you cut them? One way is to use the Triangle Recs rulers, or the Creative Grids Triangle Squares and Perfect Rectangle rulers.

Once you know the size of the block (or unit), cut your strips. Mine will finish at 3″ x 6″ so I am going to cut 6 ½” strips for my diamond and 3 ½” strips for my  triangles.

Cutting the triangles is easy – just line up the toll with your strip and cut.

Exploring Quilting Basics - The Diamond in a Rectangle Quilt Block by Top US quilting blog and shop, Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs.

Rotate the tool to make the next cut.

Exploring Quilting Basics - The Diamond in a Rectangle Quilt Block by Top US quilting blog and shop, Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs.

The diamond is a little trickier since you are cutting it using a triangle ruler!

From the 6½” strip, cut a rectangle 6 ½” x 3 ½”. Mark the center of your piece on both ends. You can make a fold or use a pencil to make a little mark.

Exploring Quilting Basics - The Diamond in a Rectangle Quilt Block by Top US quilting blog and shop, Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs.

Line up the top of the ruler with the top of the fabric, keeping the ruler centered. Make cuts on both sides of the ruler.

Exploring Quilting Basics - The Diamond in a Rectangle Quilt Block by Top US quilting blog and shop, Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs.

Flip the fabric piece around and repeat on the other side. Ta-done! A diamond shape!

Exploring Quilting Basics - The Diamond in a Rectangle Quilt Block by Top US quilting blog and shop, Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs.

Add the triangles to 2 sides, then the other 2 sides and you have your diamond in a rectangle block.

Exploring Quilting Basics - The Diamond in a Rectangle Quilt Block by Top US quilting blog and shop, Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs.

Piecing 2 smaller units

Another way to make the block is to make 2 smaller units. Cut 2 squares instead of the diamond (my squares were 3 ½” x 3 ½”).

Exploring Quilting Basics - The Diamond in a Rectangle Quilt Block by Top US quilting blog and shop, Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs.

Sew 2 of the triangles to the sides of each square and then sew the squares together into the diamond shape.

It’s always good to have options when deciding how to piece a block or unit. One way may work for you and another may work for your friend! For me, I would just go ahead and paper piece it! It took too much time to try to line everything up just right! But that’s me!

Tammy will be using the Studio 180 Diamond Rec tool to show you another way to piece the block. Click here to get the scoop! Then let me know what method you think would work for you. You might even have other methods we can all try out!

In the next Exploring the Basics post, we will work on the Half Rec block!

happy quilting!

Kate

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Exploring Quilting Basics - The Diamond in a Rectangle Quilt Block by Top US quilting blog and shop, Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs.

5 thoughts on “Exploring Quilting Basics – The Diamond in a Rectangle Quilt Block”

  1. Thank you for this! Do you know where I can find a free paper piecing pattern for a 4″x8″ diamond in a rectangle block? 🙂

  2. You should look into trying Studio 180 Design’s tool for making these units, the Diamond Rects. It does a bunch of different sizes, pieced larger and trimmed to size, and only uses one tool (so you don’t have to keep track of different rulers for making a single unit).

    1. Liz,
      Thanks for the suggestion; they do have some great tools. I only have a couple of them but they are great. And I believe Tammy shared that one in her post on Diamond Recs- she loves their tools!

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