Exploring Quilting Basics

Exploring Quilting Basics: the Peaky And Spike Block

Welcome to our series Exploring Quilting Basics! We left off with a discussion of the half rectangle triangle block. Next time, we’ll be exploring hanging sleeves and half square triangles. For an overview of the series, you can check out all of the posts here

 

For today’s blog post in the Exploring the Basics series, Tammy and I are talking about the Peaky and Spike block unit. 

Exploring Quilting Basics, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs shares how to make the Peaky and Spike quilt block!

 

AKA the V block. Or triangles within squares. Star Points. But I like the name Peaky and Spike!

Peaky and Spike- where did the name come from?

So how did this unit get the name Peaky and Spike? The names for the 2 different triangles in the block were coined by the late Doreen Speckmann. Doreen was a quilt teacher and designed with a fun sense of humor!

I was lucky enough to take a class with Doreen at the Vermont Quilt Festival in 1994! And I still have my signed book from her.

Do you know which shape is Peaky and which is Spike? I bet they aren’t what you think!

This shape is Peaky.

Exploring Quilting Basics, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs shares how to make the Peaky and Spike quilt block!

And this shape is Spike!

Exploring Quilting Basics, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs shares how to make the Peaky and Spike quilt block!

In her book Doreen admits that friends (friends from Denver!) mentioned that Spike really looks more like a mountain peak and that the names should be reversed. But, Doreen realized she named the triangles for how she viewed their personalities, not their shapes! So funny. (If you search online for her shapes, you will see the faces she drew on them!)

Construction of the Unit

While you can cut these shapes using a regular ruler, it works os much better if you use a ruler set such as the Tri-Recs rulers or the Creative Grids Triangle Squared and the Perfect Rectangle.

I have showed these rulers before for the Half Rectangle and for the Diamond Rec units.

Let’s do a quick review on cutting.

Using either of the rulers, cut the strip to size based on your block size. My peaky and spike unit will be unfinished 4 ½” /finished 4″ so I cut my strips at 4 ½”.

Lay the ruler on the strip and cut your spike (or tri) triangles, rotating the ruler to continue cutting across the strip.

Exploring Quilting Basics, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs shares how to make the Peaky and Spike quilt block!

For Peaky (or recs), you will need 2 triangles with opposite angles to sew on either side of Spike.

Exploring Quilting Basics, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs shares how to make the Peaky and Spike quilt block!

If you layer the strips in half, wrong sides together, you will get 2 triangles each time you cut.

Exploring Quilting Basics, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs shares how to make the Peaky and Spike quilt block!

Be sure to cut out the little angled edge on Peaky since that helps to line up the triangles when you go to sew!

Exploring Quilting Basics, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs shares how to make the Peaky and Spike quilt block!

Sewing the Unit

Exploring Quilting Basics, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs shares how to make the Peaky and Spike quilt block!

After you sew the first peaky triangle to spike,I like to press to Peaky even when it is the lighter of the 2 fabrics; it seems to lay flatter for me but some quilters like to press these seams open.

Exploring Quilting Basics, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs shares how to make the Peaky and Spike quilt block!

Then once you add the other peaky triangle, press and then you can trim away those little points in the lower corners.

Exploring Quilting Basics, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs shares how to make the Peaky and Spike quilt block!

Popular blocks using Peaky and Spike

Now that you have your Peaky and Spike block unit, here are a few popular blocks that would use it. How about a simple star?

Exploring Quilting Basics, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs shares how to make the Peaky and Spike quilt block!

 

Here is the 54, 40 or Fight block.

Exploring Quilting Basics, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs shares how to make the Peaky and Spike quilt block!

And here is a quilt called Summer Heat, that I made a while back for Quiltmaker’s Quilts from 100 Blocks magazine based on a variation of that block.

Exploring Quilting Basics, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs shares how to make the Peaky and Spike quilt block!

Wild colors, huh?

Tammy will be showing how to use the Deb Tucker VBlock tool to make the Peaky and Spike unit so click here to check that out!

Exploring Quilting Basics, featured by top US quilting blog and shop Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs shares how to make the Peaky and Spike quilt block!

Next week, in the A Quilter’s Alphabet series, Tammy and I are up to the letter H!

See you then!

Happy Holidays and happy quilting!

Kate

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