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QAL - Confetti Blocks

QAL - Confetti Blocks

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I've been having a great time joining in the Spell It With Moda Quilt Along. I would love to tell you what this quilt is going to say but we have been making it hangman style over on my blog and we're still guessing letters. Here's how it looks so far:

Every week three new letters are requested by way of blog comments and the progress is posted. No one has solved the puzzle yet, but it won't be long. There are only thirteen letters remaining to guess and there are a couple of complete words. For today, we're going to talk about the filler blocks that you can see before, after, or between the words. While each block is unique, they are all constructed the same way so it's easy to get lots of variety without learning lots of different techniques.


I call these confetti blocks because I was thinking about sprinklings of confetti all over the quilt. Each block has lots of color and lots of variety. They are made from the ever versatile half square triangle.



Jelly Roll® scraps leftover from letter blocks
background fabric (neutral Jelly Roll® scraps or use background fabric from your quilt)


Making half square triangles from 2 1/2 inch strips is fast and easy.

The leftover strips need a background so cut 2 1/2" strips from the background fabric. Since the filler blocks are using leftovers from the jelly roll strips, I was not sure exactly how many background strips would be needed. I cut a few at a time, used them, then cut a few more. Place a leftover strip on top of a background strip, right sides together. Most of the leftover strips are shorter than the background strips so as one ended, another leftover piece is added to use as much of the background strip as possible.


Stitch a quarter inch seam on both sides of the strip, as shown by the arrows.


This Quilt in a Day square up ruler* is the perfect tool for cutting accurate half square triangles from the stitched strip sets, and it is equally easy to create your own from any square ruler on hand. For our blocks, a 2 1/2" unfinished half square triangle is needed. Putting a piece of painters tape 2 1/2 inches from the corner of a square ruler serves the same purpose as the lines on the Quilt in a Day ruler.

*Note from Oda May: The Quilt in a Day square up rulers come in a variety of sizes but the one used here is called the "Triangle Square Up Ruler 6.5" available from United Notions at your local quilt shop.


To cut each half square triangle, line up the 2 1/2 inch line on the stitching line of your strip set. Cut carefully on each side of the ruler.


Here is the same piece using the ruler with tape. Just make sure the tape line is on the stitching line and not on the edge of the fabric. Continue down the strip set flipping the ruler to cut from each side of the strip.


Here is a strip set with several half square triangles cut. If there is a break where the strip changes, just skip past it and continue cutting. The good thing about this method is that each unit is perfectly cut. No additional squaring up is needed for these blocks. The challenge is that this cutting method  leaves outer edges that are cut on the bias. They will be easier to stretch and misshape than blocks with straight grain edges. As long as you are careful, this should not be a problem. Press each unit open with the seam allowance going away from the background fabric.


These are the units created from one strip set. Trim off the dog ears before stitching them into bigger blocks.


Now, what to do with all of these finished units? Each confetti block is made from sixteen half square triangles stitched together in four rows of four units.


Any combination of color and placement works. I knew I wanted each one to be unique so I relied on Pinterest resources to find layout options. It was fun trying out different layouts and experimenting with mixing up colors or keeping them together. Seven colorful and unique blocks will become part of my Spell It With Moda QAL project.


Once you have determined the design, stitch each row of four blocks together.


Press the seams for each row in one direction. Alternate the pressing direction for each row so that the rows will stitch together easier and the bulk will be reduced where the points meet.


These seven layout options are only the beginning.


Copy one of these or design your own. Enjoy the versatility of the half square triangle in your Spell It With Moda project. Each block measures 8 inches finished. Wouldn't these make a great sampler quilt all on their own?

Happy Birthday Moda Bake Shop! Thank you for encouraging us to Spell It With Moda!


Each block finishes at 8" square.

Debora Exum