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Scrappy Hourglass Quilt Block Tutorial

Grab your fabric scraps! It’s time for a fun, scrappy quilting project to use your fabric stash! This tutorial will give you instructions for making four no-waste scrappy quarter square triangle quilt blocks from four scrappy squares of fabric. I hope you enjoy this scrappy hourglass quilt block tutorial!

What is an Hourglass Quilt Block?

An Hourglass Quilt Block is a traditional shape in patchwork quilting that is a square composed of four triangle-shaped pieces of fabric. All four triangles meet at a point in the middle of the square, and are sometimes called Quarter Square Triangles. (Because each triangle is one-quarter of the square.)

Ready to Make an Hourglass Quilt Block?

There are a few different methods for making an hourglass quilt block, but this tutorial will show you an easy and simple way to make scrappy hourglass blocks using Quarter Square Triangles.

Supplies needed:

  • Fabric: four squares, all cut to the same size (see size chart below)
  • Quilting Ruler – square is preferred
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Cutting Mat
  • Sewing Machine with 1/4″ foot

If you’re a beginner, I also recommend taking a look at these essential quilting supplies and all my favorite tools.

Hourglass Quilt Block Formula

I want you to be able to make any size Hourglass Quilt Block, so you can follow this neat formula to figure out what size starting squares to use for your desired finished quilt block size:

Desired finished block size + 1.5″ = starting square size

Hourglass Quilt Block Size Chart

Pin this chart to save it for later!

Making an Hourglass Quilt Block with AccuQuilt

Using an AccuQuilt fabric cutting machine makes Hourglass Quilt Blocks super simple! You can make a variety of different sizes of Hourglass blocks using Quarter Square Triangle dies, which are included in every Mix and Match Qube!

One of the many things I love about using my AccuQuilt fabric cutting machine is that, with precise piecing, you don’t have to trim!

Which AccuQuilt dies will work?

The key thing to look for when selecting the right AccuQuilt die to use to make your Hourglass quilt blocks is the term “Quarter Square Triangle”. As discussed above, a quarter square triangle (QST) is a shape where each triangle is one-quarter of a complete square.

I highly recommend using a Mix and Match Qube to make your quilt blocks, because of the fantastic versatility they offer for other quilting projects as well! Here are the finished size Hourglass blocks that each Qube will make:

AccuQuilt Quarter Square Triangles

Alternatively, if you don’t like the option for using a Mix and Match Qube, AccuQuilt also offers specific QST dies that will work perfectly! Take a look at some of these AccuQuilt Dies:

  • 2″ Finished QST Die
  • 3″ Finished QST Die
  • 4″ Finished QST Die
  • 6″ Finished QST Die
  • 8″ Finished QST Die

Use the Quarter Square Triangle dies to cut out your shapes on your AccuQuilt fabric cutting machine.

turn your fabric scraps into quilt blocks with this scrappy quilt block tutorial

Cutting Squares into Quarter Square Triangles (QSTs)

Skip this step if you are using AccuQuilt

The first step to make your hourglass blocks is to cut your starting squares along both diagonals. Cutting across the diagonals will give you 4 Quarter Square Triangles from each starting square.

quarter square triangles make up a scrappy hourglass quilt block in this simple quilt block tutorial

Arranging your Scrappy Hourglass Pieces

Once you’ve cut your squares into Quarter Square Triangles, the next step is to arrange your triangles into a square hourglass shape. Lay out the four triangles so that they come together in one point in the center of a square.

making a quarter square triangle quilt block

Sewing your Scrappy Hourglass Pieces

Begin my sewing two sides of your block together at a time, with right sides together and a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seams open, or nest your seams by pressing towards the side.

Nested Seams

You can easily nest your seams on your Hourglass Quilt Block. The key is to press towards opposite sides. Watch the video tutorial above to see this step in action.

nested seams in patchwork and quilting

Finally, match up the two sides of the scrappy hourglass square, right sides together. Sew your final seam and press open.

trim quilt blocks using a square ruler

Final Step: Trim Into Perfect Squares

Skip this step if you are using AccuQuilt

The last step to making your scrappy hourglass blocks is to trim your squares. I like using a square ruler that has a diagonal line at the 45 degree angle. Line up the line with a diagonal seam, and trim two sides at a time. Rotate the block and re-align before trimming the other two sides.

four hourglass quilt blocks

Now that your Hourglass blocks are made, you can sew them together into a quilt! Check out the Beaming Quilt Pattern for one fun idea. Happy Sewing!

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