February 21, 2011

Piecing Tip - Diamond in a Sqaure

3" finished Diamond in a Square block

In a new occasional series, I'd like to share some things I've learned along the way. Today, I'd like to show you how I do a Diamond in a Square block. I use a neat trick that ensures those points won't get cut off!

This sample is 3" finished. You'll need two fabrics, one for the square (blue) and one for the outer triangles (black). Cut 1 blue square 2 5/8" and cut 2 black squares 2 3/8". Cut each black square in half on the diagonal. (Note: I'm of the "make it big and cut it down" school, so I cut the black 2 1/2" each. I don't have perfect piecing abilities, so I find my points are better if I cut it down to size after I'm done piecing.

The pieces, ready to go. I'm making 4 at a time.

In order to get the corner triangles matched up perfectly,
I finger press the triangles and the squares so they match up in the middle.
Note that I finger press two triangles and two blue squares at a time.
This speeds up the process a bit if you're making more than one block.
Here are what the finger pressed pieces should look like.
The tip of the pen is pointing to the crease in the triangle and
you can see the creases at the top and bottom of the blue square.
Now, you can easily line up the creases so the center of the triangle
and the center of the blue square match perfectly.
I pin two sides at once and chain piece both sides
without cutting the thread in between. You can see I pin twice
on both sides. This may be over-kill. You can experiment
and see how many or few pins you need to use.
After piecing the first two sides, press to the triangles
with an iron. Sew on the remaining two triangles.
Now it's time to square up the block. I like this Easy Square ruler (no affiliation, just like it!) for squaring up. It has a 1/4" dashed line around the perimeter that makes it very easy to see where to line up your block. This ensues the points of the diamond aren't cut off when sewing the blocks together. Trim to 3 1/2". Another comment on "making it big." At this point, if you make the block to size you'd have to trim off the dog ears on the sides anyhow, so for me, this is no more work than making it exact.


  1. Great tutorial on making a square in a square block. This is a technique I use too. Your explanation is clear and precise and your illustrations really make it simple. Great job!

  2. Your tutorial is great. After trial and error I began using this technique a few years ago but with only one pin in the center and of course I remove the pin as I sew towards it.


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