Traditional Tuesday - Block 62

Gem Block
Block 62 - Gem Block
Again this week, we're deviating from the normal and doing a traditional block that doesn't have a modern component. The Gem Block has always been one of my favorites. It requires more precision piecing than we're used to doing, but the results are worth it. Envision it on point and set in a zigzag setting - it really adds a lot of movement to a quilt top. If each block is done in a different set of three fabrics, the quilt would be even more interesting to look at - but if each block were the same, it would be very elegant. You can't really go wrong with fabric choice!

As I told the modern group yesterday, this is our last traditional block. For the next two blocks I have something special planned to finish up our quilt a long.

You need three fabrics - a background (light), a solid and a print for the center. I couldn't decide on the center print, so I cut 2 and auditioned them before deciding. The darker print would have looked good in place of the solid red, too. I just didn't have enough of it to do that. And a light print would be great for the background instead of the solid cream.
From the background, cut 6 - 2 3/8" squares

From the red solid, cut:
2 - 2 3/8"
2 - 1 1/2" x 2 5/8" rectangles
2 - 1 1/2" x 4 3/4" rectangles

From the red print, cut 1 - 2 5/8" square

Here's the cut fabrics. I decided to go with the lighter print in the center for more contrast. Sometimes you have to audition the fabrics to get the right answer. Sometimes random luck gets you to the right decision.
Make 4 - 2" half-square triangles from 2 of the cream squares and the 2 red solid squares. Cut the remaining cream squares in half on the diagonal. Lay them out like this so you can see where you're going.
Make the 4 corner triangle units. Sew a cream triangle to each side of the half-square triangles. Press to the triangles. Make sure the half-square triangles are turned the right direction. Sew carefully with your 1/4" seam allowance. If not the points will get cut off.

Make the center unit.

Join the 4 corner units to the center unit. Press to the center unit. Your block will be 6 1/2" when done.


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