Monday, July 11, 2011

EASY Hourglass Construction

Here's the way I made the hourglass blocks for my medallion quilt and many other projects. It's easy and makes two identical blocks at a time. The method is described in Leisure Arts Quick Quilts from the Heart by Fons and Porter on p. 111 so if you have the book you can skip the rest and just go make a few!

Cut a square 1.25" larger than your desired finished size of each of the two fabrics you want to use. I wanted  a 6" finished block for my last project so I cut a 7.25" square of each.

On the back of the lightest fabric, draw a diagonal line in both directions from corner to corner.

Position the squares right sides together and stitch a scant 1/4" on EACH side of ONE of the drawn lines.


I set the stitches with a quick press and then cut down the middle on that drawn line.

Press each unit open toward the darker fabric.

On the wrong side of just one of the units, extend the drawn line to the corner.

Now place them right sides together being sure to position fabrics with attention to the contrast.
Once again stitch on EACH side of that drawn line.
Set the stitches and cut down the center of the two stitching lines as before. Now you have TWO identical hourglass blocks.

Press, admire and repeat with another set of fabrics. I square them up to check on accuracy. If you find your finished blocks are a bit too small you could start with a slightly larger square or if sizing isn't crucial just trim them to the same size.

I've made several baby quilts this way


It's much easier to actually DO it than to read the description of HOW to do it. Give it a try.

Next: The Joy of Giving


  1. I love this method--I got it from a different Fons & Porter book a few years ago and it is the one I always use. Good, concise directions!

  2. Thanks for this tutorial!! I get Fons and Porter...but I guess I skipped over that lesson! I was looking at a block last night that needs hourglass blocks...and was wondering if there was a good quick way! Thanks!

    Deb from

  3. What did we ever do before 1/4" press feet? Thanks for the clear instructions! The hourglass is a favorite block and I appreciate a quicker method.


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