Welcome to Week #6 of the MODA BLOCKHEADS SEW ALONG. This week is brought to you by the lovely Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings. She is the queen of the 4″ blocks for BLOCKHEADS so this block is definitely not for the faint of heart. Put “your big girl panties on” as they say and get started on all of those half square triangles! It is a beauty of a block once you are all done!

Go over to her blog to check out her version and get all of the directions and see how she does ½ square triangles, CLICK HERE .

There are so many different color variations you could do on this block that would create a completely different block. If I get a minute this week, I will color these in a few different ways to show you. Since we are working in all reds, all we needed to do was find at least 2 reds that were different enough in tone from one another, so that they would stand out from one another. So here is our version…

The gingham fabric had just enough white in it, to set it off completely from the stronger red [a print from Scarlet and Sage] so that the pinwheel inside still works even though both fabrics are technically red. We decided to use a soft print on all of the “inside” pieces and stick with basic ivory solid for the outer border of half square triangle squares.

It would also have been very pretty to make all of those half square triangle squares scrappy… using up whatever scraps we have at this point. You might want to try that on your own version!

I won’t lie, this block has a lot of small pieces but if you are methodical, you will be just fine. You most definitely might want to starch. I just do a light starch for mine, not the more intense way of bathing my fabrics in starch… just a spray and a good press usually gets me the results I want. I am not a total perfectionist by any means, but do like my points to match!

We chose to the 8″ block for this time around. Going smaller was going to take us below the 1″ finished size per piece threshold that I prefer not to do unless absolutely necessary. I could have gone larger, but thought this block would be absolutely gorgeous in this in between size.


Cutting Tips/Info:

– – Often times with blocks like these, I like to start with the most tedious part first. So that would most definitely be the half square triangle squares.

– -The only size we are really changing for our cutting method is the B/C pieces. With this method, since we cut larger and trim, basically you need to add 1″ to the finished size of your unit. So that means for our size block, since our B/C triangle squares need to finish at 1″, we are cutting the B/C squares at 2″ instead of what it says in the pattern. Then we cut them in ½ on the diagonal.

If you are making a different size block and want to use this method then here is the info:

4″ finished block: Cut B/C at 1 ½” each. Trim unit to 1″.

6″ finished block: Cut B/C at 1 ¾” each. Trim unit to 1 ¼”.

8″ finished block [that is the one we are doing]: Cut B/C at 2″ each. Trim unit to 1 ½”.

12″ finished block: Cut B/C at 2 ½” each. Trim unit to 2″.

Once you have cut your squares, cut them in ½ on the diagonal, piece the triangle pairs into squares and them trim them up to be exactly the size you need. In our case we trimmed up our triangle squares to 1 ½”. These will all “finish” at 1″ once they are pieced completely into the quilt.

A question that we get a lot:

Why do you use this triangle method and not marking down the middle of the square and then sewing on both sides?

There are 2 reasons for why we choose this way. First, if I am going to trim up my squares anyway, then the method I use is almost irrelevant. Since I am going to take the step of trimming them to the correct size anyway, how I get there is not too much of a concern. So for me, the fastest way to get there is this way. No need to add another step that I won’t really be getting any advantage from. And second, I have not really ever gotten the best accuracy from that method. It might just be me. But it’s just not me personal favorite. So there you go… my reasons for doing it this way.

If you have any questions, ask me in the comments below. Happy sewing friends!

Here is a list of all the designers participating this year in the order that they will post their weekly blocks…

This week: Lisa Bongean –

Last week: Brigitte

Lissa Alexander –
Laurie Simpson –
Vanessa Goertzen –
Stacy Iest Hsu –
Robin Pickens –
Janet Clare –
Jen Kingwell –
And last but not least, me :-)!

And then the line-up begins again

Corey Yoder –

Sherri McConnell –

Betsy Chutchian

Jan Patek –

About The Author


  1. Lorraine | 19th Feb 20

    Thanks for your guidance. I am am thinking of doing another 12 incher because I have the triangle paper I need and also because in the layout I have chosen, the 12 inch blocks are on point, and I think this block will look very cool on point. Thanks so much for your time and efforts. We all appreciate it!

    • | 19th Feb 20

      I think it will look wonderful on point as well. Good luck!

  2. Barbara | 19th Feb 20

    Thank you for all of this amazing information cant wait to try the triangle papers.

  3. Bambi Roberts | 20th Feb 20

    All of your blocks are so cute the gingham and reds. What are you using for the plain white/cream? Thanks for taking the time to to explain so much.

    • | 20th Feb 20

      We are using Bella Ivory Solid for the back of our quilt. We have it in our shop and it is also available in other places on line and in local quilt shops!

  4. Heather Martin | 20th Feb 20

    Hello Joanna-I love your fabric choices for this block. I Fig Tree Fabrics are my favorite😉I made a 12 inch block using the black, coral and green floral print from Farmhouse for the half square triangles and pulled a coral and green print fabrics for the pinwheel. Turned out great. Thanks for your piecing suggestions.

    • | 21st Feb 20

      Sounds so good!!

  5. Ellen | 21st Feb 20

    How do you keep the triangles from stretching on the bias edge? Just the starch? I’ve always had problems doing them this way. No matter how careful, they seem to stretch.

    • | 21st Feb 20

      Since we trim anyway, stretching is really not important. If we weren’t trimming, then we probably wouldn’t do it with this method.

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