green and pink memory quilt block with title.

Memory quilt block

This quilt block is definitely more than the sum of its parts. It looks complex, but when it is broken down, it is just a lot of half-square triangles.

Because there are so many small parts, precision is necessary for the finished block to lay flat. Before you begin assembly, ensure that you have an accurate 1/4″seam allowance and that all your pieces are exact to size. Small variations will be multiplied due to the number of seams.

Fabric requriements

for a 12-1/2″ block

  • one 4-1/2″ square background fabric
  • four 2-1/2″ squares background fabric
  • four 2-1/2″ squares feature fabric
  • twenty-six 2-1/2″ half square triangles* background and feature fabric

*Use your favourite technique to make the half-square triangle units. For this block, I recommend paper piecing. It makes lots of blocks quickly and accurately.

fabric pieces laid out for memory quilt block.

Block assembly

Lay out all the pieces according to the picture. Check all the half-square triangles closely since it is easy to get them switched around.

Begin by joining the pieces in pairs.

Press toward the plain squares in the pairs that have one, regardless of colour. In the pairs that contain two half-square triangles, press in opposite directions to the corresponding pair.

joining pieces in pairs for the memory quilt block.

Join corresponding pairs to make four-patch pieces. Because the seams were pressed in opposite directions, they will nest together as you join them.

memory quilt block with sections assembled.

Now there are only nine pieces – three across and three down. They can be joined like a traditional nine patch.

Join the pieces to make rows. Press the middle row toward the centre square and the outer rows towards the outside piece.

making rows for memory quilt block.

As you are joining the pieces, take the time to lay them out and check the orientation. It is very easy for something to get turned as you are stitching them together.

rows of the memory quilt block.

Once the rows are made, join them together.

final assembly for memory quilt block.

After the final row is added, press it carefully.

green and pink memory quilt block.

You’re done!

Video tutorial

More interesting things

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Elizabeth DeCroos

Elizabeth DeCroos

designer, teacher, speaker

Elizabeth enjoys doing all types of sewing and needlework and teaching others new techniques. For more information or to have her speak to your group click HERE.

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