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Diagonal Setting Quilt Layouts

the churn dash quilt block in a diagonal setting

Diagonal set quilt blocks are set on point.  This means that they are turned so that the points of the squares face up,  down, and sideways.

Diagonal settings are harder to do than regular quilt blocks placed in rows.  After you complete the diagonal rows, you must cut triangles for the edges and corners.  The triangles on the edges are quarter square triangles and the corners are half square triangles. This is done so that the bias of the fabric will not be on the outer edge.

the layout of the rows in the quilting diagonal setNotice in the picture on the left how the blocks are stitched into rows.  The green lines separate the rows.

The triangles are added to each end of the row.  Then the rows are stitched together.

Each triangle must be attached to the end of the row with the bias edge against the quilt block, and not on the side of the quilt.  Below you will find instructions on how to cut these setting triangles.

Side Setting Triangles

There is an easy way to calculate the size of your setting triangles.  Let's start with the sides.  First you measure the size of the finished block.  Multiply that number by 1.414 and than add 1 1/4 inches.  Since you are going to be trimming the edge, you can round the number up to make cutting easier.  Cut a square the length and width of your number.  Then cut the square in half diagonally, twice.  That will give you 4 side setting triangles.

Cut as many squares as necessary to get the number of triangles you need for the sides of your rows.

Corner Triangles

As far as the corners, you only need to cut two square in half on the diagonal.  Again, using the finished size of the block, take that number and divide it by 1 414.  Add 7/8 of an inch to that number, and that is the size of the block that you cut once diagonally.

Trimming the Edges

When you sew your rows together, the edge will need careful trimming.  Be sure and leave the 1/4 inch seam allowance all around the outside. 

Trimming such a large amount of fabric can be tricky.  You may want to starch the edge before you begin so that the fabric will lay still and you can get a very accurate cut.

Diagonal settings give movement to a quilt, and in my opinion, make quilt blocks look even nicer.  Start small if you have never done it before, but be sure and add this technique to your quilting skills.

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