This is another very useful unit which crops up in a number of blocks but can make some interesting designs just on its own. It can also be fun to add this unit into traditional blocks – substitute the HST units for this one, or 4-patch units and see what you end up with. There’s no rule which says you can’t play with traditional blocks in this way. But – how do you make the unit and what sizes should you be cutting the pieces?

The unit can be made by cutting the individual squares and triangles out and then stitching them together to make one unit at a time or it can be quick-pieced using a square and rectangles to make two units at a time.

You can find a free step-by-step photo tutorial to download here which shows both methods.

A table of the different sizes of pieces you need to cut for both methods is available to download here.

Often known as Mary’s Triangles or Jewel Box this unit is found in a number of 9-patch and 5-patch blocks including ones such as Aunt Dinah, Five Spot and Grandmother’s Puzzle (I rather think the puzzle is working out how best to piece it).

You can have a bit of fun with these units by turning them around within the blocks which can make the block look very different.

You can also have a lot of fun with just the units themselves. If we take sixteen units and just put them together it doesn’t look too interesting but then you can start turning the units around to make pinwheels, or squares, or stars . . .

and then multiply those by four and put 64 units together . . .

and as its October I’ve done them all in Autumnal colours but you could try them in different colourways – or even a rainbow of colours. Grab some graph paper and colouring pencils tonight and sit by the fire . . . colouring-in.

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