When I was given the assignment to sew a queen-sized Tulips Applique quilt I didn't pay much attention to anything but the applique work. I love to do machine applique, and so set to work immediately cutting and sewing all twenty of the tulip blocks. When they were complete I looked closer at the sashing and setting square directions and panicked. How was I ever going to put together thirty Garden Maze setting squares? I would have to cut 120 triangles, not to mention odd sized strips to join them with. As always, I thought, "There must be a better, quicker way!" And I found it. As the old saying goes, "Necessity is the mother of creativity." Well, this mother has learned that creativity is a necessity to retain my sanity. I studied the small 6" block and saw it in a new light. What follows is my quick piecing technique which I hope will keep you from being dazed by the Garden Maze. These instructions are based on a finished block size of 6".
Step 1. I determined that the size of the finished triangle in the block is 4" along the outside edge. I call this the unit size. The formula for cutting 4 equilateral triangles from a square is the unit size + 1-1/4". I cut my square to measure 5-1/4". At this time I cut it only once along one of the diagonals.
Step 2. Finger press half-way marks along the diagonal of the two triangles. This will aid in lining up the triangles with the strip and each other. Join the two triangles together with a long strip of green cut to measure 2" x 9-1/2". Press seams toward the green fabric. Don't trim yet.
Step 3. Now, cut the new unit in half along the other diagonal according to the diagram.
Step 4. Join these two units together in the same manner as in Step 2, using another 2" x 9 1/2" strip of blue. Using a 6 1/2" clear acrylic ruler, carefully trim the edges, taking note of the 45 degree diagonal markings of the ruler. This marking should run along the center of the blue strips to give you an accurate block.
This is a tricky block that really requires making a few practice blocks. Take your time to ensure that your blocks turn out well.
Back to Quilting Lessons Page