Quick Attic Windows

by Debby Kratovil

Have you been avoiding the Attic Window block because of the set-in diagonal seam? Well, there's a quick way to piece this block that makes it a breeze. The following directions can be applied to any size window. Adjust the measurements according to my easy formula.

Instead of a set in seam on the diagonal, this quick, easy method employs the use of half-square triangles. Our Attic Window at the top of the screen is composed of 5 units: the center square or window pane, the side sashing, the bottom sashing and two half-square triangles which when composed of the same fabrics as the side and bottom sashings make up a square.

Let's suppose that my Attic Window block finishes to 8". I would like the finished size of my window pane to be 6". The finished size of each of my sashings (side and bottom) will be 2" x 6". The finished size of the half-square triangle unit will be 2".

For the central window pane cut a square 6 1/2" (this includes the 1/4" seam allowance along all sides). For the side sashing, from Fabric A, cut a 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle. For the bottom sashing, from Fabric B, cut a 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle.

Our half-square triangle unit is composed of one triangle from Fabric A and one triangle from Fabric B. In order to finish to 2" we need to cut a 2 7/8" square from Fabric A and a 2 7/8" square from Fabric B. Slice each of these squares once along the diagonal to yield 2 triangles of each color. We need one triangle of each color for this Attic Window unit. Sew these two triangles together along the longest side. The half-square triangle unit now measures 2 1/2". Sew this unit to the side sashing, being careful to line up your colors to correspond to the sashing colors. Sew the bottom sashing to the 6 1/2" square/window pane. Now join the units together.

Now, wasn't that easy? This pattern is adjustable to any size. The width of the sashings is arbitrary. But the finished width of the sashings determines the finished size of the half-square triangle unit. If the sashing finishes to 3", then the half-square triangle unit finishes to 3". The length of the sashings is dependent on the size of the window pane. If the window pane is cut 5 1/2" then the length of the sashing is cut 5 1/2".

The formula for a half-square triangle unit is: finished size + 7/8" = size of square to cut out of each of the two fabrics. Slice each of the two fabrics along the diagonal to yield your triangles.

Try your hand at this fun block. I have made many of these, capturing specific scenes in the "windows". Go dig through your fabric stash and pull out those novelty prints or beautiful floral prints. But watch out, these blocks can be addictive!

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