Road Trip Quilt Along: Minnesota

Hey Minnesota!  This block was actually familiar to me because I made a Minnesota block with Leila’s Skill Builder Sampler awhile back.  In Leila’s post, she links to the Minnesota paper piecing instructions written by Lee of Freshly Pieced.  So, the link is there, if you’d like to use it.  Lee uses the traditional sew-through-the-paper method of paper piecing, but I will use my preferred fold-the-paper-sew next-to-the-fold method.  There are templates for the paper pieced portions in Lee’s post, if you’d like to print them out.  Just make sure they print to the correct size or your finished block size will be off.  However, I will show you how to draw your own on freezer paper.  It’s super fast and easy.

You will need a template for the diamond parts of the block, both the rectangle diamonds, and the square diamond.

Draw two shaps on freezer paper: (1) a 2-inch square and (2) a 2-inch x 5-inch rectangle.

Find the center points of the sides of your shapes.  Connect the center point of one side to the center point of each adjacent side with a diagonal line.  Add 1/4 inch seam allowances around each shape.  That’s it.  Easy, right?

Cutting directions for Minnesota quilt block

For the quarter square triangle (QST) portions:
(2) 6.25-inch squares [fabric 1]
(2) 6.25-inch squares [fabric 2]

For the paper pieced rectangle diamonds:
(4) 6-inch x 3-inch rectangles [fabric 3]
(8) 4-inch x 2.5-inch rectangles, each cut on the diagonal to make (16) triangles [fabric 4]

For the paper pieced square diamond:
(1) 3 x 3 inch square [fabric 3]
(2) 2 x 2 inch squares, cut on the diagonal to make (4) triangles [fabric 4]

Make the Quarter Square Triangle pieces

We made quarter square triangles for the Maryland block, and I will review here.

Begin as if you were making half square triangles, placing your two fabrics right sides together and drawing a line from one corner to the opposite corner.

Sew a line 1/4 inch to each side of the line you just drew, then cut the squares apart on the drawn line. 

Iron the squares open, then cut them in half again on the diagonal, in the opposite direction of the split between the two fabrics.

Rearrange the halfs so that the two fabrics alternate, and sew the squares back together.  Trim to 5.5 inches.  Make 4 QST pieces.

Make the paper pieced portions

Maryland was also the first block we used paper piecing for this quilt along.

Begin with your template for the rectangle diamond.  Iron the wrong side of one of the rectangles [fabric 3] to the template (right side away from the paper).

Fold the paper back along one of the diagonal lines for the diamond so that the line is just barely to the top side of the fold.  Trim off excess fabric 1/4 inch beyond the fold.

Place the long edge of one of your half-rectangle triangles [fabric 4] so that it is even with the edge you just trimmed.

Sew the two pieces of fabric together as close to the fold line as possible without piercing the paper with your needle.

Open the paper.  Iron the fabric open.  Flip the piece over and repeat the fold-trim-sew-iron open sequence with the remanining 3 sides.

Trim the finished rectangle to 2.5 x 5.5 inches.  Make 3 more diamonds within rectangles.  Complete the same steps using your square template.  Trim the finished square to 2.5 inches.

Arrange the portions of your block as shown below.  Sew the pieces in to rows; sew the rows together.

Trim the finished block to 12.5 inches.  MINNESOTA!!

And hey!  We’re 1/2 way finished with the quilt along.  I have decided that I will have a small fabric giveaway at the end for anyone who has complete any 8 blocks.  So you can win if you’ve completed them all so far, or if you’re just beginning.  I hope to decide on the prize by next week.

Speaking of next week, the block is South Dakota, and it is really giving me a load of trouble with quilt math + how to best construct it.  South Dakota was lovely when we visited: Badlands, Custer State Park, Wind Cave, Mount Rushmore; but the winds in the Badlands also snapped one of our tent poles, so I have mixed feelings about South Dakota.  This quilt block doesn’t help!  You’re up for the challenge, though, aren’t you?