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Easy 3D quilt blocks with the SEW EASY Half Diamond Ruler

by Paul Leger

Hi and welcome back to QUILTsocial for another fun and easy quilt idea.

Yesterday I showed you how easy it is to use the OMNIGRID Ruler – 12½” x 12½” to create a big, beautiful quilt block with triangles cut from strip sets.

Today I’ll show you how to use the SEW EASY Half Diamond Ruler – 4½” x 14¼” to make a 3D block which can be incorporated into a tumbling block quilt top.

The SEW EASY Half Diamond Ruler - 4½" x 14¼" is the best ruler for making 3D tumbling block quilts.

SEW EASY Half Diamond Ruler – 4½” x 14¼”

For my cube blocks, I selected three complementary fabrics in three different values. Together, these fabrics will create the shadings needing to get the 3D effect.

Three blue fabrics with different values will be used to make the 3D blocks with the SEW EASY Half Diamond Ruler.

Blue fabrics with three different values

To begin, I cut two 8½” strips of each fabric, then folded each strip in half lengthwise and pressed lightly.

When looking at the SEW EASY Half Diamond ruler, you will notice that there are lines going across it at ¼” intervals. These lines help to cut out diamond shapes in different sizes so that you can make any size to suit your needs.

For this demonstration I’m using the line at the 4″ mark, lining it up with the lengthwise fold line of the fabric.

Once the ruler is in place, you use a rotary cutter to cut through the fabric on both sides of the ruler.

The 4" mark of the SEW EASY Half Diamond Ruler is aligned with the fold of the fabric.

The 4″ mark aligned with the fold of the fabric

Once the two sides are cut, unfold the fabric and you will have one diamond shape!

From each fabric strip cut three diamond shapes. When you’re finished cutting, open all of the shapes and press flat. Be sure to press carefully as the diamonds are cut on the bias of the fabric and will be prone to stretching.

Prior to sewing, I suggest that you find and mark your ¼” on all four corners of each diamond shape as shown below.

The ¼" is marked on each corner of all of the diamonds cut with the SEW EASY half diamond ruler.

¼” marked on the corners

Once you’ve marked the corners of every diamond shape take two that are different colors and place them right sides together. Start sewing at one of the marked corners and stop when you reach the other marked corner.

When I do cube blocks I always backstitch at the end of each seam. This comes in handy when you add the third diamond shape as there is lots of manipulation where the seams intersect and you don’t want your cube to start un-sewing itself while you’re working on it!

A seam is sewn between the two ¼" marks with back stitching on either end.

Sew between the ¼” marks and back stitch at each end.

Once the first seam is sewn, it’s time to add the third side to the cube. Don’t worry – it’s easy to do. The first step is to match the ¼” mark on the inside corner of the third piece of the cube to the end of the sewn seam and pin right at the mark. Sew the seam from the pin to the ¼” on one of the other corners.

The ¼" marks on the corners of the diamonds cut with the SEW EASY half diamond ruler are matched prior to sewing to ensure nice flat corners.

Perfectly matching the corners will ensure a nice flat corner.

Once you’ve finished sewing the second seam, the final seam is easy. Simply line up the two remaining un-sewn sides, pin them right sides together and sew from the middle mark out to the outside ¼” mark. The finished block should be 13¼” wide x 15″ tall.

The 3D cube block was made with the help of the SEW EASY Half Diamond Ruler.

The completed 3D cube

If you stop at one block you can finish it as a table centerpiece or a placemat for your patio table. If you keep sewing cube blocks you can make them into a larger project!

Four 3D blocks made with the SEW EASY half diamond ruler make a nice arrangement

Four 3D blocks together make a nice arrangement

As I look at the four blocks I’ve just put together, I’m inspired to make more! To sew the blocks together, follow the same procedure of matching the marks and sewing along the sides from one mark to the next.

I don’t know how many of you noticed, but when constructing this block you sewed ‘Y’ seams – which many quilters avoid. But as you’ve seen in this tutorial, ‘Y’ seams aren’t that difficult to do. By marking the ¼” at the corners, blocks with ‘Y’ seams become much easier to assemble.

If you want more tips, see Elaine’s post on how to sew ‘Y’ seams.

I hope you’ve enjoyed working with the SEW EASY Half Diamond Ruler. Be sure to come back tomorrow when I’ll show you two different must-have seam rippers!

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Using a 12½” square ruler to create the perfect string pieced triangle

Go to part 5: Do you rip or slice your seam apart? See the benefits of these 2 seam rippers


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