FREE Quilting Patterns, Tutorials, Magazine

FUN with disappearing quilt blocks!

FUN with disappearing quilt blocks!

by Jean Boyd

Last month in my QUILTsocial posts, I showed how to use the cord guide bobbin cover, decorative stitches and bobbin work on the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 machine to make some quick and easy gift bags.

Gift bag embellished with bobbin work on the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 machine

This week, I’ll be exploring the magic of disappearing block designs. In previous QUILTsocial posts, I showed how to make several projects using a disappearing nine patch technique. I thought since this technique works for nine patch blocks, it can probably be used for other blocks as well, so I decided to experiment.

Here’s the block I started with.

18″ pieced block

And here’s how it looks now!

18″ pieced block after it has been cut in four and the pieces rearranged


3 different fabrics. I used fat quarters, but you can use scrap fabrics from your stash if you like.

cutting instructions

Fabric 1

  • (1) 12″ square

Fabric 2

  • (4) 3½” x 12½” rectangles

Fabric 3

  • (4) 4½” squares

sewing instructions

  • Place a 4½” square on each corner of the 12″ square. This is where the laser light on the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 machine is really useful. Press the laser light button on the screen and the red guide line appears.

Laser light on the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 has been turned on

  • Line up the red laser line so it goes from corner to corner on the 4½” square. Then start stitching, following the red line. Remember to watch the laser line and not the needle while stitching.

When sewing a diagonal line from the edge of the fabric like this, it’s sometimes hard to see exactly where to start stitching. The J foot, that comes with the Brother BQ3050, has clear plastic at the front of the foot and this does help. If you still have difficulty seeing the starting point for stitching, just place a piece of scrap fabric behind the piece you’re sewing and you’ll find it’s much easier to see where to start stitching.

Start sewing from the corner of the 4½” square.

  • Sew across the square again about ½” to the right of the first stitching line.

Stitch ½” away from the first stitching line.

  • Cut between the stitching lines. Now there’s a triangle sewn on each corner of the 12½” square and 4 half square triangles.

Cut between the stitching lines.

  • Press the large triangles away from the center square.
  • Press the half-square triangles.

Press triangles away from the large square. Press half square triangles.

  • Trim the half square triangles so they measure 3½”. My favorite tool for this step is the Bloc-Loc half square triangle ruler. You can also place the 45° line of your ruler on the seam and trim the square.

Trim half square triangles to 3½”.

Half square triangle has been trimmed to 3½”.

Putting it all together

Now is a good time to use the ¼” foot with guide that comes with the Brother BQ3050 machine. A ¼” foot without the guide is also available. You can use either of the ¼” feet for this seam – the one with the guide or the one without the guide.

If I’m not using pins for precise placement, I use the foot with the guide.

If I’m sewing something where I need to sew right up to the pin before removing the pin, I use the foot without the guide.

¼” foot with guide is on the left. ¼” foot without guide is on the right.

  • Sew a 3½” x 12½” strip to 2 opposite sides of the 12½” square with triangle corners.
  • Sew a 3½” half square triangle to each end of the remaining 3½” x 12½” strips.
  • Sew these strips to the other sides of the block.
  • The block should now measure 18½” x 18½”.

Finished block measures 18½”

Now the fun part starts!

  • Cut the block into 4 equal squares.
  • Rearrange the squares to make a new design. There are few different design possibilities, but this is the one I chose.

Cut the block into 4 equal squares and then rearrange the squares to create a new block.

If you make several blocks like this, using different fabrics, or rearranging the fabrics differently within the blocks, you would have endless possibilities of creating an original design from this simple disappearing block.

Be sure to come back tomorrow and I’ll show how to make another disappearing block using the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050.

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: 1 quilt block, 3 disappearing quilt block options!


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.