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HST Challenge - Block One - Jack In The Box, a.k.a Colorado

Posted by Liz K. on 2/13/2015
Wahoo! Time to start the HST challenge. I'm so excited that we're doing this! 

Before we get started, a few things:

-Use 1/4" seams and be as consistent as possible about it! This will greatly improve the accuracy of your blocks. Your blocks will end up about 9 3/4".

-For those who've purchased the HST challenge bundle from our store: following exactly what I do each week, you will end up with some extra HSTs after each block, depending on how many you get out of each set of strips. Since most quilting fabrics are 42"-45", you will get 18-20. Since we need 16 for each block, you'll end up with some extras which you can save to incorporate into your backing, or make extra blocks for pillows - whatever you like! 

-Also, efficiently using your white fabric (I'll explain when the time comes!) for the sashing will leave you with a large chunk (16-18 strips) of one of your white/background rolls for your stash. You'll also have 7-8 strips of color. These extra fabrics can be used to enlarge your quilt with extra borders. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it!

-Quilters who haven't purchased our bundle - if you are able to get a full 20 HSTs out of all of your strips, and you're going for a "scrappy" look (i.e., not using the same fabric for the entirety of each block), you may be able to get away with using only 20 each of main and background colors for your blocks - which would mean you may not have to cut into a 3rd white/background roll at all. Leaving almost no room for error, this project could be accomplished using 28-29 main fabric strips, and less than 40 background color strips (depending on width of fabric).

-I'll be using just one main fabric in each of my blocks so as to truly just do one block at a time each week. If you work ahead and make lots of different triangles with different fabrics, you could mix up your fabrics in each block - entirely up to you!

-Please take the time to watch this short Youtube video by Debbie Maddy on the proper way to press your HSTs to avoid warping and stretching! It really makes a difference, and since we're only doing one block a week - we can take the time to do it right! :D


Block One - Jack In The Box

1. First, choose your a set of strips - 1 main, and 1 contrast. I picked the darkest fabric I had because I wanted that center pinwheel to really pop!
Make your first set of triangles using the instructions in the tutorial here. You will get at least 16 and up to 20 depending on the length of your strips.

There is a good chance, especially if you're a beginning quilter, that you're going to have a few triangles that don't come out as nicely as the rest (the first and last triangles, for example). So choose the best 16 to use for your block.

2. Assemble your block! Here's the layout of the 16 triangles in the block:


Looks a bit complicated but is actually quite easy! All 4 quarters of the block are the same, just turned differently. This will be true of all the blocks in the whole quilt!


So you'll make 4 each of the triangle block on the top, and 4 each of the bottom - diagonal going from top left to bottom right. Press your triangle to the right, and your diagonal to the left so they will "nest" when joining.


You'll have a quarter inch seam allowance above the top point of your triangle and your diagonals will have one on either side of the seam.

Then, join them to make 4 blocks that look like a hook! Press your block toward the bottom.


Again, you'll have a 1/4" gap around the points of your triangle, and one on the left side of the bottom of your "hook". 

Now, we do a little turning... top left stays put, top right gets turned once to the right, bottom left gets turned once to the left, and bottom right gets turned upside down.



You should see a pinwheel in the center of your block now! Connect your squares and your block is done!




Couple of notes:

-Again... sewing accurate 1/4" seams is quite important - the better you are at this, the more "perfect" your triangles will turn out! If this is your first time out and your points don't match perfectly - don't sweat it!

-When you are sewing together components of the block where two seams meet - try to make sure those seams meet each other perfectly! Line them up before you start your seam and stay aware of them. Those seams are where your triangle points are coming together!

-When you sew a pinwheel together, you end up with seams that meet up right in the center of the block and create a big lump of fabric. In order to flatten this out, you can clip a couple of the stitches holding the "lump" in place and the seams will flatten open. When you've done this correctly, you'll see a little pinwheel form!

Next week's block also has a pinwheel center so I'll be sure to photograph the stitches to release - in the meantime, if it doesn't seem clear, leave the lump for now. We'll get it next week!


That's it for Week One! If you'd like - photograph your block and email it to me at [email protected] - and I'll add the photos to the end of this post!

Have a great weekend! :D

--

Sue's version! 


Pam's version!


Deb V's version!


Kathy's version!


Annette's version! 


Bonnie's versions!


Teresa's version!


Deb D.'s version!


Linda's version!


Connie's version!


Jeannette's version!


Michele's version!


Roslyn's version!


Barbara's version!


Mary's version!


Katie's version!


Lynn's version!


Joan's version!


Diane's version!


Linda R's version!


Deborah S's version!



Sarah's version!


Glenda's version!


Sue S's version!


Linda M's second version!


Joan P's version!


Douglas's version!


Keep 'em coming - These are all so lovely! Please feel free to send in versions of this block as you get them done no matter how many weeks ahead we get! 

If you want to see more of this block from around the web - and what it looks like as a full quilt with just this block - I created a pinterest board for just this block (which is also known as Colorado). You'll have to be signed up for Pinterest to be able to see all the pins:

Article Comments
Maggie Date 2/14/2015
I love it!!!
Pam Farago Date 2/14/2015
Can't wait to get started!
Kubie Date 2/14/2015
This is going to be a fun quilting adventure. I always like creative ways of using half square triangles... Be blessed.
Karen Beuchert Date 2/14/2015
I think I'm gonna love this!
Patti Date 2/14/2015
I like it a lot. Easy but looks hard. FUN!
Sue Date 2/14/2015
Could you please let me know what size the finished block is suppose to be? I have read and re-read but cannot find it anywhere in the instructions. It is a really pretty block. Thank you.
Donna Date 2/14/2015
Love this block
Liz K. Date 2/14/2015
Sue - you should end up about 9.5" square. LK
Brenda Date 2/14/2015
I've always been afraid of half square triangles but I think this will be a good challenge for me.
Janie H. Date 2/14/2015
Such a great pinwheel block - love it!
Pat Date 2/14/2015
This looks amazing and I think I might make this one. Love it! I also love your ebooks. Thanks a lot.
Carrie Date 2/14/2015
This is soooo great! I am going to start mine this afternoon! Thank you sooo much Liz! :)
Kirstin Donnelly Date 2/14/2015
I love this block! I followed your lead and used my darkest fabric and it turned out super-cute. Not sure I can be patient enough for only one square a week, but I will try;)
Lisa Date 2/14/2015
I'm so sad! I got sidetracked and didn't get my fabric ordered until last Monday and it won't be here until Tuesday. And I'm quilting with a friend all day on Monday and I can't work on it! And I'm so impatient to start! It looks great and easy to do. Thank you!
Kathy Date 2/14/2015
I'm following along with you but using some orphan strips from some Christmas fabrics. Thanks for sharing with us!
Annette Date 2/14/2015
I really like this block & it was fun to do. Can't wait until next Sat. for the next. I'll try to get a pic of mine to send. Thanks Liz
Sylvia S. Date 2/14/2015
I'm very excited to try this! I really appreciate your tutorials and the inspiration books!
Annette Date 2/14/2015
I was just looking at the pics of blocks & it looks like Pam F.'s block is about 16 1/2". I just wondered is she making a bigger quilt? Just took me by surprise so thought I would ask. The pink & white is very pretty.
Liz K. Date 2/15/2015
Thanks for the great feedback everyone! Annette - it looks like Pam is using wider strips or a different triangle technique! LK
Pam Farago Date 2/15/2015
Annette, yes, my block is bigger...I made a mistake when I completed the first block...but I kind of like it!
Shelley Date 2/15/2015
Okay I am going to make one tube and cut the triangles. I am a little confused. do we just do one strip set or do we do all of them?
Liz K. Date 2/15/2015
Shelley - the idea is to just do one block a week so even the busiest of us can get a whole quilt top done - but you are certainly welcome to work ahead and make more triangles in advance while waiting for the block pattern to come out! :) I personally burn out after making 3-4 strip sets in a session - just one/week is a cinch! Liz K.
SHELLEY Date 2/16/2015
Liz, when we cut of the little tab after completing the little squares how big are they? One friend says hers came out 3" square. mine are not that big can't wait for next week
Liz K. Date 2/16/2015
Shelley - about 2 3/4". LK
Charlotte Smith Date 2/17/2015
Please explain the reference to Colorado in this post.
Liz K. Date 2/17/2015
Charlotte - this quilt block is also known as "Colorado" and other variations "Colorado Beauty". LK
Trude Date 2/17/2015
Liz...Thanks so much for all of your work on this project. This is so much fun...and will be just a GREAT quilt!
Sallie Date 2/19/2015
This was so much fun! I love this block. Can't wait to see what the next block will be. Since we have a snow storm coming this weekend, it will be a great time to do some quilting!
Sarah Edwards Date 3/2/2015
How do I send you pictures? I'm not very good at this bit determined to keep going. Love your pics and tutorials.
Liz K Date 3/2/2015
Hi Sarah! You can send them to me at [email protected] I'm sure they're awesome! :D
sherri palfrey Date 3/10/2015
What are the beginning measurements for starting the half square triangles? For cutting then sewing together. .you don't state that anywhere. Is it 2 1/2 x2 1/2?
Liz K. Date 3/10/2015
Sherri, this is a jelly roll strip HST challenge so no squares are involved. The link to the tutorial for making the HST is in Step one above, and is also linked at the top of the page on all the other block posts. Hope that helps! Liz K.
Sheila Clark Date 3/28/2015
Can anyone tell me how many blocks we will end up with and the overall quilt size when we're finished?
randi bedford Date 6/6/2015
I'm at a loss, there is absolutely no mention of measurements and as I'm a fairly new quilter I just can't seem to figure it out...
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Julie Leonard Date 11/8/2017
Hello I have just found your page and love it.. Would like to start the block challenge, but need to find how much material I would need to do the finished quilt? Thank you I look forward to purchasing and sewing these blocks Julie
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HALF SQUARE TRIANGLE CHALLENGE QUILT BLOG!

 2016 HST Challenge Week 25 - Final Instructions!
 2016 HST Challenge Week 24 - Bermuda Triangle!
 2016 HST Challenge Week 23 - Stargazer!
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 2016 HST Challenge Week 21 - Super Spin!
 2016 HST Challenge Week 20 - Hourglass!
 2016 HST Challenge Week 19 - Peony Bud!
 2016 HST Challenge Week 18 - Whirlwind!
 2016 HST Challenge Week 17 - Boxy Star!
 2016 HST Challenge Week 16 - Sweet Sixteen!

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