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Economy Blocks: Introduction

Hello! My name is Camille Ainsworth and I'm a member of the Quilting Army. A little bit about me... I've been quilting since I was 19 when I drafted my own paper piecing pattern for an art class. My mom and her friends have been my quilting mentors from the beginning. I quilted off and on in my 20s until my grandmother passed away when I was 28. I took up quilting as a hobby to cope with her death. I had to get over my fear of the rotary cutter to get to the sewing part, which is my favorite part. I love to chain piece because it feels zen and I kind of lose sense of time. I currently blog at Stitchin' the Northwest and am also participating in's 31 Day Blog Challenge.

So, I'm here to talk about economy blocks. I had heard the term before but didn't really know that much about them. So a Google and Pinterest search turned up some information and I found out that economy blocks were also called a square in a square block. Ok, I've heard of that. Pinterest was full of quilts and swaps of fussy cut blocks in the center of the economy block. Is this a trend? I don't know. What do you think? Have you made economy blocks for a whole quilt or a block swap? I feel like I missed something in my quilting education because I haven't made one yet.

Since this block is not new there are existing blog posts, YouTube videos, and tutorials on it. My goal is to present what I've found and try out to see which one works best for me. I will provide links to any blogs I have found helpful in my exploration of this technique.

Let's go over the three techniques I'm going to try in this series:

1. Fussy cutting squares and triangles. This technique requires nothing more than a rotary cutter, ruler, and your sewing machine. To me this seems like the easiest but it can also go awry if you stretch the bias sides of your triangles and don't sew an exact seam. Sewing an exact seam is key so you don't cut off your points. And fussy cutting, how do you do that? Let's look into that as well.

2. Foundation paper piecing. My mother's least favorite words. She hates sewing through paper. This creates exact seams and intersections for almost perfect blocks, but the paper. You have to tear off the paper afterwards and if you're making a lot of blocks, that's a pain.

3. Freezer paper piecing. This is a different paper piecing technique where you use the freezer paper as the "foundation" but don't sew through it. This is the one that intrigues me the most and it's not something I've done before. So, the question is, does the freezer paper really stick and create the exact seams and intersections for your block as foundation paper piecing does?

So this is my plan... one technique a week for the next 3 weeks. And next time I'll have pictures and maybe video!

Happy Quilting!


1 Comment

Sounds like a fun thing to try Camille. Looking forward to seeing your blocks...

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