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Block 6, Shortcuts and Simplified

Block of the Month Sew Along

We have another large block this month in the My Favorite Color is Moda Sew Along. Block 6 is 27" square and may seem overwhelming at first, but it is actually just a single block repeated 16 times. Yes, 16 of the same block. Don't think that you are going to whip out this block this month; it's going to take a little time. But I will show you some time-saving tips. 

Block 6

The first thing to simplify is the cutting and pairing of the fabrics. It is easier to just pick eight fabrics instead of the nine stated in the pattern. From each of the eight, cut two large squares and 10 small squares (read this whole blog before you actually cut the small ones). Pair up two fabrics (one large, 5 small squares of each) as you wish. You will have eight piles. This is much easier and you will still have a nice variety. You will end up with two blocks each of the same fabric combinations.

Next, let's simplify cutting the small squares. There are a total of 80 small squares! Instead of cutting each of these as individual squares, I like to leave them as a rectangle and draw a grid. You only have to pair up one rectangle instead of 5 squares. And it is more continuous sewing instead of a lot of starts and stops.

Rectangle Grid

For this block you will cut the rectangles 3-1/4" x 16-1/4". Draw lines 3-1/4" apart and then draw connecting diagonal lines. (My photo shows three squares but yours will be five squares.) 

Another time saver with this method is you don't even have to cut the rectangles to the same size. You are drawing your cutting lines and squaring up the blocks so it doesn't matter if some are a little big.

Bigger Fabrics

Sew on both sides of the diagonal lines like usual but instead of starts and stops you just pivot and keep sewing along. Then cut on all of the drawn lines. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut for squaring up all of these little guys. Put on some good music and trim away.

Cut on all lines

Do you remember that I said that you can make two smaller quilts instead of the big 81" x 99"? Well, if you think you may be doing the small quilts, half of this 27" block is used in each small quilt (13-1/2" x 27") so don't sew it together completely. I am making one of the small quilts in the retro Back Porch fabric so this is half of the block (rotated a little differently).

Back Porch half of Block 6

Need more simplifying? I had a member comment that she was getting frustrated with all of the Half Square Triangles and was about ready to give up. I told her that we can change up any of the blocks that she doesn't want to do. There is no "Quilt Police" and no one will know that she didn't follow the pattern exactly. I looked at a few of the more complicated blocks and came up with some ideas. Here is how I really simplified Block 6.

I replaced all of the small Half Square Triangles with a 2-3/4" square and two rectangles, 2-3/4" x 5".  This is not only simple but it requires less fabric. You will still need to make the large Half Square Triangles. This is what two matching sections will look like:

 Simplified section of Block 6

When you put the 16 blocks together it is a rather striking block.

 Simplified Block 6

And it also looks great if you are only doing the half blocks for the two smaller quilts. I used the Folktale fabric and rotated the 8 blocks differently. 

 Folk Tale version

I'm torn as to which version is my favorite! I like the look of the original block design but the other is so much faster and easier. Which will you do? Don't forget to share your pictures on Facebook and Instagram and use the tag #MyFavoriteColorIsModa.

Till next month,


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