Disappearing Half Square -Where’d it go?

02A few days ago I wrote a blog that explained what a half square triangle was and how to cut lots of them at once.  I have turned this blog into a ‘how to’ article and you can get to it by clicking HERE.

The half square is a very popular mini block because you use it in just about any larger patchwork block you can think of. Some blocks will use 16 or more of these half square triangles in one block,  so when you have a 6 by 5 quilt,  for example,  you will need 30 x 16, urmm, carry three, add the six… well, you will need lots and lots of little triangle Squares. 

Sometimes,  though,  it’s fun to play with the bigger block sizes.  If you make two half square triangles from a layer cake (10 inch square) piece of fabric you will get two 9 1/2 inch blocks.  Sew a few of these together and you will very quickly have the front of your quilt completed.

But what if you want a project that needs a little more effort… Welcome to the world of disappearing blocks!

Have you ever sewn a block, putting it to one side whilst sewing another and then finding the first one gone. Is this a disappearing block? No. More likely that it’s just fell on the floor or we forgot were we put it in the first place.

So, What is a Disappearing Block?


Disappearing Pin-wheel Quilt

A ‘disappearing block’ is quite a common phrase used in patchwork and refers to when you get your carefully sewn block (pinwheel blocks and nine patches are the most commonly used) and then hack it to pieces to sew it together again.

The resulting block sometimes looks like a spiraling shrinking pattern… Think Alice down the rabbit hole – thus disappearing. Or maybe it’s because the pattern of the block that you started with has all but disappeared by the time you have finished with it?

Disappearing Half Square Triangle

This block design and construction follows the same principle as other disappearing blocks, but you start out with a half-square triangle block. The finished quilt looks really complicated but the sew is actually fairly simple.

Here’s a video tutorial about the disappearing half square triangle block and it will clarify everything. CLICK HERE

dis-half-sq-01So if you want to sew something that looks complicated and amazing like the picture, then ‘disappearing’ is very simply the answer. Come to think of it, some-days there are quite a lot of things I’d like to ‘disappear’…

Anyways, I’m now off to find my glasses. I know I put them somewhere. Oh, on my head, who’d have thought it.

Bye for now



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