Buzzings from a quilter who bumbles her way through life!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Adding a Flange to a Block - tutorial, My Granny Square Quilt

 Call it a Granny Square block or one of it's old fashioned names: Courthouse Steps,
 Grandmother's Pride,
 Beggar Block, 
 Trip Around the World, 
 Basket Weave,
 Five Crosses,
 or Garden Path, but this simple block has been all over the blog world lately. I decided to use up some reproduction Depression era fabric I had to make a few of these blocks. They were just as easy and fun to make as everyone has suggested. I won't "reinvent the wheel" here and tell you how to make one (just Google "Granny Square Block" and you will find many tutorials for it). Mine is not finished, as you can see. I have it layered, but I will start quilting on it today. (I couldn't resist adding a little applique, also a design from the era, in the center of my quilt top.)

 I added a little flange to my block to "set it off". I will show you how to do that, just in case you've never done it. This can be done around an entire quilt border and can often add just a touch of color when you need just a little something!Here you can see it a little better. The flange is like a piping, but without the cording inside. It is easier than an extremely narrow border, but gives the same look.

1. To make a flange, but a strip of your chosen fabric 1" wide (for a 1/4" or narrower flange.) fold it in half lengthwise and press well, using spray starch to give it body. Cut two strips the width of the block and pin, raw edges to raw edges just like a binding, to two opposite sides of the block. Sew on using a 1/4" seam. (One little trick I use is to turn it so that the edge of my 1/4" foot is against the FOLDED side and sew it on. That way, I am sure I am leaving 1/4" to be exposed when I open it.)

 2. Lay your border strip over the flange you've just sewn and sew it down, catching the flange in the seam. (Another trick here is to turn it over so that you can sew on top of the seam you've just sewn. OR sew just to the side of that seam. ) Press so that the flange lays outside the center block. You will be pressing the seams to the inside of the block to do this.
3. For the next two sides, you need to have the flange line up to the previous flanges. First, using your glue stick, turn under a tiny bit so that you do not have a raw edge. 
4. Line up the end of the new flange with the outer edge of the already sewn flange, as shown. (The one you've already sewn extends out a scant 1/4" from the seam and you need to make the new one match where it starts.) Pin in place. When you get to the opposite end, cut it about 1/4" PAST the outer edge of the flange and turn the raw edge under (just like you did the end above - using a glue stick) so that it lines up with the sewn flange. (This all sounds much more difficult than it is. You will understand it when you try it.)
5. Again, you will lay your border strip over the flange and the previous border and sew it as you did above. 

 Here is my quilt top with the blocks all sewn together with sashing. My sashing is a Depression era reproduction print. I'm not sure it was the best choice, but I was going for a subtle, old look. I'm hoping I like it better when it's quilted. This top is 60" square. The white around the edges is the batting. When I finish quilting it, I will show you how it turned out. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that quilting and washing will do miracles! I don't dislike this quilt, but I don't love it yet. I think that if I had used darker fabrics around the outer "ring" of squares, I might have liked it better. 
PS - Take a look at this Granny Square quilt! This is what inspired me to make one. Thank you, Pokey! Pokey Dot Quilting

Until next time.....

post signature 


  1. That is a neat step you added Linda. The flange adds a sweet frame around each pretty block. Your prints really work well in the quilt, and oh, I do love your applique square in the center! What a lovely finish this is ~

  2. Such a sweet quilt! Thanks for showing about the flange. I've done one as a part of a border but not around individual blocks.


  3. such a nice idea. never think of that and really like the idea for my next quilt. I have a big snowman quilt projet in progress and wasn't sure how to fit my embroidery bloc! i'll do now thank's a lot

  4. It's beautiful! I love it so much.

  5. This is really pretty. It has such a vintage look which I love. Thanks for the tutorial. Bernie

  6. Love the flange around each block. Thanks for showing us how to do that!! Your quilt is coming out great. I've been working on one, too, in blue and brown scraps. Thought I'd give a block a try to see what all the hoopla was about and found out it was like eating potato chips!! You can't sew just one. Now, 42 blocks later, I'm adding my sashing.

  7. Your quilt is just lovely Linda. I can't wait to see it quilted.

  8. wow Linda this is stunning,well done.xx

  9. The flange looks like a lot of work...however the result is stunning. It is always the details that make a project special and extra beautiful. Thank you for sharing how you do this. Stitchilicious...

  10. Well Linda if you don't like it, send it here - I think it's brilliant and I LOVE IT!!!! Thanks for the flange tute!

  11. Linda, the flange and border really add a lot to your beautiful granny blocks! What a wonderful idea, thanks for sharing!

  12. It looks just beautiful. Great job.

  13. Your quilt looks fabulous. The flange really highlights the blocks.

  14. Oh I love this quilt!! Maybe you have just worked on it so long you don't like seeing it any more!! Love the flange!!!

  15. OH my goodness! I just love the setting of this quilt.


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