Square-agonals: a new angle on quilts

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Square-agonals: an easy and fun way to set your blocks on the diagonal.

As every quilter knows, we often need to engage both sides of our brains to make successful quilts. The creative right side of the brain asks questions like, “will these fabric scraps make beautiful blocks?” At the same time, the logical left side of the brain is busy calculating things like yardages.

Author Sandi Blackwell’s quilt designs are the epitome of combined logic and intuition. Her designs are fantastically beautiful, featuring diagonal quilt settings that look oh-so-complicated, but they’re not at all difficult, once you understand her simple, easy and fun Square-agonals® method.

The Square-agonals story began the way most do in quiltmaking … Sandi wanted to make a difficult task more manageable. She has a custom quilt business, selling many beautiful on-point quilts. She simply wanted to make the on-point sewing process easier. After she came up with her ingenious method, she later learned that her idea is also a geometric principle called the “dissection of a square.”

A Demonstration of the Square-agonals® Technique

For the demonstration, we are showing diagrams for the Raspberry Swirl Table Runner from Sandi’s first book, Square-agonals®. The basis of the pattern is a classic Bright Hopes block, set diagonally.

  1. Begin by making your blocks and sewing them together in rows, following Sandi’s pattern. Then sew the rows together, adding an extra block to the bottom (you’ll see why soon!) Sandi recommends that you heavily starch the quilt top because you will be cutting your blocks on the bias. Square-agonals Step 1

  2. Draw your cut lines using a ruler and pencil – don’t worry about the marks showing because they’ll end up in the seam allowance. Mark each section with an arrow in the pattern’s indicated direction. Arrow templates are provided in each of Sandi’s books. Square-agonals Step 2 Remember what your shop teacher told you: Check twice, cut once. Double check your arrow directions and cut lines. Then use your rotary cutter to cut your top. (Afraid to cut your quilt top? See below) Handle your top with care because you have exposed bias edges.

  3. Reassemble your quilt top according to the pattern’s directions, sew together, and trim off any extra corners. Square-agonals Step 3
  4. Voila! Your Square-agonals quilt is ready for a border!

Square-agonals Tape

Psalidiphobia: The fear of cutting things

Nervous about cutting your quilt top? Don’t be!

Sandi knows that the step of cutting your pieced quilt top can be a bit stressful. To add to your confidence in this important step, she developed two lines of masking tape. The Cutting Guide Tape gives you a clear visual line for where to cut, and has the added advantage of protecting your bias edge. The Arrow Guide Tape can be used to remind you of how to assemble your cut pieces.

Ready to learn more?

Landauer Publishing has four wonderful books by Sandi Blackwell that fully explain the Square-agonals technique with no math needed and no cutting or setting triangles.


A new angle on quilting

• 80 pages
• 14 beginner-friendly projects
• Complete step-by-step instructions

• List price: $24.95


Square-agonals 12 Easy Pieces Square-agonals 12 Easy Pieces

• 48 pages
• 12 blocks, 2 cuts, 1 beautiful quilt
• Perfect for Block of the Month programs

• List price: $16.95


Simply Sensational Square-agons Quilts Simply Sensational Square-agonals Quilts

• 96 pages
• 12 traditional to contemporary quilts and projects using the Sandi’s unique technique

• List price: $24.95


Simple Blocks, Stunning Quilts Simple Blocks, Stunning Quilts

• 64 pages
• 6 projects with 3 design options to create 18 wonderful quilt possibilities

• List price: $24.95

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