The Cups and Saucers quilt block is a quick one to sew and makes a stunning quilt. I've chosen to make a scrappy version but it looks great as a two-color block too.
The block was contributed by Mrs. Edward Hendreds to the Kansas City Star in 1936 and was a "revived" pattern meaning it had been around a long time! A true classic! With only half square triangles, flying geese, and squares, it goes together quickly. Let's get sewing!
Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished Cups and Saucers Quilt Block:
- Light/White: 2 - 5" squares, and 8 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles
- Assorted Prints: 2 - 5" squares, 1 - 4.5" square, and 16 - 2.5" squares
Half Square Triangle Units:
Using a Light/White 5" square and an Assorted Print 5" square, sew together a Half Square Triangle unit.
- Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of one of the Light/White squares and sew 1/4" (or a little less) on each side of the line.
- Cut along the diagonal line. You will have 2 half-square triangle patches.
- Open up the patch and press the seam allowance toward the Assorted Print fabric.
- Trim the unit to 4.5" square.
For a detailed tutorial check out my blog post at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-half-square-triangle-block.
Repeat for a total of four Half Square Triangle units like the ones shown below. If I were making multiple blocks, I would have made more colorings of the these units to get a truly scrappy look.
Flying Geese Units:
Using the Light/White 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles and Assorted Prints 2.5" squares, make a Flying Geese unit. You can find my detailed tutorial using my no-trim method for making perfect Flying Geese at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-flying-geese-block. In the picture below you can see the first four steps.
And here you can see the last four steps.
Repeat Steps 4 and 5 for a total of eight Flying Geese units as shown below.
Sew together two Step 6 Flying Geese units and press the seam allowance as shown in the picture below (away from the point).
Repeat Step 7 for a total of four Middle units as shown below.
Putting It All Together:
Lay out the Half Square Triangle units, the Middle units, and the Assorted Prints 4.5" square as shown below. From here the block goes together like a basic Nine Patch block.
Just sew the units into three rows.
And press the seam allowances away from the Middle units as you can see in the picture below.
All that left is to sew the three rows together and...
Press the seam allowances toward the center of block as shown. That's it!
Here's a typical 4 x 4 layout with the scrappy block:
This is the same layout but using a two-color block.
In this example I've used the two-color block and added in narrow sashing and cornerstones.
In this layout it is on-point and scrappy.
And this one is also on-point but with the light fabric used in the setting triangles.
For this on-point example I added in dark sashings and light cornerstones for a different effect.
Here's what reversing the colors looks like. This block is called Illinois.
And for this one I alternated the Cups and Saucers block with the Illinois block. I really like this layout.
The Cups and Saucers block was fun to play with and went together quickly. I really enjoyed it! It always amazes me all the different designs you can get just using a couple of basic units in a block.
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P.S. For more scrappy quilt blocks, click on this link: https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/40-of-the-best-free-scrappy-quilt-block-tutorials
P.P.S. Need a quilt pattern in a hurry? Check out my easy downloadable PDF patterns at https://fabric406.etsy.com