Like many traditional blocks, the double T or capital T block has many variations, so you might see this same block with a few minor differences elsewhere. This one uses a nine-patch construction, making it quite easy to put together.
The units in this block are all basic quilting elements: squares, half-square triangles and flying geese. While this block may look complex, beginners can easily make this block my breaking it down into easy steps. This block will be 12½” unfinished (12” finished).
How to sew a Capital T quilt block
What you need
- 1 light fat quarter
- 1 dark fat quarter
Design note: This block contains 33 pieces, so a directional fabric would not work well. Also, a clear contrast between light and dark will make the design pop. Notice this block also has a tiny print on the light fabric and a larger scale print on the dark fabric, which creates a bit of interest without being distracting like two large print fabrics might be.
Cutting the squares
From the dark fabric, cut:
- One 4½” square
- Sixteen 2½” squares
From the light fabric, cut:
- Eight 4½” x 2½” rectangles
Cutting the triangles
Next we, need to cut triangles that we’ll sew together to make 4½” square HSTs. You can follow my method below, or use these instructions to follow a different HST construction method.
First, layer the light and dark fabrics right sides together and cut a 4½” strip.
From this strip set, cut 4 triangle sets. Here’s how you can do it with a standard ruler: Line up the 45 degree mark along the bottom edge of the strips (outlined in red). Then, make sure the the top corner of the strip set is exactly aligned with the the ¼” mark (circled in red). Cut along the straight edge.
Rotate the ruler for the next cut. Line up the ruler’s 45-degree mark with the edge that you just cut (noted by the red line). The bottom edge of the strip set should align with the at the ¼” mark (circled in red). Cut along the vertical edge of the ruler.
Repeat these steps to cut a total of 4 triangle sets, which should each be 4½” tall by 4-7/8″ wide.
Tip: Make the job even easier by using a triangle ruler that’s made for cutting 45-degree triangles, like this one.
Sewing the half-square triangles
Sew the triangles along the long side using a ¼” seam allowance.
Press the triangles open with the seam allowances toward the dark fabric. Trim the corner seams of each triangle as show. The triangles should be 4½” square (trim to size if needed).
Sewing the flying geese
Layer a dark 2½” square on one end of the light 4½” x 2½” rectangle. Sew a diagonal line from the inner corner to the outer corner as shown. Trim the corner away, leaving a ¼” seam allowance. Press the unit open with the seam allowance toward the darker fabric.
Tip: Chain piece the squares onto the triangles as shown, sewing all of them in one go, then clip the threads connecting the units.
Once all of the units have been trimmed and pressed, repeat with a second dark square on top of the opposite end of the rectangle. Trim and press in the same manner.
Tip: This step can be chain pieced as well.
Make 8 flying geese; each will be 4½” x 2½”. Trim if needed.
Sew the flying geese into pairs along the long edge, with the points going the same direction. The pair of 2 flying geese should measure 4½” x 4½”. Make 4 of these pairs.
Sewing the block
Arrange the four flying geese units on each side of the center square, with all the points pointing toward the center.
Add the HST units to each corner of the block. The dark fabric of the triangles should be pointing toward the center of the the block.
Sew the units into three rows. Press the seams in the top and bottom rows toward the corner squares; press the seams in the center row toward the center square.
Nest the seams together and sew the rows. Finally, press the final seams away from the center row.