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Happy Go Lucky Block Tutorial

Posted on: June 12th, 2013 by Lorna McMahon

This morning, I was visiting my friend Paula’s blog,  The Sassy Quilter.  She had posted about her lovely “Virtual Quilting Bee Block #3”.  This block’s tutorial is found on {the studio blog} by April Roenthal.
It is called the Happy Go Lucky block.  However, my tutorial will show how to make that block without using triangle pieces.  That’s right!  No bias edges!

You will need to double the ingredients shown in the photo below.

Using a 1/4″ seam, with RST (right sides together), sew the small squares to the small rectangles.  You can either press the seams open OR press the seams toward the squares.

With the squares at opposite ends, sew the units together with RST along the long side.  If you are pressing seams open, you do not need to clip the seam allowance.  But if you are pressing to one side, you must clip the seam allowance half-way along the side, as shown.


Draw a line on a 45 degree angle from the corner of the rectangle section, through the point where the seam was sewn on the square, to the other side for both ends of the unit.

If this is not clear enough, here is a virtual sample of the one with the seams pressed open.

Here is a virtual sample of the one with the seams pressed to the sides.

Place your unit squarely onto the 4.5″ x 5.5″ rectangle and sew directly on each line from edge to edge.  Then, using your rotary cutter and ruler, separate the unit between between these lines, as shown with the red line.

 Press toward the large triangle, even if you have pressed all seams open up to this point.
Trim off the little ‘dog ears’ from the seam allowance.  Place the units into their proper order to make the block.  Sew them together… And Voila!

Please note: Although I had to make a second attempt at this block because of poor picture quality, no seam rippers were harmed during the making of this tutorial.

A really cute block… It looked familiar.  Aha!  I just seen it here…

Recent changes at our local library allow for us to now borrow books from additional libraries within the county.  For me, this is very exciting news! The number of quilting books available has zintupled!

Yesterday I picked up “Quilts from the Heart” by Karin Renaud (Martingale & Company, 2009).
In her book you will find instructions for making Mary’s Triangle Block on pages 12 & 13.  Following Karin’s directions will result in two of Mary’s Triangle blocks.  And you will need 4 of Mary’s Triangle blocks to make the Happy Go Lucky block.  Karin credits this method to Sally Schneider’s “Scrapmania – More Quick Pieced Scrap Quilts”(Martingale & Company, 1994).  Karen says, “In the intervening years I have not found any method that works nearly as well.”  And I would like to add that this method does not require the sewing of any triangle pieces.  Oh, ya!

16 Responses

  1. Cari says:

    Thanks for this! It's super clear and I can't wait to try it sometime! Love the combination of photos and diagrams.

  2. Nice! It looks awesome. Very cute!

  3. Unknown says:

    I love this block. I wish I had seen your tutorial earlier, this would've been perfect for the solids bee that I'm in. Oh well, I know I will have to start yet another new project using that pattern. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. that's a really cool method, Lorna! I'll have to try this one out!-Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  5. Thank you, Kelly!

  6. Thank you, Green! Glad you were inspired.

  7. How cool! I have never seen that technique. Definitely gonna write this one down. I hope you will share over at the Flickr group:

  8. Thanks Stephie! Just passing along what I learned from the book!

  9. Thanks sew much for the invite! Heading over there right now….

  10. Glad to know that you enjoyed this tutorial. Thanks for the compliments on it!

  11. Thank you for all your support and kindnesses!

  12. Paco says:

    This is super cool! Thanks! What is the size of the finished block?

  13. I really don't remember what size of block this is. Might I suggest that you grab some scraps and sew one up? What an adventure! What fun!

  14. Paco says:

    I'm going to do just that! Thanks again!

  15. Elaine says:

    Thank you for pattern. I am busy sorting out sewing room. Found some left over blocks and fabric when I made it in 1999. I donated blocks to my friend and now she can make another quilt with your clear instructions.