Scrappy Depression Economy Block Made Easy

Scrappy  Depression Economy Block Made Easy

Hello Dear Friends and Readers,

I just had to share this little beauty with you all today.  As I was putting it together, I pondered calling it the “Recession Block” rather than Depression Block to somewhat reflect todays current economic status.

The closest thing I have found to this block is called Block Number 264, Economy, published by the Ladies Art Company  in 1922.  Thank you to Q is for Quilter.  This information was on her Pinterest Board.  In actual fact it predates the Great Depression, which began in October 1929 ironically, exactly 90 years ago.

Another block which begins in the same way but has more rows, is listed In Barbara Brackman’s book Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns 1993.  She attributes this to Nancy Page with no date, which is called Depression / Minnesota Block.  It follows the square in a square type of design and I have constructed it in that way.


With this in mind I have to say I think this is the year of the triangles for me and I am enjoying the journey!

I know I have discussed with you before my negative sentiment about cutting odd sizes and the benifits of pairing a bias seam with a grain line seam and how useful this becomes when sewing triangles.

You can read more of that here.

Susie’s NEW Flying Geese Quilt Blocks Scrappy Style

I believe this block would probably have been hand pieced and each triangle was individually cut with scissors.    (Of course you could hand piece if you prefer and use it as a portable project).  Today we can cut the pieces in no time and  machine piece for a quick result.  Isn’t that fun!  And you will be pleased to know that the outside edge of the block will not be on the bias,  so the block will be nice and stable.
Scrappy Depression Economy Block Made Easy

And of course, I am making it scrappy.  I am sure you will see the potential of colour placement and use of light and dark to change the look of the block, or ability to unify the design using a constant, for example the same fabric for the centre square, or for half of the triangles or both.

This is how I did it.

All fabrics have been prewashed.  All seams based on 1/4”.

Block measures approximately 8” x 8”.

Requirements and cutting for a Scrappy Depression Economy Block Made Easy

1 of 4” x 4” square for the centre.  
Assorted 5” x 5” squares of scrap fabric or charm squares (they need to be exact)
Cut each of the 5” x 5” squares once on each diagional to reveal 4 triangles.  Cut as many as you like to make your block as scrappy as you would like.  
12 triangles are required.

Constructing the Scrappy Depression Economy Block Made Easy

Centre the long side (hypotenuse) of one triangle onto one side of the 4” x 4” centre square, right sides together.  Pin to stabilize.  Sew 1/4” seam.  Repeat for the opposite side of the square.  Finger press.

Repeat for the other two sides of the square.

Take the remainder 8 triangles and sew them into pairs, using two short sides of the triangles, to create four larger double triangles.
Scrappy Depression Economy Block Made Easy Tutorial

Sew these double triangles to two opposite sides of the block, in the same way as previously described.  Make sure that you carefully centre each double triangle so that the centre seam lines up with the corner of the centre square.  Hey Lyn, check out my pin!

Repeat with the other two double triangles for the remaining two sides.
Scrappy Depression Economy Block Made Easy!

Trim off the doggy ears only after finishing the block.  Press and sliver trim if necessary.
Scrappy Depression economy Block Made Easy!

And there you have it!

I hope you enjoy making some of these with your scraps or leftovers.
Scrappy Depression Economy Block Made Easy!

If you enjoyed this post, maybe you will also enjoy these little beauties.

Little Beauty Scrappy Baskets in a Nine Patch

or this related post,

Antique Four Patch Economy Block Tutorial

And I do think it is nice to make things easier, so you may like this post too.

Ohio Star Blocks and Tutorial

Happy stitching,

All the best,


One thought on “Scrappy Depression Economy Block Made Easy”

  1. Good Morning from Kentucky,
    You always have the prettiest colors in your quilts and this one is no exception. Thank you for another block that looks difficult and really is so simple!

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