Disappearing Broken Dishes aka Disappearing Hourglass

This blog contains the information on making the Disappearing Broken Dishes block from 5″ squares. The block will finish 7″ and will not have bias edges!

Disappearing Broken Dishes

I know many refer to this block as the Disappearing Hourglass but I already have several sample disappearing blocks made from what I usually call an Hourglass Block. This is the block that I normally picture when I think of an Hourglass Block .

Hourglass Unit

And below is the block I’m starting with and I normally think of this block as the Broken Dishes block so that’s why I’m calling this the Disappearing Broken Dishes block.

Broken Dishes

All you need to make this block is two 5″ squares of a dark or medium fabric and two 5″ squares of background fabric.  Sew these squares into half-square-triangles and square up to 4 1/2″.  If you need detailed instructions on how to do that you can find that information here on a previous blog post of mine.

four hst units

Sew the four half-square-triangles into the block as show below. This block should measure 8 1/2″ at this point.

Broken Dishes

To make the disappearing block we need to cut this block into three equal sections in both directions.  Now if you happen to have a calculator handy you will see that 8 1/2″ divided by 3 is not a nice easy measurement to work with, it’s 2.83333, what kind of a measurement is that! It’s not 2 7/8″ (2.875) and it’s not  even 2 13/16 (2.8125).  So in my world I say it’s a couple of threads less than 2 7/8″.  Don’t panic yet, the good news is that you only need to measure a piece of paper to that size once and use that as your template.

Ruler with paper template

I have Electric Quilt so I just drew a 7″ finished sized block, divided it into three equal parts and had Electric Quilt print a template.

Cut the block into nine equal pieces.

Block cut into 9 pieces

Arrange the pieces as shown below and sew together.

pieces arranged

Disappearing Broken Dishes



Pat Speth author of:  Nickel Quilts,   More Nickel Quilts,  Amazing Nickel Quilts,  Nickel Quilts & Borders, and The Big Book of Nickel Quilts

This information is copyright protected
© 2015 Pat Speth
All rights reserved.
This pattern/design is for your personal, non-commercial use only.
You are not allowed to mass produce this information.

To schedule a Nickel Quilt lecture or workshop contact Pat at the email below.

Email: pat@patspeth.com

5 thoughts on “Disappearing Broken Dishes aka Disappearing Hourglass

  1. That’s what I call hour glass and broken dishes, too. =) I LOVE this idea – once I figure out the measurement, because I don’t have EQ. I’m an awesome paper folder, though. =) Thank you.

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