The Boston Streets Quilt block was first published in 1936 but has a modern, fresh look. I first was drawn to this pattern by the evocative name, the first years I lived in Boston I got turned around countless times! I couldn't find any modern directions for the Boston Streets block that didn't involve chopping all the diamonds into half-square triangles so I decided to write my own.
After careful study, I found the symmetries of the block could be decomposed into several simpler sub-units. This intricate, tessellating design can look intimidating, but these directions will walk you through the construction step by step, with both diagrams and photos, using modern sewing techniques. This pattern walks you though making subunits and assembling them into larger units with detailed words and pictures.
This pattern requires an accurate, consistent scant 1⁄4 inch seam and includes triangles/diamonds with bias edges and subunits with partial seams, so I would recommend it for intermediate quilters. There are no Y‐seams, however. Most diamonds are cut as a single piece, allowing the use of large scale fabrics without distracting seam lines down the middle. When pressed as directed, the seams nestle to aid construction accuracy. Directions are given both for straight piecing and paper piecing, whichever you prefer.
The text directions and yardage requirements are given for blocks that finish at 20” or 40” square. Four blocks of the smaller size would make a wallhanging or baby quilt. Four blocks of the larger size are appropriate for a lap quilt, or with borders, a bed quilt. All images show quilts made with four blocks, with and without borders.