The other day (or like, two months ago) on QuiltCast, Amy and I were talking about shortcuts and tools we use in our studio. I mentioned blue painter’s tape, and how I use it for making Half Square Triangles (HST) quick and easy. WITHOUT MARKING. Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t mark the back of my half square triangles. I’m a quilting rebel, what can I say. (By the way, have you been listening to QuiltCast? It’s a podcast for quilters that I’m doing with Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side. We’re getting some great feedback on it, and I’d love yours. Head on over and download it and let me know what you think? xoxo)
Anyway, I figured you’d want to see this awesome little hack, because hey, it saves me a ton of time…and who really loves marking the back of HSTs anyway? *crickets*
That’s what I thought.
So get yourself some blue painter’s tape, and let’s do this thing.
Mark one line right down the middle of the tape, and another line 1/4″ away on either side, for a total of 3 lines.
Put the tape on your extension table, lining up the middle line with your needle. Be sure not to place the tape over the feed dogs.
To sew a standard HST, line up the top corner with your needle and place under your presser foot. Align the other corner with the middle line.
keeping the bottom corner on the middle line as you sew.
Sew all the way to the other corner…
set your seam, trim your excess,
press toward the dark, and VOILA!
To make 2 HSTs, simply align your top corner with your 1/4″ seam allowance (I use the edge of my patchwork foot) and the right or left line.
then rotate and repeat…
on the other side of the diagonal.
Cut between the two seams…
Set seams, press toward dark, trim up, and check it out! Two HSTs and NO marking!
Seriously people, it’s like magic. (However, it is not magic taking photos in the basement.)
On my table, the biggest HSTs I can do with this method is 3″ square–but for those of you lucky ducks who have a custom table where your machine is inset, you may be able to go even bigger. Just make sure your tape is straight out from the needle.
What do you think? Will you try my Half Square Triangle Hack? Do you have any fast and easy methods of your own? I’d love to hear them!
Also. YOU GUYS. New Patterns and a Black Friday coupon code coming tomorrow!! I’m crossing my fingers you love these new ones as much as I do.
Hello sweet friends!
Here’s my fun June block for the Twelve Words Block of the Month.
I kinda love it.
It turned out to be a delightful surprise, as I had a different block planned and finished for June, but when I put it alongside the previous 5 blocks, it just didn’t jive, you know what I mean?
Turns out that block will work out better later in the year, and this block works perfectly now.
Sometimes, the most delightful surprises aren’t the ones you planned. They aren’t things you control or expect.
As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.
I think I’m going to plaster that on my wall somewhere. For the less-than-delightful surprises.
PS Let’s make this block, shall we? Miss the previous blocks? Here you go: January, February, March, April, and May.
(12-15) fabric strips in widths between 3/4″ and 2½” wide.
(1) 3½” x 18″ linen fabric strip (for middle strip)
(1) 10″ x 4″ dark colored rectangle
(1) 12½” x 12½” piece of lightweight paper (I used newsprint.)
Use a glue stick to temporarily adhere your linen strip across the paper square, on a diagonal, making sure it is evenly centered.
Place next strip right sides together and sew to the right edge of the linen strip.
Press away from the linen.
Continue placing, sewing, and pressing strips to cover the newsprint out to the corner.
Repeat on the left side.
Gently tear away newsprint paper.
Applique word using your favorite method. (Tutorial for machine applique using fuseable web, here.)
Trim the block to 12½” square, being sure to center the linen strip on the diagonal.
Download the template for the word here.
Post pictures in the flickr group. :)
I wanted to do something this month that would stretch me, help me learn. I’ve always wanted to try needle turn appliqué, and I thought, hey, why not on May’s wreath block? Well, I will tell you why not. It takes forever, that’s why not. Despite that, it was fun to learn and practice something new. I now have something to practice, a lot. :)
We need a place in which we may flourish and be ourselves.
By way of explanation, I used three different kinds of appliqué on this block, but you don’t have to. I used needle turn on the leaves and stem, machine appliqué on the blossoms, and raw edge appliqué on the centers. I think it adds some fun and variety to the block, but if you are loving one kind of appliqué over another, by all means, use that method.
My friend Kathy swears that she won’t be making this block, which is sad, because it’s super cute. But I know, I know, some of you are still scared of applique. Don’t be! And if you really still are, check out the tutorial I did a while back, it will help. You can learn something new, I promise.
Many a genius has been slow of growth. Oaks that flourish for a thousand years do not spring up into beauty like a reed.
George Henry Lewes
Flourish, my friends.
(1) 14″ background square
(1) 12″ square for the wreath circle
(32) 2½” squares for leaves
(7) 2½” squares for blossoms
(7) 1½” squares for flower centers
Making the block:
Using a water soluble marking pen, mark a line 2¼” in from each side of the background square. Be sure to keep all pieces inside this line.
Cut out all pieces using the templates provided. The pieces DO NOT include seam allowance, so if you are using needle turn applique, you will need to remember to cut seam allowance.
Place your wreath circle in the center of your background block and applique. Next, place your leaves around the wreath. Applique in place.
Place blossoms around the wreath, applique. Finally, stitch the centers of the blossoms down.
Using a light table or bright window, trace the word pattern onto the center of the block.
Embroider the letters and blossom using a backstitch.
Press your block from the back. Square up to 12½”.
Download the pieces here.
Last week, I finished this pretty little quilt for Kortney, my super awesome sister-in-law. She’s a big fan of purple, in case you couldn’t tell.
When I saw “Good Fortune” by the one and only Kate Spain, well, obviously I had to use it for Kortney’s quilt.
I mean, her wedding colors were purple and yellow, for pete’s sake.
Also obviously, I’m loving that there’s some orange in there too.
I backed it with Moda Bella Solid in aqua. The binding is some old purple Kona I had in my stash. No idea what color.
I let Kort choose how she wanted it quilted, and she was loving on the bubbles, so that’s what I did–along with a few wishbones, just for fun. Bubbles and Wishbones. Sounds like a band name.
This is a remake of a quilt I did last year for Nyah, remember? Only a little bigger and without borders.
Just a single layer cake, 1/4 yardish of white solid, some backing, binding, and batting, and BAM.
It has a little bit of machine applique on it, which I know you are all experts at now.
If you happen to only be only super-proficient at machine applique and want to become expert, of course go to my machine applique tutorial.
What did you work on last week? Or if you didn’t get a chance last week, what are you up to this week? I’ve got a bunch of longarming to do–ruler work and such. It’s going to be FUN!
PS Thanks, little brother (little? hah!) for being my quilt holder. You rock. Also, nice shoes.