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.
Yesterday Amy and I talked about inspiration while recording our podcast, it was so fun! I had to take a minute and think about where I came up with various ideas for patterns, and I thought today that I would show you just a few.
The first thing I mentioned as a place I find inspiration is in small collections of objects.
Case in point? Russian Rubix!
I explain the story behind this pattern in the podcast, go check it out!
Next place to find inspiration? Architecture! For me specifically concrete and steel detailing. You can see here, this concrete screen was my inspiration for Sweetie Pie.
I’ve got about a billion pictures of various architectural details that catch my eye–then, when I have a minute where I need some ideas those pictures help me out a ton.
I also draw inspiration from other crafting avenues. Knitting, crochet, papercrafting, fashion. I don’t have time to keep up on these hobbies on a regular basis, but I keep Pinterest boards and collect images that just conjure up inspiration. The granny squares that are all the rage? Straight out of crochet. Obviously I’m not the only one drawing inspiration from other crafting venues. :)
I mentioned also that I get a lot of inspiration from new color palettes. I subscribe to several blogs that create new color collections from images, and it’s always fun to see new combinations that I wouldn’t have put together, but that are BEAUTIFUL. Even if I don’t love the palette, it helps me to see them and understand what isn’t working about those colors for me. A couple of my favorites? Design Seeds, and Photo Card Boutique.
The last place that I talked about drawing inspiration from was menswear textiles. I have been known to stop men on the street and ask if I can take pictures of their tie, even–that’s me, the crazy tie stalker.
Really, though, some of the most trendy and lasting patterns are inspired by classic menswear. Houndstooth anyone? Herringbone? How about chevron? All came from timeless wovens.
He Zigs, She Zags was inspired by a woven pattern.
So that’s my top 5 inspiration places! What inspires you? Have you had a chance to listen to QuiltCast yet? What do you think? Suggestions? Tell me your top 5!
PS I still remember, New York. Here’s where I was on September 11th, from a post written in 2011.
Hey there chickadees! I’m here participating in the last stop of Amy’s blog tour for her new book, Modern Neutrals. I know, I posted about the book a couple months ago, but I’m going to tell you a little more about it so that you can win one. Sound like a deal? Besides, this book rocks. I promise.
So. Modern Neutrals. It’s a pretty little book. More than that, it’s a book that is full of patterns you can use for everyone. Read: there are no appliquéd flowers or hearts or girly things in here–just crisp, clean lines. You can make something for your son, or husband, or boyfriend, or pool boy, or whatever. They’ll like it. You can also make something for your mom or sister or new baby niece. It’s that darn versatile. I mean really, can you imagine this quilt made in greys and pinks? Why hello gorgeous, tactile, baby quilt!
Amy does a great job with her explanations and diagrams (she’d better, this is her third book!), and gives great tips on how to be successful at piecing the blocks. There’s a project or two that require paper piecing or partial seams but they’re minimal and explained well. You can make these.
If you’d like to win an e-copy of this book for yourself, head on over to Amy’s blog and visit the other stops on the tour. Then, click over to the form and answer the questions, press submit, and you’ll be entered. Amy will draw a winner on Tuesday from everyone who answered the questions correctly. Simple as pie. Then, when you win, you can thank me by making the cover quilt and sending it my way. Oranges, greys, and dusty aquas, please. Because that cover quilt? It’s my favorite.
Hooray for awesome books, and hooray for pretty quilts. Double hooray for awesome, pretty, quilty books.
So. I made a quilt.
A soccer quilt. The perfect kind to put on the grass and enjoy many a kick.
It has scraps from about a million projects, and when I pull it out of the wash and the edges are all frayed? Mmmmmmm.
All I did? Put backing, batting, and background on my longarm, and then placed the scraps where I wanted them, and sewed them right on as I quilted.
Addicting, and awesome.
PS, if you haven’t heard, me and Amy from Amy’s Creative Side started a podcast. Now, you can hear us being quilting geeks once a week. Your life is complete, I’m sure. ;) Head on over to Amy’s blog to hear us chat about our 5 Favorite tools under $25, and to see the links to our 5 favorites. One of these days I’ll figure out how to embed the link here, maybe.