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.
You can’t help but be grateful when surrounded by abundance. But what about when you’re surrounded by sadness? Or heartache? Or loneliness?
Gratitude, to me, is a living, breathing thing. It can literally bring life to barren places. Fill the holes in our emotional buckets.
Counting blessings in the middle of emotional turmoil might be cliche–but I’ve often suspected that cliches are overused for a reason.
Counting blessings in the middle of happiness and wholeness, makes the moment that much sweeter.
And then of course, the act of sharing gratitude–giving thanks–expressing our appreciation to those, divine or otherwise, who have facilitated, is the capstone of it all.
Thank you. I don’t know what makes people come to my little corner of the internet, and be so kind and encouraging–but thank you. I adore sharing a little part of my world with you.
Cut the following:
(1) 7″ square linen
(2) 2” x 6 1/2” strips (navy)
(4) 2” x 9 1/2” strips (green)
(2) 2” x 12 1/2” strips (navy)
Trace the embroidery pattern on the center of the linen square. Stitch as desired. I used a running stitch for the design, and a backstitch for the word.
Square up to 6 1/2” square, centering the embroidery.
Stitch (1) 2” x 6 1/2” strip to each side of embroidered piece, pressing seams toward strips.
Stitch (1) 2” x 9 1/2” strip to top and bottom of block, pressing toward green strips.
Stitch (1) 2” x 9 1/2” strip to left and right of block, pressing toward green strips.
Stitch (1) 2” x 12 1/2” strip to top and bottom of block, pressing toward navy strips.
Download the embroidery pattern, here.
October. The beginning of the magical holiday season, here in my neck of the woods.
As a child, October 1st signaled this thing, this almost tangible shift in the air of anticipation, and surprises, and things out of the ordinary, sure to delight.
As a mama, that’s how I want my children to feel–and I do my darndest to create that magic in our home, in our lives, in our traditions.
We say farewell to the summer with a bonfire at the equinox, and we begin plotting and planning and decorating for the festivities to come.
We create reasons to spend time together, to make and do together.
In the end, much of the magic is created by Mama (and Daddy too) being a little more in the moment, a little more willing to do those things that are less than convenient.
I believe, after all, that we are all Creators, for sure.
Plus, I like the title. Mom: Creator of Magic.
Make some magic, friends.
The instructions on this block are quick and simple, kids.
Use the paper piecing pattern to make 4 quarter blocks. (I made mine with (not very pretty) Y seams, and thought you’d like this way better. :)
Stitch quarter blocks together to make a full block. Press seams open to reduce bulk where you will appliqué.
Trace appliqué words on to fuse able interfacing, adhere to wrong side of fabric, and cut out.
Iron on letters, then stitch around.
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.