Sunday, February 27, 2011

Half Square Triangles..... a tutorial....!

Have you recently popped over to Donna's blog, Chookyblue? She's started to work on her Civil War Chronicle quilt. So, I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to start mine.

Given that this quilt is pretty much a half square triangle quilt, I thought I would share with you a method I like to use for when I need a gazillion HST. I like to use what I call the Strip Method!

Let me begin by saying that I will always extra starch my fabrics when I'm working with a bias.

Whatever starch you like to use is entirely up to you. However, as of late, given that I seem to be going through starch like there's no tomorrow, I find Best Press to be a tad expensive.

Yes, it smells wonderful but it certainly requires a lot of squirts to get my fabric stabilized. Needless to say, I've been using it by the gallon.

Unfortunately, the Linit Starch, which allows me to dilute according to the level of crisp I want, is no longer available at my local grocery store! Sigh!

I will be looking into another starch that is less costly. I may even attempt to make my own as I want to stay away from aerosol sprays.

Let's talk math! ..... Please come back! lol

We all know the general rule for for HST - finished size + 7/8 = square cutting size. However, for the strip method the rule is - finished size + 1/2 = strip cutting size.

If my finished size for my HST is 2 inches, I will cut my strips 2 1/2 inches.

I will place my two fabric strips right side together and sew a quarter (1/4) inch away from the edge.

I sew on both sides of the strips. It creates sort of like a tube.

Press your sewn fabric strips flat.

There are a number of companies that make HST Square up ruler, however this is my favourite. I find it more versatile!

I use the Quilt in a Day - 6 1/2" Triangle Square ruler.

I like this ruler because it allows me to create HST in 1/8 increments as well as 1/16. Most other rulers I have seen only provide 1/4 or 1/2 inch increments.

Now, take your sewn fabric strip and lay it on your cutting board.

Line up the desired ruler marking size on your sewing line. In this case, I want 2 1/2 inches.

Your sewing line becomes the guide for the ruler position.

Take your rotary cutter and cut your HST.

It doesn't matter which side you like to start cutting first. I like to start with the right side and cut the left side last!

When you cut your second HST, you bring your fabric strip to the left and cut. Continue flip flopping your fabric strip until you either have the strip fully cut or the desired number of HST.

If you are accurate in your cutting, you can line up the ruler to the last cutting edge. Myself, I like to re-cut therefore, I leave a bit of fabric and cut both sides fresh.

This method uses the least amount of fabric!


You have a perfect half square triangle.

The strip method makes it so simple for those sawtooth borders! Of course it would not be an ideal method if you only need a couple of HST.

Can you guess where the bias is?

Hum.... provide me with the correct answer and I'll put your name in a draw for a prize! Deadline March 31, 2011.

I don't know about you, but I always need to square my HST. No matter how accurate I try to be, they always seem to come out wonky. The Strip method allows me to cut and square at the same time!

A word about the rule:  As your HST get bigger, you require smaller strips of fabric otherwise you are wasting fabric.  From 3 inch (unfinished) and above check the size you would need.  For instance, a 2.5" strip is sufficient to cut 3" HST.

Thanks for stopping by! Have fun making a gazillion half square triangles!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Civil War stuff......

Have you seen this new book from the author of Prairie Children and their Quilts?

Kathleen Tracy has come out with The civil War Sewing Circle book - Quilts and Sewing Accessories Inspired by the Era and was a gem it is.

It's so inspirational!

There are so many projects I could make out of that book!

As a matter of fact, I have recently completed a small quilt from that book!

Tah dah.....!

This cute little doll quilt is called Scrap Square Doll Quilt!

Except for the sashing, I used all scraps to make it!

It's presently in the Shoppe on a shelf, keeping a doll warm! It is winter! ;o)

I have another project started that I hope to show you as soon as I complete it! Gotta get moving so I can blog about it! lol

Thanks you for stopping by! Keep well!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stintchin' fool..... the stitch goes on.....!

Here in the Northern hemisphere, we are continuing to have snow storms. Was I complaining about the lack of snow? Well ......

We came home from a weekend in Massachusetts only to find our driveway blocked by at least 3 (three) feet of snow. Gotta love plows! There's nothing like having to clear a drive way after a 4 and a half hour drive! lol Oh.... on Superbowl nite too! Oh joy! Well, it was good exercise!

What did I do while in Massachusetts? Visited my favourite quilt shops and had a wonderful luncheon at the Longfellow Wayside Inn - situated in Sudbury. It was my Aunt Marjorie's 80th birthday parrrty -> pronounced the Sponge Bob way!

Happy Birthday Aunt Marge!

We had a great time eating and celebrating! We did have an uninvited but welcomed guest, Jerusha Howe, the lovely Inn Ghost! The Inn is haunted, don't you know?! lol

On the quilting front, I'm continuing to stitch away and recently finished this little project:

The pattern is called Cinnamon and Cocoa by Bunny Hill Designs.

I used the Moda French General line Rouennerie for this little gem.

I do like that line! The reds are so delectable!

Thanks for stopping by! Keep well!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Quilting fun with Kim Dielh ....

Back in November 2010, I had the opportunity to spend a quilting weekend with .......

Kim Diehl!

Yep, you read right! None other than Kim Diehl!

Kim was the guest speaker at my guild, Franklin County Quilter's Guild. Gosh, what fun!

It was wonderful to be able to see her quilts up close. They are all stunning!

She is such a prolific quilter! I don't know how she gets so much done! Of course a publishing deadline may help a tad! lol

Her trunk show consisted of a variety of quilts from each of her publications, including her most recent book.

One of my favourite quilt is not even from any of her books.....

It is called Scrap Basket Blossom!

What a sweet quilt!

It is a pattern that was published in the Australian Quilter's Companion magazine, Volume 36!

I don't recall if it's hand or machine appliquéd, nonetheless, it's beautiful!

Sadly, I do not have the magazine. Stonehouse publications has sold out! Sigh!

Anyway, all of her quilts were stunning! I love her style!

I also had the opportunity to take the two (2) workshops she was offering on Invisible Machine Appliqué.

The first workshop was on her Mocha Star quilt.

This pattern is from her book Simple Comforts 12 Cozy Lap quilts!

Kim will admit that what she's a self taught quilter. Her approach to quilting is simple and down to earth, "a lot of it is common sense!" lol

I'm not sure if I'll complete this project! However, I certainly enjoyed learning her method for doing eight pointed stars!

I may tackle it in the near future! It would make a nice souvenir of the Kim weekend!

The second workshop was on ......

Bittersweet Briar!

This pattern is from her latest book Simple Graces - Charming Quilts and Companion projects.

Both quilt versions are stunning!

I chose to make the dark version. It's presently folded away in a drawer waiting for me to pick it back up again!

I do plan on completing this quilt, I just don't know when! lol

I have all of Kim's books! There are so many projects I could make from each book but ..... for now I just enjoy looking them at them and being inspired!

What a great time it was! I would recommend that you take a class with her. She's an amazing quilter! Oh... and quite entertaining too! I enjoyed hearing the stories that went with her quilts!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed reading about my time in a workshop with Kim Dielh! Cheers!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Quilting and SNOW DAY .........!

Hurray! We have a snow day! Happy dancing in the snow storm!

We have not had a good snow storm this winter at all. Every winter storm has by passed us people way up north, you know, the ones that are suppose to get snow in the winter time. Perhaps the Heat Miser has now relinquished the North back to his brother, Snow Miser! It's high time! lol

Notice the new addition to the backyard?

It's DD's tree house! It was build last summer prior to the renovations!

I've always been under the impression that a tree house was made of left over wood; anything you could scrounge! Not this one, we had to budget for it! lol Stephen's reasoning was, "if I have to look at it, I want it to be nice." Nice it is!

All she needs now is running water and electricity! When that comes in, I'm moving in! lol

On the quilting front, I've been a busy bee! One project that keeps me busy is the Jo's Little Women' Club. I organize this club at the Shoppe and I really enjoy it. Jo Morton has created lots of cute projects for each club.

This little gem is called Autumn Crossing and measures 28 x 31 inches.

It was the first quilt we made from the Club 9 pattern set.

I must admit, I'm turning into a Jo Morton Groupie! lol

I just love her fabrics. Needless to say, we have a nice collection at the Shoppe.

The second quilt I want to show you from Club 9 is this little one.

Would you believe it only measures 13.25 x 17.5 inches?

It's called Bittersweet Stars!

I ended up giving this quilt to DD as a Christmas gift. It's perfect for Kit's doll bed!

I need to come up with a name other than DD. Thimbleanna has such cute names for each of her family members. Must think of something....

Back to Jo, I must admit, making these little quilt projects has taught me a lot about piecing and precision. They've also great for providing me with the opportunity to express myself using exclamations from my not so socially acceptable repertoire of adjectives! lol

Jo Morton has said that her club projects are skill builders and she is right! My piecing has improved tremendously since I started making these small projects. The smaller the pieces, the less room you have to fudge! Precision is key! I love it!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you are enjoying your day where ever you are on this good earth! Piece!
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