Thursday, October 30, 2014

Quarter Square Triangle Formula

How large should you cut your squares to make quarter square triangle units of any size?

If you are a very precise cutter and piecer, then cut your squares 1 1/4" larger than the FINISHED size of the quarter square triangle unit you need.

The exact formula is FINISHED size plus 1 1/4". You need to be very accurate when you cut and sew your pieces for this to work. So I cut my squares a little larger and then trim the units down to the correct size.

Lynn's formula is FINISHED size plus 1 1/2". If you are short on fabric, adding just 1 3/8" will be plenty, but I don't like having to fool with eighths if I don't have to.

Example: Suppose you need your quarter square triangle units to finish at 2" square. Then cut two squares (light and dark) at 3 1/2".


Draw a diagonal line on the back of the lighter square. You could also fold one of the squares in half diagonally and press the line instead of drawing.


Put your two squares right sides together with the lighter one on top and sew 1/4" away on both sides of the drawn line.


Cut on the drawn line.


Press the seams to one side or open, which ever you prefer. However, if you press them both to the darker fabric your seams will nest nicely when you sew again. You'll end up with two half square triangle units at this stage. However, we want quarter square triangle units so we need to continue.


Flip one of these over and draw another line on the diagonal that is perpendicular to the sewn line of the half square triangle unit. Another way to think about this is that your drawn diagonal line needs to cross the previous seam you sewed and be half on the light fabric and half on the dark, see photo below.


Again put your two squares right sides together. Line up the pressed seam and make sure that the dark fabric is underneath the light fabric and the light fabric is underneath the dark. I offset the squares slightly in the photo below so you could see how they need to line up.


Notice how the seams go in the opposite direction because I press them both to the darker fabric. 


Sew 1/4" away on either side of the drawn line.


Cut on the drawn line.


Press and now it is time to trim these down to the correct size. Lay one of the quarter square triangle units face up on your cutting mat. You'll need a square ruler that is larger than your unit, mine is a 4" square. Place your ruler on top of your unit so that the 2 1/2" lines are on the square and the diagonal line on the ruler is on the sewn diagonal line of your unit.


In the photo above, notice that the 1 1/4" lines meet right in the center point of my unit. We will be squaring this up to 2 1/2" and 1 1/4" is half of 2 1/2".

Trim off the excess on the right hand side and top side. Then rotate your unit 180 degrees. This time when you put your ruler on top, the 2 1/2" lines should be on the two sides you just cut. Again, make sure the diagonal on the ruler is on the diagonal of your unit and the 1 1/4" lines meet in the center of the unit.


Trim again along the right hand side and top. Repeat with the other quarter square triangle unit. Now you have two 2 1/2" quarter square triangle units. When you piece them into your project they will finish at 2" square.


If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments.


P.S. This is a repost from my LQS blog. Since my LQS is closing, that blog will be disappearing. I was the main contributor of that blog and I wanted to keep the tutorial posts I did for it. So I am reposting them here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Half Square Triangle Formula

Here is a simple formula for how to make half square triangles from squares.

If you are a very precise cutter and piecer, then cut your squares 7/8" larger than the FINISHED size of the half square triangle unit you need.

Exact formula is FINISHED size + 7/8"

Example 1: If you need your half square triangle to finish at 2", then you need to cut your squares at 2 7/8". Draw a line along the diagonal on the back of the lighter piece. Place your two 2 7/8" squares right sides together and sew 1/4" away on both sides of the drawn diagonal line. After sewing, cut along the drawn line, press toward the dark and you will have two half square triangle units that should measure 2 1/2" which means they will finish at 2".

However, if you are like me, it is nice to have some wiggle room in this process. So I don't do the above. I cut my squares 1" larger than the FINISHED size of the half square triangle unit I need.

Lynn's Formula is FINISHED size + 1"

Example 2: Again suppose we need 2" finished size half square triangle units. Then cut two squares (light and dark) at 3" square.


Draw a line along the diagonal on the back of the lighter piece.


Place your two 3" squares right sides together and sew 1/4" away on both sides of the drawn diagonal line.


After sewing, cut along the drawn line, press toward the dark and then you'll need to trim this down a bit.


Using a small square ruler, place the diagonal line on the ruler right along the sewn diagonal line making sure that the 2 1/2" lines of the ruler are on the half square triangle unit. There should be a bit of fabric on ALL sides that you can trim off. We will start by trimming off the excess on the right hand side and the top side, for right handed folks. (Lefties just need to turn the ruler and half square triangle 90 degrees to the left and trim the left side and top side)


Do this, then rotate the half square triangle unit 180 degrees and line up the diagonal line on the ruler right along the sewn diagonal line again. This time the 2 1/2" lines of the ruler should be right along the two edges you just cut off (i.e. squared up). There again should be a bit of fabric on two sides (right and top for righties) that you can trim off.


Now you have a perfect 2 1/2" half square triangle unit that will finish at 2".




P.S. This is a repost from my LQS blog. Since my LQS is closing, that blog will be disappearing. I was the main contributor of that blog and I wanted to keep the tutorial posts I did for it. So I am reposting them here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Show and Tell :: Quilts for Oncology

First, I'll give a brief retreat report. I had a great time. I have nothing to show you because the only thing I worked on was my 2014 Sue Spargo BOM. I made myself a little corner on one of the sofas and stitched and chatted all weekend. It was wonderful!

Now for the show and tell. All three of these quilts were made by my friend Debbie. She is a member of my scrap group and two of these three were scrap group projects.

First is her Scrap Jar Stars.


Second is her Scrappy Trails.


I showed you my Scrappy Trails last week. Click this link to go directly to that post to see my version.

This last quilt is not a scrap group project, but it could be at some point because I love this one.


And check out the back of this one.


It really shows off the beautiful quilting too. All of these quilts were quilted by another friend, Peg. She is a local long arm quilter and she has a nice website. Click here to go to Peg's website.

I photographed Debbie's quilts for oncology last week thinking that it would be nice to start photographing all of the quilts for oncology that I receive to deliver to the hospital. Then I received 10 more quilts for oncology! I would still like to photograph them all before delivering them, but I didn't expect to get so many at one time. It is sunny with no wind this morning. I hope to get at least some of them photographed once the sun gets high enough as long as the wind doesn't pick up. My plan is to sprinkle in posts of photos of quilts for oncology as nice eye candy for you and when I want to post but don't have much of my own work to show you.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Last week I was tagged by Caroll who writes at the Attic Window Quilt Shop blog. So I'm suppose to answer a few questions.

What am I working on?

I'm working on the 2014 Sue Spargo Block of the Month. I'm not allowed to show photos of my work for this BOM online yet. You can go to Sue's website to see a line drawing of the BOM for 2015. This has been a really fun project! I recently was fortunate enough to get to attend a week long class from Sue. It was a wonderful experience! I haven't made much progress on my class project from this week since I got home but I do plan to finish it.



I'm also working to finish a Christmas quilt for some friends. A relative started this quilt when it was a BOM in 1998. She finished four blocks but had the fabric kit and patterns for the rest. I only have three blocks left to do. Here are photos of the last couple I've done.



As you can see from these blocks, they are mostly applique but there is some piecing that is used as a filler between the blocks. If you click on the phrase "christmas quilt" in the category section along the left hand side of my blog you can see all the posts I have done for this project so far.

How does my work differ from others?

I don't know! I just do what interests me at the time. I started out as a fairly traditional quilter. I still enjoy traditional quilts, but I also like modern quilts as well as art quilts. Below are a couple of modern quilts I've done.



Both of these use the Quick Curve Ruler. I had actually forgotten about the first quilt above. It is still in the top stage somewhere in the pile. I have lost count of how many tops I have completed that are waiting to be quilt. A goal for 2015 will be to quilt and finish some of these. I'm hoping to do at least one per month in 2015.

I am a member of a small local art group. We call ourselves the Sew Silly Sisters. There are 6 of us and we meet monthly.


One of my favorite projects we have done recently was completed last summer, shown above. It is a group portrait. If you click on the category "art group" you can see more of the work we have done.

Why do I create?

I create mostly just for the challenge and joy of creating. When people ask me what I do with all the quilts I make I usually respond with something like, "for me the joy is in the creating, not the having." By this I mean that I don't usually think about what I will do with something when it is finished. Often I give them away. In fact, I'm currently heading a guild project to make and donate quilts in bags to the oncology department at our local hospital. This gives me a place to donate locally, which has been nice. I also make Quilts of Valor. Below is a recent Quilt of Valor I donated.


Now is the point in which I am suppose to tag someone. I am tagging Gene Black of Gene Black an Alabama Artist and Quilter. Please visit him next Monday, November 3rd. Gene does all kinds of interesting work. He is a quilter and a weaver, as well as many other things. Gene also has a project that is dear to his heart. He calls it Quilt Angels.  The link will take you directly to that page on his blog so you can read about this worthy cause.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Two Finishes

I finally finished the binding and labels on the two charity quilts I quilted recently. Both of these were shop samples. They hung unquilted at my LQS for months advertising classes or patterns.

The first one was made using the Accuquilt studio cutter sampler dies. This is the starter pack of dies that you can get when you first buy your studio cutter. There are 72 different block patterns you can make with the die set. I just made a small sampler of 12 blocks.


And the back, from stash.


The finished quilt is about 44" by 58".

This next quilt was made for my Happy Scrappers group. It is called Scrappy Trails. The pattern was in the book "Cut the Scraps" by Joan Ford.


The back is also from stash. I bought this before we moved to Alamosa so it is at least 10 years old, probably older.


The finished quilt is 54" by 60".

Both of these quilts will be donated to my local hospital for the oncology department. The bags have already been made.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Retreat Preparation Project

A couple retreats ago I decided that I needed an iron cozy for my iron. Something I could put a warm iron in and not worry about scorching it or setting it on fire. The night before the retreat I whipped together this sad looking item.


It's just a rectangle of pre-quilted ironing board cover I had left over from something. I took a rectangle that was a little wider than the height of the iron when it is sitting on it soleplate and twice as long as it is tall when sitting upright. Then I folded it in half and sewed one long seam and the short seam. I then slapped my iron inside and called it good. I intended to make a nicer version when I got back from the retreat. That didn't happen until this past weekend.


Essentially I just made an outer cover for the cozy I had been using and added some ties. It's not perfect. It would have been much easier to start over from scratch, but I couldn't find any more of the pre-quilted ironing board cover fabric. I'm pretty sure I have more, I just couldn't find it. This will do for now and looks much better than it did.

Previously, I never took my iron cozy out of my bag. I didn't want anyone to see it because it was so ugly - functional, but ugly. Now I can take it out of my bag.


Friday, October 17, 2014

A Quick Project

Yesterday morning I made a few Halloween napkins for some friends.


They are a family of 5 so I found five Halloween fabrics in my stash and made a set of eight napkins for them. The five fabrics I used are shown below.


I did it this way so that each family member could easily identify which napkin is theirs. I only had enough fabric to make one napkin out of the two fabrics on the right in the photo above. I like to make sets of six or eight napkins so I made two from each of the three fabrics on the left.

I plan to make napkins for my family using the fabric on the far left in the photo above. I have them cut out but that is as far as I could get yesterday. I'm still working a lot at my LQS during the closing sale. The end is in sight though. My last day will be next Thursday although the store will remain open for another week, through the end of October.