Thursday, March 20, 2014

Help a hero heal and learn something new too!

Quilts for Heroes!

A quick and easy way to make a bunch of half square triangles and help a hero heal is what is on deck today.

Two of my friends operate some of the best Quilt Shows in the country - MQX Festivals - and they are hosting a block drive for Quilts of Valor.  Make a block or two or twenty and Mary and Janet-Lee will see that they get made into quilts for our veterans who need to know they are appreciated and loved.

They have all the information posted on their website MQX Festivals QOV Block Drive and since our goal is a ton of blocks I would love the share a quick and easy way to make tons of half square triangles that are used in one of their chosen blocks (and can be used in any block):  




You can see in the picture of my block that you need 8 half square triangles.

Gray:  Cut one 7 3/4" x 7 3/4" square (HST)

Red: Cut one 7 3/4" x 7 3/4" square (HST) Gray: Cut four 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" squares (corners)
Red: Cut one 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" square (center)

 Normally when you make Half Square Triangles (HST) they tell you to cut the square, draw a line down the middle...

Draw on the line, sew 1/4" on either side of the line and then cut on the line.

After sewing and cutting, press to the dark.

But if you have to make a lot of HST there is an easier way!

Since you know the cut size of the beginning square (in this case 3 7/8") all you have to do is double it. This is the same for any quilt block - as long as you know the size of the square you start with you just double it.

For this 12 Anvil block that works out to 6 3/4" x 6 3/4" and you need one of each color fabric you are using. 

Draw two lines diagonally as shown here.

Lay the two squares needed on top of each other with right sides together.
 Because I like accuracy I put one pin across the lines as shown.  I don't want any slipping around just don't sew over them. Sew 1/4's seam on both sides of the lines.

After you sew on either side of the lines it should look like this.

Now you have to make the cuts.  Remember our original size to make TWO HST was 3 7/8" square right?  Lay your ruler across as I have shown and the 3 7/8" line should be on the outer edge (bottom in the pic) and the edge I would use to cut should fall right in the middle when there lines intersect.  Cut. 

Note: Whatever size your "make two at a time" HST blocks start with is the measurement you need to know for this cutting part.

Without moving anything, do the same thing going the other direction.   Don't move any of the parts.

Next go from corner to corner and make another cut. Do this in both directions.

Next up you cut on the DRAWN lines - cut in both directions.
After cutting this is what you will end up with - 8 half square triangles done all at one time.

Press to the dark, trim the ends and bingo you are all done with 8 HST!  

To recap:  All you need to know in order to use this method on any block is the size of the square you start with to make a pair of HST at one time. You don't need to know the finished size of the HST, you don't need to sew them one pair at a time, you just need to know the size of the original square you cut.  Double that size and follow the cutting and sewing as I have outlined here and you are good to go. 

Use the photo of my block as placement and sew together as you normally would any block. 

I made this in spite of the fact that I broke my shoulder 10 days ago and sew if I can do this using mainly my left hand surely you can make a block or two :-)

Address and fabric requirements are shown on this link MQX QOV Block Drive

And just in case you think you might want to make a ton of them you can put them all in one quilt as shown here.  LOL

Sew get your friends together and have a QOV block making party and send our heroes some love!  And in case you are curious, I'll be at MQX Springfield in September and look forward to seeing you there!


Quilty hugs ~  Linda

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Stash Buster BOM Block #16

This installment of the BOM is not technically a block but rather the sashing that goes in between all the blocks.  


There are still blocks/components to come so you won't be able to put the quilt together until after the February posts ☺


Two piece sashing unit - make 48.


Things to consider.  When choosing fabric for this step please consider that it meets up in the intersections with the little 4 patch units you made a few months ago.  Choose your fabric so the combo is pleasing.  Since my blocks all have a solid black background I decided to go with two dark prints that have some contrast due to the scale of the print.  They also pair nicely with my 4 patches.

Super simple construction.

You need to cut 2" strips WOF (width of fabric) from each of your two sashing fabrics.  You need 16 of each.

Take care when cutting so that a vertical line on the ruler stays on the fold of the fabric as you cut.  

Doing this will keep you from cutting a strip that ends up having a V in it.  

Sometimes as you cut multiple strips it is necessary to re-square and cut the bottom edge to make certain the vertical line stays on the fold - this is OK.

See how the line on the ruler is not square to the fold of the fabric?  Even though the edge of the ruler is on the cut edge of the fabric cutting a strip using the cut edge and ignoring the vertical line on the fold would result in a strip having a V in the center of it.

Re-square the bottom edge as necessary and check to make sure the vertical line is on the fold with every cut.

Sew the two strips togetherTake great care when pressing.  It is easy to distort a long skinny strip.  I often finger press first and then ease the iron along the seam. (Note: If you find you are having trouble with this step, just sub cut the strips into the 12.5" lengths after sewing them together and then press them to the dark.)

Once you have the strips sewn just sub cut into 12.5" pieces.  Be sure to keep one line of the ruler you are using along the seam of the strip so they stay nice and straight as you cut.  I use my 12.5" x 12.5" square ruler for this task.
Make 48 sashing units and then relax!  The goal is in sight!!!  ☺

Ta Dah!  Block #16 is done.  


See you next month!   Quilty hugs....Linda T.

Stash Buster BOM ~ Block #15

Corner Triangles!  

Here is another compontent of the Stash Buster BOM ~ and the goal is in sight. 

February will be the last block post and then the fun can begin - putting it all together!  If you have stuck it out to this point I congratulate you!

Let's get started!

You will be making 4 "blocks" and need the following:

4 7/8" x 4 7/8" squares

Cut 6 squares of gold print (background fabric) in my quilt my background fabric is black.

Cut 2 squares of red print (scraps)

Cut all squares once on the diagonal.  You will end up with 12 gold triangles and 4 red triangles.


Pair a red triangle with a black triangle and sew a 1/4" seam.  Press to the dark.

Trim off the pesky ears.

Make 4 of these units.

Sew a black triangle to one side of the HST unit (red side) and press to the dark.  Sew the other black triangle to the opposite side and press to the dark.  This is the back side and you can see how I have pressed it.  Notice those "intersections" which will help keep those points intact when you put the quilt together.   

You need to make 4 and the long side of the triangle should measure 12.5" from point to point.

 TA DAH!!!  Another job well done! 


Quilty hugs....Linda Thielfoldt  ☺