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