Thursday, July 31, 2014

1 + 1 = 4?

Yes it can.  I'm not talking about common core here, I'm talking about quilt math.  It does work.

One of the hottest quilt designs this year is using half square triangles to create any number of patterns.  HSTs are very simple to create, but the myraid number of methods can be confusing.  My favorite is by Jenny Doan of Missouri Star.

The method is very simple.  Take two squares of matching size, sew a 1/4 inch seam all the way around, and cut an x.  But to give it to you in pictures:
Take two squares of matching size.

Lay them right sides together.  This next part is optional: take a 1/4 inch ruler, and make a mark on each corner, both ways.  

This is what each corner will look like once marked.  This helps you know where to stop sewing.

Start sewing on one side, and go all the way to the mark.  Pivot, and continue sewing, making sure not to go past the mark at each corner.

When you have finished sewing, lay your ruler corner to corner and cut.  Then cut the opposite angle to get an X.

Press open, and be amazed - four perfect 3.125" half square triangles, without cutting an actual triangle.

These are being used in a Frozen inspired quilt, Fractured Snowflakes.  Full tutorial on that quilt to come, but this is the bulk of that tutorial.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tool Tip Tuesday #1

In my attempt to be a better blog for all of you, I have decided to share a new tool or tip every Tuesday.

Today, I have nephew #2 spending a few days of his summer vacation with me, and he has asked for a chevron quilt for his bed.  I gave him colored pencils and a pad of paper, but soon realized his thin lines wouldn't translate to color choices well.  I looked around, and spotted this package of precut Kona hexagons from Robert Kaufman in the classic colorstory.  Perfect!

I gave the stack to my nephew and asked him to pick seven colors:  one background, which is the center below, and six colors.  I explained that the final colors I buy will be similar but may not be exact.  He loved the idea, and we worked together on a final design scheme.

Basically, this is a great tool for previewing color choices without buying yardage that you may not like!  And since its only around $8, its the perfect price too!

Even better, a few weeks ago I picked up a flannel backing with hexagons on it - to me they look like nuts from a workshop.  The shape of these precuts mirrors the flannel print perfectly - so while the colors are all wrong, I am able to put together a schematic of how to piece a new quilt top for a baby boy!  

Robert Kaufman Precut Hexies in the Classic colorstory can be previewed here and purchased via Missouri Star Quilt Company.

What tools have you found that aren't being used for their original purpose?  What's your favorite hack?

(Note:  I do not represent, nor am I compensated by, Robert Kaufman or Missouri Star Quilt Company.  All opinions are my own.  But if anyone from one of those companies is reading this - here I am, arm raised and hand waving "Pick Me"!)