Oh and the best part – she is already planning her next quilt! Hoorayy! 🙂
Light and dark gray fabric are American, and they will be a “mainstay” ones, used throughout the project and then all others are my beautiful, “globetrotting” fabrics that so far I didn’t dare touch. I am so excited! On to making the first block, representing Washington DC! The piecing unit in this block is a Half-Square Triangle, good old HST! Here is where a somewhat tutorial part of this post comes in.
We all know how many different ways there are to make these favorite blocks, right? Gazillion! I figured I will show you mine – I love Thangles!! It is a paper product and yes, we also know there are many of those out there too. As I love trying new things, love learning new ways to make things and love exploring ever better ways to teach my students – I try everything. Despite that, Thangles remain my GO-TO way of making HSTs. So before I go into showing you how I do it, here is what I like and don’t like and why I go to these little strips of paper:
Comparing Thangles with regular “lines on the back of fabric” method:
Cutting fabric strips in “common” sizes odd, (dreaded) 7/8″ measuring
(ex. 3 1/2″ strip for 3″ HST)
Drawing lines all done for you! need to draw on the back
Squaring up after no need, they are perfect size! my least favorite step!
Pressing paper is there for stability need to be careful of that bias!
(so you can’t mess up!)
Additional cost YES (but at $5/package of hundreds not in money but yes in my time!
it is SO worth it!)
Oh and let me just say – I am definitely NOT involved with Thangles company or anything like that, not an advertisement, just a tutorial of what I like.
OK, on to what I did here…
1. What was needed for this block are 3″ finished HSTs. So I cut 3 1/2″ strips (across the width of fabric) in needed colors (squares in this photo are to complete the block, not for HSTs)
3. You can see dashed lines and solid lines on the paper – dashed are for stitching, solid for cutting (just like always). Once I am ready to stitch (use a bit shorter stitch length!), I actually chain-piece two or three paper strips – stitch first dashed line of one, then continue on the other…
See what I mean? I like this because after I am done, I can cut my solid lines several at the time, like here:
And pull the paper – this is easiest done by placing your thumb very close to the seam, in the middle, on the shorter side of paper and then quickly pulling the other (larger) part of the paper with your other hand – is just comes off! (that is where using the smaller stitch length on your machine helps A LOT! My regular is 2.5, here I use 1.5)
Now where is the finished block, you may ask?
HA! That is where “catching-up” part comes with a vengeance… I am still to finish this one TONIGHT! Right under the buzzer, right? But that is just my life… 🙂
It is almost all sewn but not pressed, together with another fun thing I am doing every month – Aurifil Block of the Month! It is sort of a mystery – each month one of the Aurifil designers will present a block and tutorial for it. You can make a block but also participate in a fun drawing for a great prize (Aurifil thread, of course!) if you post the picture of your block on their Flickr album. If you pick one fabric of background and several fun prints to go with it – you will have enough blocks for a quilt at the end of the year. Here is what I picked:
I just LOVE these Oval Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics – had them for a while and finally cutting into it!
So stay tuned, pictures of all this coming soon – tomorrow! 🙂
Let me know if you joined any of these and how you like it, what fabric are you playing with and – how about Thangles? Do you use them too? Want to give them a try?
Have a wonderful Friday,
PS – I actually have to apologize for some of the photos here not being very good! Took them with iPad while I worked and…either I am not doing something right or iPad is not really taking pictures good enough for my liking…Will go back to my trusty camera next time!