Sunday, October 27, 2013

Trick

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Ever since making this quilt helped me finally start figuring out all those modern patchwork shortcuts that everyone else has known about forever, I feel a whole world of possibilities opening up.  The last time I made a quilt with triangles in it, I did math and figured out hypotenuses and stuff, and drew triangle templates, and cut out all the triangles individually and then pieced them together, and though I loved the results, it was as you can surely imagine, pretty time-consuming.  At the time, I knew there was undoubtedly a better way, but I guess I felt it would just be easier to go with what I knew.  And then I resolved never to work with triangles again.

But I want to make all kinds of quilts, so I got down to brass tacks and figured out a trick.  This came to my on its own, though it’s so easy and obvious that it is most assuredly already out there in print and online resources.  Anyway, here’s what I did:

Cut two squares (mine are 6 1/2”) and pin them together with right sides facing.  Draw a line between two opposing corners.

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Stitch on either side of the drawn line using the edge of your presser foot as a guide, which should yield a seam just shy of 1/4”.  I think you can also get a 1/4” presser foot, made specifically, for patchwork, but anyhoo. 

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Cut on the drawn line. 

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Open and press. 

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When pieced into a quilt using the same seams throughout (which is what I do, I just use the width of my presser foot—I’m lazy) the finished size of the square is roughly 5 1/2”.  As long as I use the same size seam throughout the quilt, the corners will all line up and my grandma would be really proud. Home free!  [edit to add:  Karen knows about the actual math here—scroll down the comments to learn even more]. 

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I love learning new things.  This almost-quilt is already the brightest thing in the room.

24 comments:

  1. This is just glorious Kristen, you are so clever. Beautiful happy colours which are so cheering xox Penny

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  2. It looks wonderful! I really need to learn to use my sewing machine (still in it's box from last Christmas hahaha)

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  3. There are a couple of magic numbers in quilting: for half-square triangles, add 7/8" to what you want your finished size to be; for quarter-square triangles, add 1.25". For your 6.5" squares to become 6" HST units, your seam allowance must be smaller than 1/4". But the beautiful thing about your HST quilt is that as long as you are consistent, you're fine. :) I just knew your fabric pull would look gorgeous!

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    1. Yes, I think you're right--my presser foot is just shy of 1/4". :)

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  4. This is so smart! I'd love to sew up a quilt like this one
    http://ahandfulofhope.blogspot.co.uk/

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  5. Thanks for sharing your clever quilting trick, Kristen. It is is a treat to learn from you :)
    Gracie xx

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  6. You are so clever! So simple when you explain it, and so effective, but unless you know how! I love coming to your blog, it always makes me feel cozy as the name suggests! xx

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  7. I love these. They're so easy. I'm lazy as well, I do my seams 1/4" because that's the width of my presser-foot too.

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  8. So pretty!! I will have to remember your trick for when I eventually get a sewing machine of my own and break into quilts!

    - J

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  9. Just think how smart you are by working it out all on your own and making the connections that allow you to create your own freestyle patterns. This is a skill on its own.

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  10. That is very pretty... Very colorful and happy.

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  11. That makes a lot of sense.
    Love the colours.

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  12. That's awesome! Lovely the colours/patterns :)

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  13. Glorious! Would you just look at all those great fabrics. Great job on the HST's.
    You can always tweak a quilt pattern ( like you do in knitting). It kills me when a pattern says to cut a square at 4 7/8". who wants to squint at all those tiny lines on a ruler? I always round up, cut it at 5" and trim it up later, if I even need to.
    Can't wait to see this baby quilted!

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  14. Looks fabulous! I tend to make quilts with squares 'cause I can do them with my eyes shut (well, almost!) but I'm keen to give your triangles a go!!

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  15. Gorgeous! I love the bright random colours, its going to be a beauty. Don't touches of yellow and red lift things?
    Thanks for sharing the method too Kristen - i tend to just use the methods i know too, which are not usually the quickest, as i don't want to waste time learning something new when i'm on a roll, but this seems a great time saver!
    Gill xx

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  16. So bright and cheerful. That's what I like about quilts. I only wish I could make them. My sister was the quilter, and I am the crocheters. I have several quilts that she made, and I cherish them. Love to watch what you are making, Kristen. xxoo. JO

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  17. Thank you for giving me another project and better yet for offering a simple trick, some times lazy its the best way to go. Like I really need another project, but, I have done a quilt and this really is helping to get me started. I love it...thank you too for being so creative.

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  18. I found you too, and I love this quilt. Might have to pull out the sewing machine again.

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  19. Wow, that is a great trick! I never would have thought of that. I think I'm going to make a quilt! XXXDee

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  20. What a lovely Quilt! Thank you for sharing your trick! Alexa

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