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.