Sunday, October 27, 2013



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.


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. 


Cut on the drawn line. 


Open and press. 


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]. 


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


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

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

  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!

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

  4. This is so smart! I'd love to sew up a quilt like this one

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

  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

  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.

  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

  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.

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

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

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

  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!

  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!!

  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

  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

  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.

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

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

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