Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Scrap-Happy Saturday Morning

Trimming and Pressing and SortingThe happy little pinwheels quilt has inspired me to pull out my collection of those extras and bonus triangle squares that I have been squirreling away for a while.

This morning, I've been pressing them, squaring them up (in increments of 1/2-inches), trimming them and sorting them by size.  I like using the Quilt-in-a-Day ruler, which conveniently is also marked in 1/2 inch increments.

This is one of those specialty ruler impulse purchases that I have actually used a lot–I definitely got my money's worth on this one.  How many times can we say that? With this tool, you trim the HST units before they are pressed open, which means you're only trimming 2 sides, not four, and the seams end up perfectly in the corners, even if you trim it down a lot.

For my quilt, I'll be using HST units between 1 and 3-inches (finished size).

Progress isn't always pretty, but these Ziploc bags represent progress on a very old idea in this old head ... that may or may not work at all when I actually start sewing these scrappy triangle squares together.  It's just a start, but I can already guess that I will need to make a bunch of the (relatively) large 3-inch HSTs I'll need.

Also related to HSTs and things that aren't pretty, for Julie (and anyone else that's curious), here's a peek at the back of those teeny 1-inch Pinwheel blocks and how I dealt with the seams. 

The back of the teeny pinwheels

For 4-patches and blocks like Pinwheels that are based on a 4-patch, I like to spin the seam allowances in the middle of the block. I didn't know if it would work with these tiny 1/2-inch HSTs, but it did.  I love the little pinwheel you see at the intersection on the wrong side.

As for their mitered corners on the Pinwheel quilt, I used the same technique for mitering the border strips as I described in this Attic Window quilt block pattern, created for a past Block Lotto.  It isn't as precise as other methods–a member of the Quilt Police once stopped me from showing it to another quilter who had asked me to show her at a quilt retreat in Phoenix–but I have personally had success using it ... you'll see lots of mitered corners in my quilts (and in rounds I have added to round robin quilts).  Once you get the hang of it, it's easy and, I think, an elegant way to add borders.


Toni Macomb said...

I too have found that ruler so useful! And like you (and others) I have bought trendy specialty rulers that I've used for one or two quilts and then they just stay in the drawer. Not this one!

joe tulips said...

I've got a 6 1/2 inch ruler I like to use for squaring up HST's. It has a 45 degree line that is perfect for laying on the seam and them trimming.
I have made little stuff, but the bulky stiff little card board feeling block leaves something to be desired. Next time I try a tiny tiny I can do this.

joe tulips said...

I forgot! I had no idea you had a close encounter with the quilt police!

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