HST’s

Just Call Me “Chef”

MBS-featured-button-2014I’ve been cooking up a couple of patterns using Moda fabric Layer Cakes® recently. The first pattern, pictured above,  is called “Big Sky”, and it is available now at the Moda Bake Shop blog.

The quilt uses a simple block, made of sixteen half-square-triangles (HSTs). When I learned that the block is called “Anna’s Choice”, I had to add it to my repertoire.

The blocks in the “Big Sky” quilt are 16″ square. Just for kicks, I decided to play around with it a bit, using 2.5″ HSTs made from 6.5″ squares.

img_1629-e1502076732376.jpgInstead of using just two colors in the block, as I did in “Big Sky”, I used one dark square, one medium square, and two light squares. I won’t go through the process of making the HSTs here, since I’ve done that in a previous post.

Pairing the dark and medium squares with the light squares gave me eight 2.5″ light/medium HSTS and eight 2.5″ light/dark HSTs.

Ready to play? Here are a dozen possible combinations of these squares. Each block would be 8″ x 8″ finished:

So there are at least twelve possible variations for the parts and pieces of the “Anna’s Choice” block. Now, the choice is yours. Enjoy!

 

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Categories: 8" TQ Blocks, HST's, Moda Bake Shop, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Starflowers for the 4th of July

I spent part of my holiday weekend designing and making these 12″ blocks that I’m calling “Starflowers”.

Here is the recipe:

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Pieces for 1 Starflower block

For each block you will need:

  • Two 4.5″ brown squares
  • Four 3.5″ x 6.5″ brown rectangles
  • Two 4.5″ green squares
  • Four 3.5″ gray squares
  • Four 3.5″ x 6.5″ blue rectangles
  • Four 2.5″ yellow squares

Note – The “blue” rectangles are for the flower petals, so they can be any color you’d like. I used brown for my background color because the quilt i”m planning for these blocks will be a flower bed. You can use white or another color for your background. Likewise, I chose gray for the corners, to make stepping stones in my flower bed. Feel free to use another color here, too.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Step 1

Step 1 – Cut the brown and green squares in half diagonally and sew into four half-square triangles (HSTs). Trim them to 3.5″.  (If needed, you can read how to do this HERE.) Then draw a diagonal line on the back of each HST from the brown corner to the green corner.

Step 2a                                                Step 2b

Step 2 – Align a HST to the left end of a 3.5″ x 6.5″ blue rectangle (Photo 2a). Notice that the green is to the upper right and the brown is to the lower left. Repeat with the other HSTs and blue rectangles.

Sew on the drawn line (Photo 2b). If you start in the center of the rectangle, you won’t have an issue with your machine trying to “eat” that brown corner.

Step 3                                                    Option

Step 3 – Trim 1/4″ outside the seam and press open.

Option – If you don’t want to discard those cutaway triangles, go ahead and draw a second seam line 1/2″ outside the first. Sew on this line, then cut between the seam lines. We can make use of those “waste triangles” later, so set them aside.

Step 4a                                             Step 4b

Step 4 – Draw a diagonal line on the 2.5″ yellow squares and align with the upper right corner of the blue pieces. Sew on the line, trim away 1/4″ from the seam and press open.

Your “petal” units are finished, so set them aside.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Step 5

Step 5 – Draw a diagonal line on the back of each gray square, align with the right end of a brown rectangle, with the line running from the upper left to lower right corner as shown. Sew on the line and trim 1/4″ from the seam and press open. Again,  you may want to sew a second seam and save the resulting cutaway HSTs for later use.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Step 6

Step 6 – Almost done. Sew the petal and background units into quarter units as shown. Make four quarter units.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

“Starflower” – by Anne Wiens (2016)

Lay the four quarter units out as shown, so the yellow corners meet in the middle, as sew together to complete your Starflower block.

I am working on a very simple setting idea for these blocks. It should take 12 blocks to make a crib-size quilt, 20 for a lap-size. A twin size quilt generally takes 35 12″ blocks, and a full/queen would need 49. I hope to have that for you in the next few weeks.

Enjoy your 4th of July celebrations!

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, HST's, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Here’s to the Kids Next Door

Once again, the folks across the street and a couple doors down put on quite a fireworks show last evening. It was interrupted by a pretty serious thunderstorm, but eventually Mother Nature conceded. Her lightning show, though pretty impressive, couldn’t beat the neighborhood pyrotechnics.

The block pictured at the top of this blog reminds me of fireworks, so I will call it:

“4th of July”

Here’s the recipe:

Fabric for "4th of July"

Fabric for “4th of July”

For each block you will need:

Dark Blue – one 2.5″ square and two 4.5″ squares

Light Blue – two 3.5″ squares and four 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles

Red – two 3.5″ squares

White #1 – four 3.5″ squares

White #2 – eight 3.5″ squares and two 4.5″ squares

Step 1a

Step 1a

Step 1a – Cut the 3.5″ light blue and two of the white#1 squares diagonally, and sew into 4 half-square triangles (HSTs).

Use a Tucker Trimmer® or another ruler with a 45° line in the corner to trim the HSTs to 2.5″. Lay the trimmer on the HST with the diagonal line on the seam, and the piece extending beyond the 2.5″ dotted lines. Trim the right and top edges.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Step 1b

Step 1b – Rotate the HST and lay the trimmer on it again, aligning the diagonal line with the seam. This time the piece should line up with the 2.5″ dotted lines. Again, trim the right side and top.

Make 4 light blue and white HSTs.

Step 2

Step 2a

Step 2a – Cut the 3.5″ red squares and 3.5″ white#1 squares diagonally twice and sew into four quarter-square triangles (QSTs).

Trim the QSTs to 2.5″. Notice that the Tucker Trimmer® gives you a dashed 2.5″ line so you can align the ruler with both seams. This is an incredibly handy tool to have in your collection.

Step 2b

Step 2b

Step 2b – Rotate the QST, re-align the trimmer and trim the right and top edges.

Make 4 red and white#1 QSTs.

Step 3

Step 3

Step 3 – Now you can lay out the HSTs, QSTs and the 2.5″ dark blue square and sew into a star. This is the center of your block. Set it aside.

Step 4

Step 4

Step 4 – Cut the 4.5″ dark blue and white#2 squares diagonally once. Make four HSTs and trim each one to 3.5″ square. Set these aside.

Step 5

Step 5

Step 5 – “Use the Stitch and Flip” method to make four flying geese units from the 3.5″ x 6.5″ light blue rectangles, and the 3.5″ white#2 squares.

a- Draw a diagonal line on the back of each white square. Align the first square with the right edge of the rectangle so the line runs from top center to lower right. Sew on the line, trim 1/4″ to the right and press open.

b (illustrated here) – align the second square with the left edge of the rectangle with the line running from top center to lower left. Sew on the line, trim 1/4″ to the left and press open.

Note: Do not throw those “waste” triangles away. I have a block coming in September that will use them!

Step 6

Step 6

Step 6 – To finish, lay out the center star, the flying geese units and dark blue HSTs and sew together, completing your “4th of July” block.

Next time – a block to show off those larger novelty print scraps.

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, 6" TQ Blocks, HST's, Scrap Quilts, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Season’s Greetings

Christmas is coming on like a bobsled, and I still have gifts to finish, but I stopped today to whip up a little something for you.

Surprise…it’s a quilt block! :0)  It’s a 10″ (finished) block, and I called it “A Christmas Wreath”.

Here’s the recipe:

GE DIGITAL CAMERAFor each block you will need:

One 6-1/2″ square novelty print

Three 3.5″ red squares

Three 3.5″ light green squares

Four 3.5″ dark green squares

Six 3.5″ white squares

Four 2.5″ white squares

I used a Tucker Trimmer® to make the half-square triangles (HSTs) and quarter-square triangles (QSTs). If you’re not familiar with this tool, CLICK HERE for a previous post that goes into more detail on its use.

Step 1a

Step 1a

The first step is to put white corners on the novelty print square.

Draw a diagonal line on the back of each of your 2.5″ white squares. Lay a square on a corner of the 6.5″ novelty print square and sew on the line, then trim 1/4″ outside the line. Repeat with all four corners.

Step 1b

Step 1b

Press the corners open. Set this center section aside.

Step 2a

Step 2a

Step 2b

Step 2b

Step 2 is to make four red and white HSTs. Cut two of the red 3.5″ squares and two 3.5″ white squares in half diagonally, and sew the red and white halves together. I press my seams open, but you can press to the dark side if you prefer. Use the Tucker Trimmer® to trim the HSTs to 2.5″ as illustrated. above.

Step 3a

Step 3a

For Step 3, we need to make QSTs. Cut all of the remaining 3.5″ squares diagonally twice.

Step 3b

Step 3c

Step 3b

Step 3b

Sew eight QSTs, each with two dark green triangles, one light green triangle and one white triangle, then use the Tucker Trimmer® to square them to 2.5″ as illustrated above.

You will also need four QSTs, each with two white triangles, one red triangle and one light green triangle. Square them to 2.5″ as well.

Step 4a

Step 4a

Sew the QSTs into four units as pictured above.

Step 4b

Step 4b

Sew two of the QST strips to the sides of the center unit.

Step 4c

Step 4c

To finish your block, sew the HSTs to the remaining QST strips as shown, and sew to the top and bottom of the center unit.

Of course, just because I called it a wreath and used red and green fabrics, that doesn’t mean you have to.

Merry Christmas!

Categories: 10" TQ Blocks, HST's, Scrap Quilts, The Thrifty Quilter System, TQ Patterns, Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs) | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

A New Morning Star

I love autumn. Someday I hope to see a New England autumn in person, but if that never happens, I’ll be content with ours here in Montana… as brief as they can be.

I recall one fall day several years ago, driving on U.S. 2 along the southern edge of Glacier National Park. The leaves (aspens, I think) were so golden they were glowing…and the sky was cloudy!

This block – which I call “Morning Star” reminds me of that moment.

To make your own 12″ (finished) Morning Star, here’s what you will need:

Materials for a 12" Morning Star block.

Materials for a 12″ Morning Star block.

We start with sixteen 4.5″ squares

3 yellow, 3 orange, 4 gray, 4 white, 2 green

Tucker Trimmer (tm)

Tucker Trimmer ™

If you don’t have a Tucker Trimmer ™ , consider adding it to your Christmas wish list. It is the handiest tool out there for making accurate half-square triangles (HSTs) and quarter-square triangles (QSTs). I’ll use it for all three units in this block.

Step 1a

Step 1a

First, we’ll make the HSTs. Cut the two green squares and two of the white squares in half diagonally. Sew together as shown. You will have four HSTs that are larger than they need to be. We use the Tucker Trimmer to trim them to size.

Step 1b

Step 1b

Lay the Tucker Trimmer on the HST, lining up the diagonal line with the seam line. Notice that the left and bottom edges of the HST extend beyond the 3-1/2″ lines on the trimmer. Trim the top and right edges.

Step 1c

Step 1c

Rotate the HST (if you’ve been really good, ask Santa for a rotating mat, too), and line up the diagonal line on the trimmer with the seam line again. This time the edges you trimmed should align with the 3-1/2″ dashed lines. Trim the top and right edges. Set these four HSTs aside.

Step 2a

Step 2a

Now we need to make eight QSTs. To do this, cut two gray squares, two white squares, one yellow and one orange square diagonally twice, as shown above.

Step 2b

Step 2b

Sew all of these triangles into eight QSTs. Notice the QSTs pictured here: both have a white triangle on top and gray on the bottom. In one, the orange triangle is on the left and the yellow on the right. In the other, the yellow is on the left and the orange on the right. Make four of each.

Step 2c

Step 2c

Lay the Tucker Trimmer on the QST so that the solid diagonal line is on the seam line. The dashed 3-1/2″ line should line up with the other seam. Just like we did with the HSTs, trim the right and top edges.

2d

2d

Then rotate the QST, re-align the diagonal lines with the seams, and trim the top and right edges. Set the QSTs aside.

Step 3a

Step 3a

To make the final unit, cut the remaining yellow and orange squares diagonally twice, and the last two gray squares diagonally once. Sew together into four units that look exactly like the one in the photo. Notice that the lower left corner does not match up. That’s okay.

3b

3b

Back to the Tucker Trimmer. Line up the solid diagonal line with the long seam, and the dashed 3-1/2″ diagonal line with the short seam. Trim the right and top edges.

3c

3c

You know the drill by now…flip the unit around, realign the trimmer and trim the top and right edges.

4a

4a

You now have 16 units – four of each shown above – and each one should be a perfect 3.5″ square. Lay them out as shown, and sew together into four quarter units.

4b

4b

Sew the quarter units together to complete your “Morning Star” block!

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, HST's, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs), Tutorials | 3 Comments

But I Digress…..

One reason I have a lot of unfinished projects cluttering up my studio is that I suffer from ADDD…Attention Deficit Designing Disorder. Too often a project in progress is interrupted by an idea that just flutters into my brain. Most dash off before I can grab a paper and pencil, but now and again one settles in and makes itself at home. This is one of those ideas.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a tutorial for my “Quarter Star” block.

Since then, I have been working on a blog series that should begin next Month. Well, sir, the two ideas collided and formed a new block. I had to stop and whip one up.

I don’t even have a name for it yet, but I like it…a lot…so I’m going to go ahead and share it:

(Put Title Here)

I used 2.5″ and 4.5″ squares and made an 8″ (finished size) block.

For a 12″ block, use 3.5″  and 6.5″ squares.

GE DIGITAL CAMERATo make this block, you will need:

One large square

Eight small white squares

Four sets of three matching small squares

GE DIGITAL CAMERADraw a diagonal line on the back of each of the small white squares. Pair each with a small print square and make four pairs of  half-square triangles (HST’s), using the “stitch and flip” method.

You will have one small square of each color remaining, plus your large square.

GE DIGITAL CAMERALay out all of the parts as shown, so that your HST’s form star points around the large center square.

GE DIGITAL CAMERASew the HST’s into pairs.

GE DIGITAL CAMERANow you can sew the remaining small squares to the ends of the top and bottom star point pairs. Sew the other star point pairs to the large center square.

GE DIGITAL CAMERASew the rows together to complete the block.

Now, what shall I call it?

Please give me your best idea in a comment, below.

 

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, 8" TQ Blocks, HST's, Scrap Quilts, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns | 2 Comments

Scrap Quilt Challenge – 2014

scrapquiltchallenge4

One of my favorite Facebook groups is Scrap Quilt Challenge, run by Shannon, whose day job is running a quilt shop – Fabrics N Quilts in Jamestown, Tennessee. The 4th annual Scrap Quilt Challenge kicks off this week, and Shannon has asked several of her designer friends to help provide inspiration to the challenged by posting a scrap quilt pattern on our blogs. No problem. After all, scrap quilt patterns are what I do!

If this is your first visit to “Seams Like a Plan”, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look back over my previous posts. My first post explains the basics of my Thrifty Quilter scrap management system and how I came to write my book, The Thrifty Quilter:Make (Nearly) Free Quilts from Leftover Fabric Another post from this January goes into a little more detail. In between, you’ll find a few block and project patterns and tutorials.

Now, on to the Scrap Challenge block you were promised.

“Quarter Star”

For each 12″ (finished) block, you will need:

Scrap pieces for one 12" block

Scrap pieces for one 12″ block

Four sets of four matching 3.5″ print squares

Eight 3.5″ white squares

Four 2.5″ white squares

Making HST's

Making HST’s

Step 1: Make two Print/white half-square triangles…HST’s in Quilterspeak… from each of your four print colors. The method illustrated here is to draw a diagonal line on the back side of your white 3.5″ squares, pair each square with a print square (right sides facing), sew on the line and trim 1/4″ from the seam line.

I press my seams open, but you can press to the dark side if you prefer.

Note- Don’t toss those “waste” triangles. The can make 2.5″ HST’s for another project.

Make the corner squares

Make the corner squares

Step 2: Use the same technique and the 2.5″ white squares to put a white corner on one of each color of 3.5″ squares.

You should have one 3.5″ square of each color left.

Lay out the corner unit

Lay out the corner unit

Step 3A: Lay out the four matching squares as shown.

Sew the unit together

Sew the unit together

Step 3B: Sew the squares together to make a quarter-unit. Make one from each color.

 

Complete the block

Complete the block

Step 4: Sew the four quarter-units together to complete your block.

So once you’ve made a stack of blocks, the challenge becomes what to do with them.

You can set them side-by-side, of course. A row of three or four blocks with a 3″ white border would make an 18″ x 42″ or 18″ x 54″ table runner. Bed runners are popular, too. Two rows of five blocks with a 3″ border would make a cheerful twin-size (30″ x 66″) bed runner. You’d want two 6-block rows for a full-size bed, and two 7 block rows for a queen.

To make a solid set quilt with a 3″ border, you would need:

Crib  (42” x 54”)   4 rows of 3 blocks = 12 blocks
Lap (54” x 66”)   5 rows of 4 blocks = 20 blocks
Twin (66” x 90”)  7 rows of  5 blocks =  35 blocks
Full (78” x 90”)   7 rows of  6 blocks =  42 blocks
Queen (90” x 102”)  8 rows of  7 blocks =  56 blocks
King* (108” x 120”) 9 rows of  8 blocks = 72 blocks
*use a 6″ border for king size quilt.

So there’s one idea to start you on the 2014 Scrap Quilt Challenge.

Be sure to visit “Seams Like a Plan” often for more scrappy ideas!

If you click the blue “Follow” button at the top of the page, you’ll be notified by email whenever there’s a new blog post.

Or “Like” the Sweetgrass Creative Designs page on Facebook for updates.

Ready to meet the Scrap Quilt Challenge?

Click on the logo for full details!

scrapquiltchallenge4

 

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, HST's, Quilts, Scrap Quilts, Tablerunners, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, TQ Patterns | 8 Comments

Waste Not…Make More Quilts!

When we make Flying Geese in the Thrifty Quilter system, we use the “stitch and flip” method- two small squares and a rectangle equals one “goose”. Of course, this method leaves us with small “waste” triangles.

You can use those, you know.

Okay, I confess, the trimmed-away triangles from small set geese (2.5″ squares and 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles) do wind up in the dog-bed pile in my studio, but recently I made a flock of large set (3.5″ squares and 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles) geese, and those trimmed-away triangles are perfect for making 2.5″ half square triangles…HSTs in quilt-speak. Let me show you:

Draw a diagonal line on the back of your 3.5" square, and a second line 1/2" from the first line. Sew on both lines.

Draw a diagonal line on the back of your 3.5″ square, and a second line 1/2″ from the first line. Sew on both lines.

Trim the corner 1/4" from the first line. Press seam open and repeat on the other end of the rectangle.

Trim the corner 1/4″ from the first line. Press seam open and repeat on the other end of the rectangle.

I now have the "goose" for my project, and two HSTs leftover.

I now have the “goose” for my project, and two HSTs that can go into my 2.5″ squares bin.

These HSTs are just a little too big, and need to be trimmed down.

Many square rulers have a 45 degree line that goes into a corner.

Lay your ruler down so that the 45° line is on the diagonal seam. The left and bottom edges of the square extend past the 2.5" lines on your ruler. Trim the right and top edges.

Lay your ruler down so that the 45° line is on the diagonal seam. The left and bottom edges of the square extend past the 2.5″ lines on your ruler. Trim the right and top edges.

Flip the HST around and line the diagonal line on the seam again. This time the left and bottom edges should be right on your 2.5" lines. Again, trim the right and top edges.

Flip the HST around and place the diagonal line on the seam again. This time the left and bottom edges should be right on your 2.5″ lines. Again, trim the right and top edges.

 

 And here are a couple of blocks you can make with these “bonus” HST’s:

1 – “All Points” (8″ block)

For this block you need four pairs of HST's, one 2.5" square that matches each pair, and four white 2.5" squares.

For this block you need four pairs of HST’s, one 2.5″ square that matches each pair, and four white 2.5″ squares.

For each pai of HSts, sew one to a matching square and the other to a white square. Notice the orientation of the diagonal seams in the photo. All of the HSTs must look the same going through your machine.

For each pair of HSTs, sew one to a matching square and the other to a white square. Notice the orientation of the diagonal seams in the photo. All of the HSTs must look the same going through your machine.

Now you can sew those pairs together to make four "point" units.

Now you can sew those pairs together to make four “point” units.

Now you can sew the points together to complete your "All Points" block.

Then sew the points together to complete your “All Points” block.

 

2. “Rocky Mountain” (8″ block)

For this block you need ten matching HSTs, plus two 2.5" white squares and one 4.5" print square. This block is a good choice for "fussy cut" 4.5" squares.

For this block you need ten matching HSTs, plus two 2.5″ white squares and one 4.5″ print square. This block is a good choice for “fussy cut” 4.5″ squares.

Sew two strips with three HST's and one white square. Notice that the HSTs "point" to the right.  Sew two pairs of HSTs. Notice that the pairs "point" to the left.

Sew two strips with three HST’s and one white square. Notice that the HSTs “point” to the right. Sew two pairs of HSTs. Notice that the pairs “point” to the left.

Sew the HST pairs to the left and right sides of the 4.5" square.

Sew the HST pairs to the left and right sides of the 4.5″ square.

Now sew the strips to the top and bottom to complete your "Rocky Mountain" block.

Now sew the strips to the top and bottom to complete your “Rocky Mountain” block.

Remember- Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Vol. 9 hits newsstands on May 6th, and includes a brand new totally TQable block.

Watch this blog for a sneak peak sometime during the week of April 28th!

Categories: 8" TQ Blocks, HST's, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns | 1 Comment

The Alberta Clipper

We’re bracing for another winter storm on Montana’s Hi-Line today. Looks like an Alberta Clipper, a fast-moving cold front, is headed our direction. The wind is shifting from the southwest to the northwest and the temperature has dropped from 46 degrees (f) to 29 already. By tomorrow night, we should be below zero.

I keep reminding myself it’s going to be much colder and snowier farther east.

A member of my Facebook group, Thrifty Quilters, has pointed out that one of the blocks pictured in my Base 4 Sampler quilt on Page 16 of my book, The Thrifty Quilter: Make (Nearly) Free Quilts from Leftover Fabricdidn’t actually make it into the book. Oops. So for her, and for you, here is the Alberta Clipper block:

To make an 8″ finished block, all of your squares will be 2.5″, and your rectangles are cut 2.5″ x 4.5″. For a 12″ finished block, use 3.5″ squares and 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles.

GE DIGITAL CAMERATo make one Alberta Clipper block, you will need:

4 background squares (white)

4 light squares (blue)

4 medium-light squares (green)

8 medium squares (orange)

4 dark rectangles (purple)

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 1: use the four background (white) squares and four of the medium (orange) squares to make four half-square triangles (HSTs). Draw a diagonal line on the back of the lighter squares and sew on that line, then trim 1/4″ to one side of that seam.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 2: Sew the HSTs to the medium-light (green) squares. Be sure that they look just like the photo, with the darker triangle on the lower left and the background triangle on the upper right. Set these four units aside.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 3, use the same technique to put a medium (orange) corner on the lower right of your dark (purple) rectangles.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 4: Now add the light (blue) corners to the upper left of your rectangles.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 5: Now you can sew the two units into a quarter-section. Make four of these.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 6: Sew the four quarter-sections together with the light (blue) corners in the center to complete your Alberta Clipper block.

TQ-_Square_Sampler.148163441_largeI don’t happen to have a copy of the Base 4 Sampler photo from the book, but I also used the Alberta Clipper (center top) in this workshop sampler that mixes Base 3, Base 4 and  Base 6 blocks.

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, 8" TQ Blocks, HST's, Scrap Quilts, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, TQ Patterns | 2 Comments

Getting to the (Star)Point

Necessity truly is the mother of invention.

The other day I was playing with a Thrifty Quilter (TQ) pattern idea using a variation of the Sawtooth Star. This block requires eight 2.5″ squares for the star points. Unfortunately, I didn’t have very many sets of eight matching squares left in my 2.5″ bin.

Now, my self-imposed rule is that I can only buy one fabric for any TQ quilt I make, and for this one, that fabric was for the setting triangles and binding. What to do?

I thought about cutting up a few fat quarters that I had been saving for some project I haven’t thought of yet. That’s how stashes get out of hand, by the way. “Oh, I can’t use that piece. I’m saving that for a special project” is just one of the excuses I’ve used to justify a trip to the fabric store for “just a little bit” of the “right” color. Of course, I never take the fabric I’m trying to match along, so I come home with several “little bits” in various shades. Hence, my one-fabric rule. Okay, back to the point.

I happened to come across a small stack of 6″ squares left over from a guild exchange. Then I remembered my bin of 6.5″ TQ pieces.

A-ha!

In the Thrifty Quilter book, we use flying geese units for the  star points. I can only cut four 2.5″ squares from a 6″ or 6.5″ square, which would leave me four squares short. However, I can make eight half-square triangles (HSTs) from two 6″ or 6.5″ squares. Here’s how:

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 1: Pair  light and  dark 6″ or 6.5″ squares, right sides together. Draw two diagonal lines on the back of the lighter square and sew 1/4″ on each side of both lines.

GE DIGITAL CAMERACut the square in half vertically, and horizontally. Note: The photos show a 6″ square being cut into 3″ squares. If you start with 6.5″ squares, you would cut them into 3.25″ squares.

GE DIGITAL CAMERANow cut each of the small squares on the drawn diagonal line. I like to press my seams open. You can press to the darker fabric if you want to.

GE DIGITAL CAMERABecause these HST’s are larger than we need, we will trim them down to 2.5″. We did this in the “Overflowing Scrap Basket” blog post. Click HERE to go to that post.

GE DIGITAL CAMERANow we can sew pairs of these HST’s together to make the four flying geese units we need for the sawtooth stars!

GE DIGITAL CAMERATo complete each block, you will need a 4.5″ square for the center, and four more HST’s for the corners. Notice I have four HST’s leftover from this second pair of 6″ squares.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAThose four HST’s went into a second block!

So two 4.5″ squares and six 6″ (or 6.5″) squares will give me two 8″ star blocks.

The quilt I have in mind for these blocks will require 32 blocks for a crib-size quilt. You would need 59 blocks for a generous throw-size quilt – with a border it could be twin-size.

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Here are two more ways to make 2.5″ HST’s from TQ pieces:

GE DIGITAL CAMERAIf you need just a couple of matching HST’s, you can pair two 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles. Draw a diagonal line from the top left corner to a point 2.5″ in from the left on the bottom edge. Flip the piece around and repeat. Sew on these diagonal lines and trim 1/4″ from the seams. This gives you two matching HST’s.

GE DIGITAL CAMERANeed four matching HST’s? Cut two 3″ squares from two 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles. Draw a diagonal line on the back of the lighter squares, sew 1/4″ from the lines and trim on the lines. Now you can trim these HST’s down to 2.5″.

If you haven’t already done so, I invite you to join the Thrifty Quilter group on Facebook, and “Like” my Facebook page, Sweetgrass Creative Designs.

Categories: 8" TQ Blocks, HST's, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, TQ Patterns | 3 Comments

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