Thursday, November 15, 2012

HST Tutorial

I made a sofa quilt for a young man in one of my English classes.  I spoke to Daniel today and he begins chemo in a few days.  Again, please keep him in your prayers. 

The quilt is made entirely from half square triangles, so I thought I'd take a few pictures and write a tutorial on the process.

I used my Accuquilt Studio cutter to cut six inch squares from various blues and some whites.  The cutter is fast and easy and, most importantly, accurate.  I could have cut the squares using my rotary cutter, but I'm not as fast or as accurate as the cutter. 

 Once I had a nice stack of squares, I drew a diagonal line on each of the white squares using a ruler and pencil.  Then I chain stitched 1/4th inch from on one side, turned the entire chain around and sewed the other side, exactly 1/4th inch from the line.

After cutting the squares apart, I used the rotary cutter and ruler to cut the square in half exactly on the line.  

It's always a good idea to press the block so that the seam lies flat against the darker side.  In these photos, I used a dark thread so that the seams would show, but in reality I used a grayish blue in a medium tone.  My intent was that the lighter tone would fade into the darker whites (I used 3 or 4 different shades of white or off white) and blend well with the medium blues.

This photo shows several blocks after pressing.  Note that the corners are not trimmed.  I supposed I should have trimmed those, but I did not find that they added a great deal of bulk to the quilt.  

Although I do have a triangle die that trims off these corners, I chose to use the square so that I would not have to worry as much about the diagonal seams.  I'm a bit of a speed demon and was afraid I would pull or tug on the fabric and cause it to stretch.  Since accuracy is a problem--thanks to my speed--I didn't want to cause myself additional grief by stretching the fabric.

Once I had a slew of blocks cut, I decided to play a bit with the setting.  Really, I was just playing because I'd already decided on my setting.  Still, it's fun to play a bit.  Here are a few setting choices that I came up with:

diagonal lines which could be
set on point for straight lines

straight setting--the one I used

zig zag or streak of lighting

barn raising

diamonds which could also be set on point to change the direction of the diamond
Hope you enjoyed my tutorial on half square triangles.  I did have fun making the quilt and playing with the blocks.  Imagine how much fun it would have been to play with no idea of what I would do with the setting!  Now that's an idea to keep in mind.  Knowing that it took me only four days, I started Friday and finished on Monday, adds to the joy.  I love quick gratification and this little quilt definitely allowed for that.
Happy Quilting,


jenclair said...

A great tutorial, Mary, and a beautiful quilt. I will keep Daniel in my prayers. It is a generous gift to give the comfort of a quilt, especially in circumstances like this.

daydreamsdustbunnies said...

What a great gift. He'll be in my prayers as a cancer survivor myself.

Yvette said...