This blog could be considered as an Anniversary Blog, since it has been a year and seven days since I posted my very first Blog. I didn’t think it would last this long. But thanks to all of you and your faithfulness, I’m still here. Also, I’d like to give a lot of credit to Greg Nisbet, who encouraged and taught me and practically rewrote some of those first Blogs. Let me tell you, it was a giant feat to get those first few Blogs on line last year, as I still had dial-up internet access, and it took four or five days to get that first one on line. (No kidding) I want you to know that this quilter/blogger has come a long way. We installed satellite internet about six weeks into my efforts as a blogger, and it made a tremendous difference. I would not have stayed with it more than a couple months if we had stayed with dial-up. Pat Snyder has also been a great friend and cheerleader for me. She “holds me up” in this effort. My husband was also a terrific help in those first few Blogs. He was my proofreader, my formatter and my cheerleader. Since then, he has tolerated me in talking about it all the time. If you haven’t been with LaRueSews-Quilts since the beginning, I encourage you to go back to the very first one and continue through them all. This is the link:
Now, let’s talk about half-square triangles. Until about three weeks ago, I had almost completely sworn off triangles. I didn’t like to do them, and didn’t care if I ever saw one again. Then, my friend Bonita, and I went on a fabric expedition (shop hop). We learned of a new quilt shop near Columbus, Georgia. Being Fabriholics that we are, we HAD to check it out. The name of this little shop is Sunday Best Quilt Shop, in Ellerslie GA. It is owned by Teresa Singleton and Linda Camp. Linda was in the shop the day we were there. She showed us their method of making Half Square Triangles, which is IMHO the best method I have seen. SBQ's Original Half-Square Triangle Stencil. This method is so easy and accurate that I made 32 half-square triangles in about forty-five minutes. (Linda says she can do it in fifteen minutes.) This photo shows a template that makes 2 inch half-square triangles. Directions are printed on the right side of the template.
Here we go . . . Choose two contrasting fabrics, visually, light and dark turn out best. A fat quarter of each is more than enough for this method. Press both fabrics and lay them, right sides together, on a cutting mat with the light fabric on top, wrong side up. Lay SBQ's Original Half-Square Triangle stencil on top of the light fabric. (Dark fabric first, next light fabric, then stencil). On the stencil’s edge there are small holes, placed together at intervals, use these holes to pin the stencil to the fabrics. Be sure all layers are laying flat and on the straight grain. Photos here show how the stencil is laid out and pinned, as well as marking in process and a closeup of pinned and marked stencil.
Using a water soluble marker, mark all lines on the stencil. (Linda used Crayola Washable markers, in different colors, to show the different sewing and cutting lines) The lines are coded by the size of the marking spaces. Check to see if all lines are marked. I used only a blue marker.
Remove the pins from the stencil and re-pin the two layers of fabric. Now it’s time to sew. The stencil has instructions that show how to sew continuously on the lines as shown on the stencil, without stopping or cutting the threads on each section. Now, you are more than half way there! When you have sewn all the lines, turn it over and check the back. You can see the stitching better on the dark fabric. Go to the ironing board and press the fabrics to set the stitches.
It’s rotary cutting time! (second photo above) Go to your cutting mat and carefully cut on the horizontal dashed lines. Check to make sure that all the cut edges are still aligned. Now cut on the vertical dashed lines. Check your alignment again, making sure that everything is aligned. Now you can cut on the diagonal lines, in both directions. THAT’S IT! You have made 32 half-square triangles. Now is the hard part, if you want to call it that. It seems like it takes more time to press those little buggers than it did all the rest. AND, don’t burn your fingers.
In this short amount of time, you have made 32 triangles half-square that can be used in any pattern that requires 2 inch half-square triangles. The stencil also shows how to make only sixteen and eight triangles at a time. I haven’t used my triangles yet. I wanted to tell you about this Cool Tool before I had time to decide how to use it. I’ll always try to let you know about really good methods and tools when I find them.
These great stencils come in four sizes, from 1 to 2 ½ inches. The best part is that they are so accurate.
If anyone lives near Ellersly, GA, take a little trip and visit the Sunday Best Quilt Shop. Directions are on their web site. OH! One more thing . . .They have other Quilting Stuff too!
Get busy and make some Quilts this week! Next time, I will begin a Block of the Month. I will give you all a block to make, without instruction. I will be counting on all of you to be able to Do It Yourself. See you next time.
Stitches to you