Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vol 3 Project 1 - Carries Table Runner

The first project in Vol 3 is a table runner where all those half square triangles made during the techniques exercise are used.

I will admit to getting quite confused with the instructions - not for making the table runner, but for which colours to make the HST's and how to press the seams.  In the end I just repressed some and worked with what I had.

Laying out and sewing in order is the key to making this block.  And pins are your friends!

Layout and sew in order
After fanning the seams there is always at least one seam turned the wrong way!

Sew up four sets of units to make up one block
Finished Pinwheel Block
So in my confusion with the instructions, I ended up making too many Pinwheel Blocks - apparently I only needed one.  The table runner is supposed to be make up from a selection of layouts using the half square triangles I'd made.  I decided to go with what I had started and used only two different blocks, the Pinwheel and the Hourglass.

I think this is an Hourglass block.  In the book the illustration shows an Hourglass, and the photos show the Whirlwind.  Anyway I ended up making 4 Pinwheel and 4 Hourglass blocks.
 Hourglass block layout
Sew four units then sew four units!!
Every seam is turned the wrong way! LOL  Note the seams are pressed open for these blocks - maybe fanning the seams was a bad idea.
Okay, I have my 8 blocks made up of Half Square Triangles.  I chose 2 Pinwheel and 2 Hourglass blocks for the centre of the table runner and left the others for the sides.  The instructions are very scant for putting the table runner together.  For those of us following through the books in order, this is no big deal and it's easy to do using knowledge gained through previous projects. 
Block layout
Sashings were used to join the centre blocks
Borders are added to the centre blocks
Side setting triangles are added to the side blocks
Borders are added to both ends and mitred
(thanks to Trish for helping me with this part)!
The finished top.  Black binding will pull it all together.
The first part of this book, long before you get to the first project, there is a lot of instruction on cutting and sewing triangles.  Harriet suggests all sorts of tools and techniques to make sewing triangle blocks successful.  The main emphasis is on how to avoid floating points and lost points - I managed to make both of these type of points as well as crocked and mismatched ones.
I'm going to have to read this section again.  There was a pretty long break for me between reading the tips and doing the sewing (ahem I had lots of free motion quilting to do).  As a result, my triangle blocks are quite pathetic. Sigh.  The busy border print was chosen to distract from the actual blocks - I think the choice was successful


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

QA - Vol 3 - More Techniques

Yes, yes, it's been a while.  Lets just say I'm happier making quilts than I am making blog entries. Now where were we..............

Oh yes - Half Square Triangles (HST) techniques. These next methods are best used for making lots of triangles at once. 

No special equipment is required for these.  Draw, sew, cut, trim.

Sorry about this pic - its a new camera and I'm having a little trouble with it - the lines are drawn on the fabric (there are two layers) then pinned on the stitching lines.

Stitching is done 1/4 inch away from both sides of the diagonal drawn lines........

Cuts are made between the stitching and also on the straight drawn lines - giving you lots of HST's!
I like this method - its quick, its easy and its accurate with no special tools needed - what more could you want?

Harriet gives us 3 different ways to make HST using bias strips. I've used Method 1.  Method 2 uses Fat Quarters (18" x 22") which are smaller than the Fat Quarters we buy here.  Method 3 uses a ruler I don't have the - Wonder Cut Ruler by Walter Times Two. 

Method 1 uses the Bias Square Ruler.  Squares are bias cut then the strips are sewn together.


Cut the layers fabrics on the bias.
Sew the strips together
Use the Bias Square ruler to cut out the triangles

The squares are cut oversized and trimmed back.
There is a lot of waste with this method. 
Harriet suggests using the ScrapMaster ruler on the waste.  I don't have one of these, so I'm not overly impressed with this method.  Its a lot of work especially as all the seams are pressed open.
No special rulers or tools are required for this method, except for trimming.  This is very similar to the sheeting method.
Draw diagonal lines and stitch 1/4" along both sides.
Measure 3" away from the edge and cut down the middle in both directions
Cut the diagonal lines and ta-dah - 8 triangles.  Press and trim.
Okay - I mucked up a little here.  I was supposed to use Triangles on a Roll, but I purchased Thangles instead.  Harriet does include a drawing you can photocopy onto legal sized paper, but our paper size here is A4 which is different and as I already had the Thangles.............
The point is with either type, the lines are pre-printed saving you the time and effort of drawing on your fabric.  You can also be assured that the marking are completely accurate.  You need to sew straight because the HST's are exact to size with no allowance for trimming back.

Cut a strip and pin the Thangles on top

Sew on the marked lines

Press while the paper is still on

Remove the paper.  Trim the points off.
Not having to draw the lines does save some time, but pinning all those bits of paper on takes a while.  So does removing all the paper - for me the removal wasn't clean and I spent ages getting bits of paper out of the seams. 
This method is not for me.  Drawing the lines would be faster.  I will admit thought that when I found myself short of a couple of triangles and needed to make up a few extra, I headed straight for the Thangles.  Probably because this was the last method I'd used and the technique was still fresh in my mind.  Anyway I have a heap of these things to use up.  But when they are gone I won't be replacing them.
Now that I have a whole heap of HST's what am I going to do with them?  Sew them into blocks of course. 
Here's a peek at what's coming up...........

Carrie's Table Runner
Harriet's Broken Dishes