Creative Bee Studios

Sweet Ideas for Creative Minds

Tag: Half-Square Triangle Blocks

Tips for Half-Square Blocks

Here’s a simple but effective tip for trimming up your half-square triangle blocks. Keep in mind, there’s more than one way to…(I love my cat too much to finish that phrase)…make a half-square, but here’s how I do it for the mystery quilt:

In this example, we are wanting 3 1/2″ finished blocks so I’m starting with 4″ squares. Draw a diagonal line, corner to corner, on the reverse side of the lightest fabric.Image of Two Fabric Squares

Put right sides together and use a 1/4″ foot ti stitch 1/4″ from either side. (If I was making a lot of these – like for last month’s block- I’d run them all through, stitching down one side (chain-piecing) and then turn them all and stitch down the other side of them all.)Image of Block with Stitching

Cut on the center line and press to the lighter fabric. The block should be larger than 3 1/2″ and have threads and tails (or ears) on them.

Here is The Tip: Using any ruler with a 45-degree line, place that line along the diagonal seam of your block and so that the over-all size after you trim the first two sides is still slightly larger than 3 1/2″. Notice the extra fabric outside of the 3 1/2″ marks? Trim the first two sides.Image of Block and Ruler

Spin your block and now line up the trimmed sides directly on the 3 1/2″ marks. Trim the last two sides.Image of Last Cut for Block

Maybe you figured this out on your own, but I needed a kind teacher to show me why I shouldn’t just trim that block to 3 1/2″ with the first cuts. I AM from the Show-Me State!

If you are making the River Heritage Block-of-the-Month Mystery Quilt, you are probably figuring out that there are a lot of half-square triangle blocks  in the design. Here is a pic of last month’s Trail of Tears block. Be ready to make some more half-square triangle blocks when the reveal for Month 6 comes out next week!

Having quilted for some time, I take for granted the piecing techniques I learned in classes. I hope sharing some of these techniques helps our newer quilters.

See my Mystery Quilt page for links to all of the months and Introduction or scroll down through the blog.  Mystery Quilt posts are published on the second Monday of each month at 9 a.m.  Each month has interesting river pictures, stories, or facts about river life along with the block of that month instructions. Month 6 is revealed June 11!

Focus fabric kits available in my Etsy shop:

One Sophisticated Lady

See how to make a commissioned quilt using a phone app and cutting machine!

A couple of months ago, I got a text from a friend to see if I would make a quilt for her grandbaby. She sent me pictures of the most beautiful baby’s room I’d ever seen! (Like when I remember my wedding decorations, I was wishing for a do-over for my kids’ baby rooms [blush].) She didn’t have anything particular in mind, so I told her I’d be in Paducah the next day for a Brother ScanNCut2 class (English’s Sew and Vac), hitting Hancocks of Paducah and that after I looked around we could share some ideas back and forth and see if we could come to an agreement on something.

The grandbaby girl’s room is painted a very pretty taupe and pearl in large, horizontal stripes. There are some accents in soft pink and a large gold monogram on the wall.

While milling around Hancocks, I found their collection of Moda Fabrics‘ Grunge–which I LOVE! They read as a solid, but are anything but boring and feel, oh, so good! It wasn’t long before I had the pearl and taupe picked out and down the aisle a little further, I found this soft pink with a little touch of gold. I sent a pic to my friend and the project began. One Sophisticated Lady

When I got home I looked at many baby quilt designs and decided on using large half-squares because I wanted to try to keep the cost down as much as possible. After viewing many variations, I started making half-square triangle blocks and just placing them on the design wall, moving them around to see different patterns emerge. I eventually came up with a pattern I liked and filled-out the quilt with blocks as needed.

Now I had planned to use a monogram similar to the one in the baby’s room as a focal point for the quilt, but not being terribly experienced at using my ScanNCut2, I was also a little apprehensive. I was super excited to find the exact monogram on my phone’s Monogram It app!

Monogram It App

Monogram It App

Turns out, it was so easy to send this design from my phone to my computer and then to my ScanNCut2, I could hardly contain myself!

I cut the fabric, fused with HeatNBond Ultrahold and pressed it to the quilt. (Normally you aren’t supposed to sew through the Ultra, but I quilted around the edges of it to make sure it stood up to washings. I choose the Ultra instead of HeatNBond Lite because I wanted to be certain the fabric wouldn’t fray.)

Monogrammed Baby Quilt

Monogrammed Baby Quilt

I added an embroider label, quilted and bound the quilt as usual. I included a Shout Color Catcher with washing instructions for the momma.

This quilt was fun to make and I am really excited about the world of possibilities of using the ScanNCut2 in my future quilting and design work!

Let me say here that I am fortunate because from the start of this project, my friend said she totally trusted my judgement and

One Sophisticated Lady

One Sophisticated Lady

whatever I wanted to make would be great–not all projects allow you that freedom to let the design come together.

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