* This is clearly a spoof on The Julie/Julia Project. All the quilts below, however, are the real deal.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Block One

We'll start off easy: Half-square triangles (HST) rule this block.

As I wrote, I started this BOM in January using Christmas and "bright" fabrics, making two blocks, see below.

I made absolutely no changes. (All that comes soon enough) so let's follow the pattern made in EQ5.

Cut 8 - 4 3/4" squares from each color. To make life easier do this:

Place the two fabrics right-sides together. Iron to "magnetize" them. This makes the cutting easier.

I PRESUME you are using a rotary cutter and acrylic ruler. If you use scissors, I urge you reconsider. Visit your nearest quiltshop and invest in the proper tools. (Consider as well taking a beginning quilting class to learn the proper techniques of cutting and sewing)

Cut the 8 doubled squares and you already saved yourself the time it takes cutting 16. Capice?

On the lighter fabric, on the wrong side (obviously) draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. That is where you will (LATER) cut the fabric in half. (DON'T DO THIS NOW!!!!) PIN the two pieces together so they do not shift as you carry them to the sewing machine. Pin AFTER you draw or the pins get in your way drawing the lines (You'd think that was common-sense but you'd be surprised how many people pin first)

Sew 1/4" on either side from this diagonal line. BE ACCURATE. If you do not sew an accurate or slightly scant 1/4" seam allowance, your patch will not measure accurately. It is better to make a slightly too big square than too small. You can trim away the excess but you can't glue it on.

Cut the squares now on that marked line and you will have 16 "half-square triangles".

Press them now "to the dark side"!
These patches SHOULD MEASURE 4 3/8" square. If they don't, figure out why. If they are too big, trim them down. If they are too small. START OVER.

Arrange the HSTs in the pattern above and sew the patches together. I DO IT LIKE THIS!

Four-patch. sew four squares into a larger square (you should notice that they are all identical) and then rearrange again into the design and sew those four squares into the final block. It just seems to sew nicer this way.

When you have sewn the HSTs together, the block should measure 16" square. That means it is 15 1/2" FINISHED. (like the instruction sheet above says)

Please be careful to arrange them right the first time. That or invest in a really good seam ripper. I have two.. I make mistakes. (lots of them......keeps one humble)

Gentle Reader: I may be coming off as "talking down" to you. I don't mean to. This is also being written for people who may just be starting out and I want them to know short-cuts that most of us take for granted. It's taken me 14 years to learn all my short-cuts and I don't want people sewing in the dark any longer than they already are.

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