A few months ago, (probably more like a year ago in quilters language) I started a quilt with an online group. The first block I did was easy to do and it used all the tools that I had on hand. I absolutely loved it! They had me hooked. Also, I was able to use leftover fabrics from a quilt that I made for my mother-in-law. The fabric was beautiful and I really loved the wording on it as it related to angels that watch over us. What a better fabric for a quilt that can wrap someone up in love! Here's that first block that I made.
Isn't it beautiful?! I was hooked! Or so I thought. The next block came around and then I had to use specific rulers that I didn't have. Major Bummer! I didn't want to spend the money on buying yet another ruler that I won't use. So I attempted the next block with my own intuition. Luckily, I was able to get it together.
Then the third block. Same rules, same frustration. I can get pig headed when I want to do something a certain way so I was determined to get this one done as well. All in all, I finished 5 blocks but was tired of trying to get them done without the rulers that I refused to buy.
So, I started out on I venture looking for unfinished 12 1/2 inch blocks that I could use the supplies that I had on hand. Here are two blocks that I have finished so far. The first block I constructed without taking pictures along the way. Dang it! I wanted to get a tutorial going, but forgot to take pictures along the way. What is it with us quilters that when we start something all of our attention gets sucked into this alternate reality?
You can find the directions to construct this star called the Hunter Star at Delaware Quilts. There are a lot of quilt blocks on her home site. Thanks to her site, I was able to pick up this project again and complete some blocks. It looks as though she's a supporter of Relay for Life, so all the more reason to use her block designs.
I also found this next block on her site. I constructed a tutorial on this block because I love it when I can have pictures to go with directions. I am so incredibly visual.
Here's how I constructed the block. You'll need three fabrics. One medium, one dark and one for your background. I'm just so in love with the fabric with the words. I purchased it probably about 3 years ago to make a quilt for my mother-in-law, so I'm not sure it's available anymore. It's called Heart and Soul by Whisicals for Red Rooster Fabircs. I'm going to be sad when I run out of this material.
Cut your fabrics
From the medium fabric (red in the picture) cut four 4 1/2 inch squares and two 4 7/8 inch squares.
From the dark fabric (black in the picture) cut eight 2 1/2 inch squares and one 4 1/2 inch square.
From the background fabric (tan words fabric) cut two 4 7/8 inch squares and eight 2 1/2 inch squares.
Next you'll need to take the 4 7/8 inch squares from the medium and background fabrics to construct 1/2 square triangle squares. On the website, they instruct you to draw a line on the back side of one of the squares, but I love The Angular 2 plastic overlay on my machine because I don't like taking the time out to draw the line out on my fabrics. One, I feel it stretches them out when you draw on them. Two, I am afraid of seeing the line through the fabrics. However, mostly it's because I'm extremely lazy when it comes to that step. You can find it online in a lot of places. Here's a youtube video on how to use it. I shouldn't be encouraging you to buy something as that's what landed me in this situation in the first place. But I use this constantly. Most of the time it sits on my machine. I attach it with some blue painters tape so that it doesn't leave sticky stuff behind on my machine. You can still draw lines if you wish, so don't feel like you have to purchase the tool.
Here it is set up on my machine. I just got the Bernina 350, so I'm still playing around with how I want my machine to sit. But, I've managed to get it working for now. This machine never seems to run out of bobbin thread! Major plus! I hate reloading those darn things.
After you draw the line or use The Angular 2, you need to sew a 1/4 inch from the line, whether it's the imaginary one because you're using the tool or the real line that you drew.
Once you draw the line or install the Angler on your machine, you're ready to start making the diagonal half squares. The next couple of pictures show how it looks set up on your machine.
Next, comes the cutting of the squares after you've sewn them on both sides of the line, whether it's the imaginary one with The Anguler 2 or the line you drew. See how it's exactly a 1/4 of an inch. It's like that every time if you set up the tool correctly or you draw the line correctly. Chain piece those pieces to and then lay them all out so that you can cut them apart all at once.
Next, cut away! Make sure you hold your ruler tight so that there is no slippage. You don't want to go and have to cut out another set of squares. Trust me. Been there done that!
Once you cut them apart, press them to the medium side. As a side note, make sure you set the seam before you flip the triangle over to press towards the medium. That means, just set the iron on the seam for a few seconds and then flip the triangle over. It makes it so much nicer.
Next, you'll either need to draw a line on the back side of the 2 1/2 inch squares (yes all of them) or use The Angler 2 tool. It's totally up to you. Once you have that done, you're going to sew them to them to the medium 4 1/2 inch squares. The picture below shows you where each square will end up on the medium square. First you sew on a dark square and then go over to the other side diagonally to sew on a background square.
Chain piece these too so that you can lay them all out to cut them apart.
The next thing I always try to do is sew another line about a 1/2 inch away from the original line because there is some valuable fabric there that I don't like to throw away. You can get additional 1/2 square triangles from those little buddies.
However, sometimes I forget and then I take them back to my machine to sew.
They can be a little wonky, but you can square them up at a later date.
Next, you go diagonally across the 4 1/2 medium square and sew on a background 2 1/2 square. Chain piece them again!
Look, I didn't forget to sew the extra line this time!
I ended up with a pile of half triangle squares. What to do with those? Hmmm?
You then attach the other dark 2 1/2 inch square and then the other background square
For some reason, I missed getting the picture of the completed sqaure. Your squares should measure out at
4 1/2 inches. You then lay out all the squares in this fashion. Two like these....
...and one like this. These are your three rows that you'll sew together.
You end up with the finished block that should measure 12 1/2 inches square.
I'm starting another star block, so if you're following along, keep your eyes peeled. Hopefully, it'll inspire you to create other unique blocks. I hope to get them all into a quilt soon. I have eight so far but would like to have at least 12 to finish out the quilt. Then it's on to decide what I'd like to do in the bindings.