Friday, October 14, 2016
Half Square Triangles
Inbetween hand sewing Smitten blocks on the sofa in the evenings, I also wanted something quite simple to do on the machine. A bit of a no brainer after The Farmer's Wife. So I have started making Penelope a bigger sofa quilt as she complains that all the others are too small. Luckily she does love a quilt. I bought some colourful fat quarters a while back specifically to make her some kind of bright quilt. I spent a bit of time trawling through my Pinterest boards and finally decided to make this by Megan. She has a whole album on Flickr.
It's a pretty basic pattern; just half square triangles. This quilt will be 48" square once I have finished. I have enough fabric to make it double this size, but I think that would just be too big. We'll see. If I added two more rows at the bottom it would fit on a single bed... tempting, but we'll see.
I cut 2 big 9" squares out of 16 fat quarters. I chose this measurement as you can easily cut four out of a fat quarter without too much to spare making it a good use of fabric. That's the only reason I chose it really. Then I made 8 half square triangles in a one go out of each square. The other nice thing was that I have a long 4 1/2" ruler that was great for finding the middle lines of each block. It just made the whole process really easy and enjoyable. Mum thinks you don't need many rulers, but there is something extremely pleasing about having the exact right size for the job. I have to return the 6 1/2" square I borrowed off mum so I might have to buy my own when we go to Duxford in a few weeks. Yes, I am finally returning to the old Chillford come Duxford show. Primarily to help test out the new rollator and make sure mum can zoom around the show to her hearts content. This basically means I will whinge very loudly about every slight step I come across. I might even wear a high viz jacket to make myself seem even more of a health and safety expert. But I also plan to see if the new show is managing to get back to the greatness of its predecessor: Chillford. It's so sad that the giant scones are gone and that we have to look at war planes instead of a historic barn. Poor Chillford, burnt to a crisp. I miss you!
Anyway, I've got a lot of HST to trim down to 4 1/2". Luckily I can just sit on the sofa with my rotating cutting mat and my 4 1/2" square ruler mum gave me and just trim them out. I made my 1/4" seams a bit scant when I sewed the 8 block so that I could have some room to trim. I just thought it would make things more accurate.
Here are some of the offcuts, it's not much. Part of me can't be bothered, but another part of me finds it kind of peaceful. It does end up giving you that level of accuracy that you see in other people's quilts which make you think 'Gosh, how can they be so accurate?' Well folks, it's not really skill, it's more patience. If you spend more time trimming, starching and ironing open seams, then you just end up with a more accurate end product... but you spend 200% more time getting there. It's a pain, and often has me thinking 'but once I have scrunched it all up in the wash will it matter?' Jury's out on that one.
I sewed the blocks into strips of 4 which on reflection was not the best idea. Next time I will make units of 4 and join them together instead, but it's not too shabby and I am pleased with the colours. I wanted to make sure I had some dark blues in there; it's not a colour I usually go for. I'm not really thinking too deeply about this project so I am just throwing the colours together randomly. It's rather freeing after all the agonising of The Farmer's Wife, which by the by, is all sewn together. I just need to iron it and try and photograph it. It's massive.
I am not overly happy with the neutral background colour, I wanted something a bit warmer, but Kona just have nothing like this. Plus I keep losing the colour card chart thingy so I just had to get a grip and move on. The neutral is Kona Ash.