Monday, May 7, 2012


I washed Dodgers fleece blanket just the other day and was disgusted by all of the black hairs that were left intwined into the fibers.  So, I decided it was time to make a quilt cover for it.  Yes, trying to hide the little black devils and hopefully prevent more from becoming permanent parts. 

I had these dark multi colored strips all cut and ready to go for a project that never got started.  So these strips have been hanging for quite awhile waiting to be used.  I then chose the black "flowered" material, just because it was dark, but had some fun pretty colors.  These two, although not great choices for one another, will meet my objective very nicely.

Next step was to iron the strips.  I like to iron both sides.

  I then took and sewed a 1/4 inch seam, attaching a black strip and a multi strip together.

Next, I set the seams by ironing over each strip set again.

I then took the strips to the cutting board and trimmed off the black flowered strip to equal the multi colored strip.

I set the "scrap" pieces aside for now.  Later to be trimmed into 2 1/2 inch blocks and added to the box of scraps cut this size.

Then, I took the strips back to the sewing machine and sewed another 1/4 inch seam on the opposite side of the previous seam.  Next, I pressed each strip set again, setting the seams.

I then got my Companion Angle Ruler and measured,  the solid 4 went right along the edge and the 3 1/2 dashed line lined up with the sewn seam line.  Using the rotary cutter, I began cutting each edge of the triangle.

I discovered that by simply flipping the strip from one side to the other made it much easier to cut the triangles without having to move the mat or myself to get the right angle and safety precaution.  It worked fabulous for me.

I know that many people use the Companion Angle Ruler on just cut strips, but for me having the two seams sewn together... well the sewing is already done.  I do not have to mess with trying to get the two pieces lined up perfectly.

I do however create work in another way.  At the top of each Triangle, I have to use the seam ripper and remove several stitches.   A tad bit annoying and it adds extra time, but for me it is well worth the effort.

This photo shows the supplies I use....the cutting mat, rotary cutter, seam ripper, small scissors for trimming strings ..... plus it shows (although not real clear) that with this method from each strip  I was able to cut 15 half square triangles (which measure out at 3 1/4 inch squares) plus a couple extras that I cut down into 2 inch triangles.  Which means there was very little waste.

Next, I took the half square triangles to the ironing board...finger pressed the seams open (I have discovered that I prefer my seams to be pressed open....but at times I still just press to the dark what ever way you choose) and then iron the seam open and flip it and iron the front.  This makes for a very nice flat block.

Plus, I clipped the dog ears at this time. 

All during the process, I really had no clue what I was going to do with the blocks.  I began looking at photos in magazines and books.  I decided to use this layout.  They call it Clays Choice, but I am sure that there are other names that this block can be found under.  It required 16 half square triangles.

I next, laid each block out in the correct arrangement next to my sewing machine.

I sewed two blocks together, pressed the seams open, sewed two other blocks together and pressed the seams open.

Next, I sewed the two sections together to make the first line of the block.  Then pressed the seams open.  Both the back side and front side to help it lay nice and flat.

I repeated this process for all 4 rows.  Making sure to set them correctly.  For me, it is far to easy to mismatch or put a row backwards or in the wrong I prefer to lay out and compare each and every time.

Next, I sewed row one to row 2.  Pressed the seams open.   Then sewed row 3 to row 4 and pressed the seams open.  Finally sewing the top section to the bottom section.

Once again taking it to the ironing board and pressed the seams open.  Flipped it over and ironed the front side.

The following pictures show (hopefully) how the layout for this block goes.  While the last photo shows the completed block....well without being trimmed to the finished size of 12 inch block.

I really enjoyed cutting out the half square triangles and assembling them into this block.  I hope that by taking step by step photos and explaining the steps I took that it will help me to remember to not be afraid of half square trianles and that the possabilities are most likely endless as to what can be created with a little imagination and help from tools like the Companion Angle Ruler and magazines/ books/blogs of ways to arrange the blocks to make a really interesting whole block.

I should also say that I am in no way associated with any of the products used to create this block.  Just wanting to share what I found out and enjoyed doing. 

Now I am off to create many more blocks with all of the half square trianles I have waiting for me.  Only question left.....should I make more of these wonderful blocks or should I find other blocks to use also.

Have a great day.

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