Saturday, January 10, 2009

Block #2 and QSTs

First off, here's my block #2, continuing with my batik scraps. I've decided that all the 10" blocks will follow this theme, and blocks in other sizes may veer off in some other direction!

People have been talking about getting these blocks together without the fabric stretching out of shape, and I thought I'd jump in with my own humble opinions. I hate starch, and I really don't like the Quilter's Cache method of making quarter square triangles by cutting up the squares and sewing the pieces all back together -- first of all you're guaranteed to stretch out the fabric, and second (if you're like me) you're going to lose a triangle somewhere along the line and end up on the floor looking for it! So, here's my tried and true, no-starch method:

First, instead of cutting the squares at 3-1/4 inch, cut them at 3-3/8 inch, or even 3-1/2 if you like. Mark a diagonal line on the back side of the lighter squares. Put two squares together, sew 1/4 inch on either side of the line, and cut apart. Press towared the darker side. Voila! you've created HSTs!

Now draw a diagonal line again, on the back side of half of your new HSTs:
Put them right sides together and sew 1/4 inch on each side of the line.
Cut on the line, and you have this:
When you press them open -- you have QSTs without having had to sew any stretchy edges:
Trim them down to size -- in this case, it's 2-1/2 inches. Note that I've put the diagonal line of the ruler on one diagonal seam; also, note that the 1-1/4 inch marks or the ruler meet right at the intersection of the diagonal seams of the square.
I put the block together by sewing the 9 squares in the middle first; then I add two short sides, and then the two long sides. Hope this all makes sense and is a little bit of help for our newer stitchers!

4 comments:

Quilt Pixie said...

I often make hourglass blocks the way you do, didn't this time, but often do...

I'm hoping to try your "puting the centre together" first in the next block, I'd like to see if it "feels" different in the sewing. Thanks for sharing these ideas :-)

Living on the Spit said...

Thank you for this lesson...I have one of those smaller ruller squares and really didn't know what it was for...see, I am learning.

This would have helped me from the beginning. I will have to save this great tutorial!

Love your block too...It looks really neat.

Marlene

Vicki said...

Great tips Julie. I like your method for the hour glass squares. Also in general it makes sense to cut the pieces larger, make the squares and then cut to size. This would ensure you end up with the right size every time.

hetty said...

Great Julie! I like this method much better than the one of the cache! It makes more sense to me.