Part 6 – Time to “Square Up!” Again…

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It has been fun visiting your blogs! I’m still working through getting to all of them, but from what I have seen so far, your blocks are looking fantastic!  I spent some time squaring up my blocks again — this time to 6″ square blocks. You can choose whatever size you’d like, as long as they are square.  If you missed the first time we squared up our smaller blocks, here’s a quick tutorial.

Now remember how I said this was a “Make-It-Up-As-I-Go-Along-Quilt?”  Well, I wasn’t kidding – lol –  and now I’m trying to decide which of the 2 ideas I have will be the one I go with.  Hmmm….decisions, decisions…..

In the meantime, let’s square up those blocks and I promise to be ready really soon with the next step! Have fun!

-Kim

I did say this would be a VERY scrappy quilt, right? Check out those fabrics — no rhyme or reason…just pure cuteness from the stash! 🙂 But I already have some ideas of some color schemes I want to do next… 🙂

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Part 5 — It’s Coming Together Now!

*I made 2 new posts today so make sure you read “Part 4”.

So you’ve made your half-square triangles, and are ready for the next step, right? I know some of you are so I’ll go ahead and post what I’ve done next.  In fact, I’m still sewing these together.  I love seeing the fabric combos!

The pinwheel block is one of my very favorites. It’s easy and oh, so cute. These blocks will be the center focus of the quilt.

Step 1: Lay your half-square triangles in front of you as shown in photo:

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Step 2: Take the fabric on the right of the photo and place it over the top of the fabrics on the left side of the photo. Simply put: your right sides of each fabric block are facing.

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Step 3:  Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew the first block set together along the right-hand side.  Repeat for the 2nd block set. (Red dashed-lines indicate where you are sewing.)

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Step 4:  Open and press your seams with iron. Press on both sides of this new block.

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Step 5: Right sides together, sew your top block to the bottom block.

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Congratulations! You’ve now made a pinwheel block! It is so fun to see the colors come together. You’re going to love this part. Remember, practice makes ALMOST perfect. I’ve never made a PERFECT quilt but I love each one. Enjoy the process, learn from it, and have fun.

Keep sewing! I’ve got to sew the rest of my blocks over the next few days so we can move on. I have some ideas for what I want to add to it next, but I’ll let you know how those come as I get there. You may have some ideas, too!

Oh, and if you’d like to tell your friends about what you are doing and invite them to join in, here’s a button you could place on your blog, or other online areas. Link them back to the YCMT blog post so they know the steps and how to get started.

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Joining in a little late? No problem! Here’s what you’ll want to do:

Part 1: How it all started and how many square to cut!
Part 2: How to make a half-square triangle
Part 3: Ironing your blocks

Part 4: How to square-up your half-square triangles

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Part 4 – OK, so it’s not “perfect”….

…and yes, that is way-OK!  Because I’m going to show you something that will help a lot.  I should have combined this technique with the last section of part 3, but that’s ok. It’s not too late. And then I PROMISE we’ll move onto the fun stuff of combining blocks.

I’m going to show you how to “square up” your blocks.  Despite our best intentions to make each half-square triangle the exact same size as another, there will always be times when the fabric either stretches a bit more than another block, the seam isn’t “exactly” 1/4 inch, our pressing didn’t make things exact, etc. etc. Rather than dwell on that, let’s think about the good news here.

You can “square up” a block and make each one look like the other.  It may seem tedious at first, but it goes by fast and it is well worth the time in doing that so that everything lines up like it should.

OK, so here’s a quick run-down on what can happen. Exhibit A: Kim (yes, I’m talking now in 3rd person) stays up late and is sooooo tired. She decides that rather than go to bed like a normal person, she gets the sewing bug and wants to work on some of her half-square triangles.  She knows where to sew, she keeps her eye on the 1/4 inch seam, and somehow she strays…from that 1/4 inch seam.  Before she knows it, blocks look a tad funny. They don’t match up with one another. But no worries Kim! You’ve got a solution — you “square up” that beauty of a square and MAKE it match.

OK, back to reality here and forget the silliness — This WILL happen to you, too. (And even when you are well-rested! :))  So here’s what you do.  Place your square underneath a square ruler.  I want my squares to be 3 1/2 inches at this point. Notice it is NOT 3 1/2 inches. Oops.

Step 1: Place your square underneath a square ruler. The dashed lines show where that 3 1/2 inch square should be. The nice big red arrows show some problem spots. (eek.) But remember….it’s all good! No-stress project here.

 

Step 2:  Make sure your diagonal on the ruler (45 degree line) is on the diagonal of the half-square triangle.  Before you trim, make sure the fabric on the left and bottom sides extends just a tad over the 3 1/2 inch line. This is ok because you’ll cut it off later. 

Step 3:  Trim the right  and top edge of the half-square triangle.

Step 4:  Lift the square ruler off the fabric and rotate your fabric arounds so that you can now trim off those 2 other sides.  This time make certain that your bottom and left side of the square lines, lines up right along the 3 1/2 inch markings. 

Step 5:  Trim any fabric that extends beyond the ruler.

Now you’ve got a perfect square! Isn’t she a beauty? 🙂  And if you’ve never done this before, you learned something new!  You can use this technique with ANY size you are making. I know some of you are making 5 inch squares while another is making 2 inch. No problem at all.

Are you ready to go to the next step? I’ll go ahead and post it for those who are speedy and anxious to see it all come together. We are making one of my very favorite quilt blocks – a pinwheel!  Keep reading…

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Part 3 — It’s an EASY one!

I hope you all had a nice weekend! Are you all caught up on your quilts? 🙂

Alrighty…who is ready for the next step? This one is an easy one!  All I want you to do today  is get out that iron! (Oh, and those super-cute, half-square triangles you’ve just made! Don’t you just love how those look?)

The key to a good pressing (I think anyway) is to “lift and press…lift and press.” You don’t want to run your iron all over the square like you normally might because it may pull too much on your fabric and distort it. 

I always learned that a general rule of thumb in quilting is to press your seams towards the darker side. Some patterns may tell you otherwise so if you are creating other quilts it may give suggestions for which way to iron them.  For today…let’s iron them towards the darker fabric. 🙂

Step 1: Press your seam towards the darker fabric.  Your “square” will now look like the 2nd photo, with little portions of fabric sticking out beyond the square.  I also like to press on the front, too.

Step 2:  Simply take your rotary cutter or scissors and cut that excess fabric right off! Ba-bye!  NOW you have a really cute square, don’t you?

Set aside and do all those other things on your mile-long list of to-do’s. (You have one of those lists like mine, don’t you?) 

I’ll be back with the next steps shortly because this is when it gets really fun!! 🙂

Kim

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Part 2 in the “I’m-Making-This-Up-As-I-Go-Along” Quilt!

So you have your 64 fabric squares cut out, right? Check!  Good…because I’m ready to move on with the next step and you might be, too.  Again, we’re keeping this a simple, no-stress project so we’re doing this in “baby steps”. Here’s what you’ll want to do next!

Step 1:  Take one light color square and one dark color square and set side-by-side.

Step 2:  With right sides together, place the light color square on top of the dark color square.

Step 3:  With a ruler and pencil (or disappearing ink fabric pen) draw a line from one corner to the next. I like to draw this line on the light color fabric square.

         

Step 4:  Take these 2 blocks to your sewing machine. Sew 1/4″ on each side of that drawn line.
                *Note:  Sewing a 1/4″ seam is a standard measurement in quilting and is important so that everything lines up correctly. 

Step 5:  Cut the squares apart by cutting across the line you drew.

Open those up and take a peek! You have just completed what is called a “Half Square Triangle!” Can you see why? Isn’t that cute?

Remember how I mentioned  to cut your 4×4″ squares in *even* numbers, right?  So repeat these same 5 steps with another set of 2 fabrics that are the same as you just did.  It’s like I am starting over again with the same 2 fabric squares shown above:

Repeat this process for the rest of your 4×4″ squares. 

OK, that’s all for today!  We’re taking this just a bit at a time, so keep checking back for those next steps.  Have fun!!

-Kim

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A New Year…An Old Hobby…A New Quilt?

So a new year is here and as I do every year, I come up with my mental or written list of what I want to do this year. You know, the same thing goes on my list every year….lose weight, eat more veggies, run on the dreaded treadmill, create fun family experiences, organize my life, you know…same-o, same-o.  So while I still want to do those things, there’s something else I want to do.  I want to do something each week that makes me happy — spend time “making” something.  It may be something I sew, cook, bead…just something that makes me feel like I’m creating something for myself, my home, or my loved ones.  It’s a good feeling, isn’t it?

So I want to share with you my first project. Want to join me? I’d love to have some sewing buddies for this one.   It’s a simple one actually. Not too much to it. Not a whole lot of thought into what the end result will be — kind of a “make it up as you go along” kind of project. I like those projects every once in a while.  Makes me feel like I’m not going to “mess it up” because there really is no way you could go wrong. Great — a no-stress project. I like it. 

I’m not going to buy any new fabric for it either. Well, maybe at the very end, but we’ll see.  Sewing friends: Meet a portion of my stash:

I have my fabric scraps lovingly placed into color-coded bins.  🙂 I simply cannot throw away scraps. Yep, it’s crazy I know.  (I have a feeling many of you will relate!)

So going back to what it is I want to do. I’m going to make a simple QUILT.  My first love in sewing was quilting. I still love it. I’m in a local quilting group and love that I am spending time again on a hobby cultivated years ago.  One of the great things about quilting is that I can use those scraps of fabric that I can’t throw away. 

When you first walk into my home, there is a bench. You may recognize it from other photos I have taken. It’s a lonely bench that has sat there with nothing to “dress it up” for nearly 2 years.  I usually put a seasonal pillow in the corner, but somehow it gets lost.  See what I mean?

Lonely Bench:

OK, trying to dress it up a bit by placing a pillow in the corner:

What?! You can’t see the pillow? It gets LOST in a big bench?
Ya, we need a little somethin’ to help.  Oh, you want to see what the pillow is?

It’s my “must-have-a-seasonal-pillow-on-my-bench-pillow” for January. Reminds me that I need to put it in the “I Made This”  section at SWAK.  (I’ll do that after I make this post!) 😉

Here it is:

OK, so back to this bench. I see it every day I walk into the house. I want to make something that drapes on the corner of the bench and makes me smile every time I see it. So here’s what I’m going to do:  Make something from nearly nothing! (Yes, dig into those fabric scraps!)

Now you want to know what color, right? Hmmmm…doesn’t matter. Truly.

I’m going to make this a VERY scrappy looking quilt.  I’m not going to worry about matchy-matchy stuff.

The more crazy the fabric, the better. At least for me.

But if you want to make it in a color scheme, defnitely do that.

You want to make something that makes you smile, right? 

So today I’m going to only cut squares.  (Maybe I’ll cut tomorrow, too. Maybe all week.)

Remember it’s a “no-stress” project — enjoy the journey!

I’m going to cut them into 4×4″ squares.  I’ll cut them from reds, greens, pinks, aquas…anything that I already have in the “stash.” 

OK, there’s one  thing I’m going to remember: I’m going to cut the same amount of “light” colored fabrics as I cut “dark” colored fabrics. I’m not going to stew over whether it is truly light or dark. I’m going to go with my best hunch.

As for *how many* squares? Hmm….good question. Not sure the answer. 🙂

I think for today I will cut 32 squares from dark fabric and 32 squares from light fabric. This is a quilt that serves more for the cuteness factor than it is for function. 

OK, one more *must*.  Make sure that you cut “even” numbers of squares from the same fabric.  Example: I find super-cute pink fabric. I just want to make sure I cut 2 squares from that same super-cute pink fabric.  I love it so much I may want to cut 4 squares or 6 squares.  (See..*even* numbers.)

OK, I think that’s all for today. I still need to run 20 minutes on the treadmill and eat a head of broccoli. 😉

Have fun!!  And if you’re joining in on the fun, please leave a comment and let me know.  If you have a blog, I’d love to know where to follow your “make it up as you go” quilt journey.

Oh, and I’ll post the next steps to making this super-simple, but super-cute quilt later this week. Keep checking back!

-Kim

 

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And the Winners Are…

What a thrill this challenge has been! Gifts have been made for little or no money, friendships have been formed, new ideas shared, and holiday gift-giving will never be the same for any of these 50 who participated, or for those who have followed.  Through a random drawing of both participants and followers, these people have won the following:

3 participants of the “Thrifty Under Fifty” Challenge won $100 cash prizes!

Congratulations to:
Amber from Team Carla
Dawn from Team Kris
Kristina from Team Kim

 

3 people who “Followed the Fifty” won a $50 bundle package from www.YouCanMakeThis.com

Congratulations to:
Sara Childs
Jenn (Handmade Goodness)
Dana (Simple Gifts)

 

2 people (1 participant and 1 follower) won a month subscription to www.Diddybag.com!

Congratulations to:
Autumn from Team Sherrie
Ginny (Sunflowers at Home)

 

2 people (1 participant and 1 follower) won a $25 gift certificate to www.PolarNotions.com!

Congratulations to:
Mickey from Team Lorie
Dina from Bellabrina

 

2 participants have won a $25 bundle of machine embroidery designs downloads from www.SWAKembroidery.com!

Congratulations to:
Chasley from Team Lorie
Courtney from Team Kris

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