Monday, April 2, 2012

Another Favourite Tool

First, before I begin, I have added a few classes onto the Class Schedule.  I have been approached by a number of women looking for an introductory one day class for patchwork.  I have tried to come up with a solution, learning patchwork in one day is a challenge.  I have broken down the patchwork basics as best I can into several classes.  This first class is all about rotary cutting. Students will cut fabric for a small project that they can assemble at home.  This class takes place on 22 April from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.  There is a second class that follows on from this one on the following Sunday, 29 April.  The second class is all about half square triangles and flying geese.  These two courses will allow the students to work on their own at home during the next few months. Sew, if you or any friends are interested in learning patchwork then give us a call and reserve a space.

Since we all love pictures and I have nothing to share regarding the above paragraph I am sharing with you how I spend my summer months! The chap in the purple and gold on the right hand side is my oldest boy playing hurling for the Co. Wexford development squad.

Back to patchwork! We all have a favourite tool, I talked about my stiletto in a previous post and how I use it. Another favourite tool of mine is a square up ruler from the Quilt in a Day Company, the fabulous Eleanor Burns.  Say what you like about El and her style, she does know her business and I find some of her rulers superb.  This little 6 1/2" square ruler is the key to creating perfect half-square triangles. Everyone that has started using this gem absolutely swears by it.
Essentially, you create your half-square triangles about an 1/8" larger than called for and you trim it down after you sew on both sides of the diagonal line.
Let's say you need to create two half square triangles, using a dark fabric and a light one. The HST's are to be an unfinished 3 1/2" square. So, you begin by cutting two squares, one light and one dark each measuring 4" not the usual 3 7/8". Place your two squares right sides facing and draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner. Sew 1/4" on each side of the diagonal line. When you have finished sewing your two lines you can cut on the center diagonal line, thus creating your two HST's. Now, before you open up the triangles to gaze at you gorgeous squares do two things. First, take you triangle in one hand and your Square Up ruler in the other. Place the ruler over the triangle with the 3 1/2" line over the stitching line and trim around the two sides of the triangle.

Second, take your triangle and press open. Be sure to press, not iron, and open up the seam from one point to the other. I personally finger press my seams open and I run my thumb all the way along the seam making sure that at the points the fabric is completely open. Measure and hold your breath that the square is exactly 3 1/2" square! Ta Da!!!

 I admit these are not the greatest photos, you have to see me do this live in order to appreciate the magic!

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