Monday, February 9, 2009

Chocolate squares and bars...without the calories.

When I took my first quilting class back in 2001, it was a 6 week "Sampler" class. The supply list said to pick a focus fabric and then pull in other prints to match and voila, you will have the right stuff for your new quilt. When I got to the first class, everyone had these stacks of beautiful florals, all co-ordinated, romantic and oh so pretty! I loved my choices, little prairie prints, bandana prints, calico's, but they were BROWN.The teacher said I needed some additional prints so up to the quilt store we go.....except they don't carry any browns. So I got the only thing they could justify to add to my group and it was a plaid. I didn't like it, but I went could I not, I knew nothing and these women knew "everything". I never grew to love that plaid, but I still love browns. Maybe it's a subconcious love affair with chocolate, but there are no calories in fabric! It was several years later I phoned back to that store to ask the teacher something. I explained who I was and why I was calling and when it clicked; "I remember you, you're the one who quilts with BROWN! Fast forward 7 - 8 years and I'm trying to get a handle on my scraps. After reading Bonnie Hunters website/blog with great interest, I am tackling my scrap bags and guess what, I'm still quilting with brown! So here is my latest project, all done without purchasing a piece of fabric, in fact, I didn't even cut into a full fat quarter and here I have a 54 x 54 top. This came to fruition based on trying out Bonnie's techniques. I am the quilter who never saved the corner triangles that got cut off, too tedious to make sense out of these scraps. Always one to learn a new way, I took her advise and sewed the double seam and saved the trimmings. She calls them bonus blocks. I now have a bag with 144 3 1/2" 1/2 sq triangles, ready for another project. And here is how you trim to perfect 1/2 sqs.

There is a funky corner on the dark side of these 1/2 sq's due to the nature of the mother block they from and it makes things fast for lining up your ruler.

Here is the same spot on the ruler, this matches on every block and makes for fast work with little thinking, it becomes "assembly line" work.

This always matches up to the same spot, so it makes for a fast work. Check that the 45 degree line on the ruler is matching your block.

Trim the right and top sides with the ruler in this position.

Double check your measurements. All you need to look at is this point.

Trim the second side and top and you should have a perfect 1/2 square triangle.

Here is my stack of bonus blocks. I'm sold out on this method, I got a beautiful scrappy top pieced and at the same time I ended up with all these blocks. If I set them in a pinwheel pattern, added a plain setting square and put some borders around it, I'll have a second quilt with very little extra piecing.
Almost as good as chocolate!

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