Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bonnie knows best!!!

You know how it is…..you have done one task in the same way for years and years and years, and someone tells you another way to do it.  Your first thought is “nah…that wont work” and so you continue on in your old way.  Well, let me tell you my story……

I hate making Half-square triangles, and I have tried EVERY WAY possible.  I started out by cutting the squares 7/8” larger than the finished size, cutting thru the diagonal and then trying to sew the triangles together with a correct 1/4 inch seam.  The points would jam under the needle, my seam allowance would vary and it NEVER worked!!!!

Then, I started placing two (7/8” larger) squares together, drawing the diagonal line and then sewing 1/4 inch on each side of the line.  I would cut them in half, press and behold….they were NEVER the right size.

SO, I joined the ranks of people who would cut the squares too big, sew on the diagonals, cut, press and THEN use a ruler to square-up the patches to the correct size.  This process provided for perfect size squares, but it was very time intensive.

 

Enough history….. move onto current events…..in the last couple of weeks, I have just wanted to sew.  It didn’t matter what I was working on, but I just needed to feel the fabric, see the stitches and use my rotary cutter!!!  So, I turned to Bonnie Hunter’s website and selected one of her scrap quilt patterns to work on.    This is Nine Patch Split…..

9patchsplit 010

 

Since my plan is to make it much bigger, the first thing that I needed were 500+ half-square triangles.  Well, I almost stopped right there!!!!  But in Bonnie’s instructions, she told how to use the “Easy Angle II” ruler to make 1/2 square triangles .

61ns1S5OazL._SL500_AA300_

Since I had the ruler already, I decided to give it a try…..just to prove to myself that it wouldn’t work!!!!!

These are the steps that you use….

Cut strips of fabric that are the finished block size plus 1/2 inch.  Place them face sides together.

Use the Easy Angle to cut one triangle “thingy”……

 _1031270

Then flip the ruler to the other side and cut another……._1031272 

Sew the shapes together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance

_1031274

and….VOILA…..perfect sized 1/2 square triangles   (you just have to clip that one point)!!!!!!

_1031275

I also found that if I was chain piecing and started sewing with the pointed end of the triangle and ended on the cut off point it was easier to start the next triangle.

So, in a very short time I made hundreds of half square triangles!!!!!

 _1031277

THEN, I read in her instructions about keeping the “chains” together until after they were pressed.  Again, I thought…..”no, no, no”.  But once again the practical side of my brain said “why don’t you give it a try” and once again, BONNIE WAS RIGHT!!!!!

If you place the chains on your ironing board, they line up beautifully for pressing and I found that it was WAY faster and easier to do.

  _C291254 _C291255

(note here that it is NOT easy to iron with your left hand and take a photo with your right) _C291256

So here I say THANK YOU BONNIE for making my life easier and for providing such wonderful hints and instructions!!!!!

3 comments:

Bonnie K Hunter said...

Thank you thank you for the lovely friendly shout out!! I'm so glad you didn't prove me wrong on that easy angle...I wouldn't be without it!

Happy stitches!

Bonnie

VickiGene said...

Frances, I didn't think there was any method out there that you haven't already tried. The "Bonnie" method sounds too good to be true because of the bias, but with the right sides together, there's less handling which keeps the bias stable. Cool! I think I already have that ruler. Funny how I buy rulers and then forget what magic could happen if I picked them up. Thanks for the tutorial. I want to get started on my 500 patches. ;-)

Anita said...

Frances, love your new background design. I'm ordering some of these rulers for my Beginner Quilters!

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