Downton Abbey Trimming Marathon


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Downton Abbey… Don’t you just love the characters!! Maggie Smith is a riot. She really has some deadly zingers.

I am new to this show. Oh, of course, I had heard of it. Just had never watched. How fitting is it that Season 1, Episode 1 begins with the Titanic sinking. And you know my obsession with the Titanic!! Got my attention right off the bat.

Anyhoo… back to the Trimming Marathon. The reason for my post.

I needed something to entertain me for several hours so I could trim the balance of my leftover half-square triangles. The little teeny ones. Didn’t wish to go wonky for them. So I needed to set aside several hours to go about the trimming. I have lots of DVD’s but wanted something new and fresh. Best Buy had Downton Abbey on sale. I bought all three seasons.

So, I assembled everything I needed….

Homemade template. Made from an old VHS cassette case.
Half-square triangles. Scissors.
Downton Abbey DVD’s.

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And got started.

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I hand trimmed over 600 HST’s and made it through each and every episode. All 3 seasons.

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I LOVE this show. Can’t wait until January 2014 to see what happens to Mary. New baby. Dead husband. All the characters are just too delish for words. Just the right tone, look and delivery. My one wish. That they hadn’t killed off the baby sister, Sybil. Well, two wishes. I wish Mary wasn’t so mean to Edith. Poor Edith.

Well, got to go. Need to decide what to do with these 6 1/2″ blocks. I am thinking surround them with HUGE sashing. Maybe. Maybe not. We shall see.

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Should have more to show you in a few days. Do come back.

But for now.. I am going back to Downton Abbey. Going to rewatch them all over again. 😀


Do you watch Downton Abbey? Who is your favorite character? Which is your favorite episode? Do tell….


Linking to.

http://www.conniekresin.com/2013/06/linky-tuesday_18.html

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How To Make A Wonky Half-Square Triangle Block


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Ever wish you could just sew and not have to worry about matching seams at every turn?

Well then… this Wonky Half-Square Triangle (HST) block is for you. A block made with different HST sizes. We all have them. Dog ears trimmed from the corners. Those Snowball block corners. Also corners trimmed from mitered strips for bindings. Many projects create left-over triangles or triangle-like scrap pieces.

Most of mine came from my Hugs and Kisses quilt.

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I had no idea what to do with all of them. But after tiring of looking at the overflowing bag, I started thinking of what to do without a whole lot of preparation. Minimal fuss.

That’s when I came up with the idea of using them AS IS. “Making them work”, as Tim Gunn from Project Runway would say. I would sew all the different HST’s together with no thought to size. With one exception. I would match up the center seam going down the block.

Want to make a few? OK. Here’s my 3 Step Preparation Process.

1. Go gather up any HST’s you have been collecting.

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2. Go through your scraps and pull out any pieces shaped like a triangle.

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3. And lastly, while sorting through your scraps, pull out any pieces large enough to cut a triangle.

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HOW TO MAKE ONE WONKY HALF-SQUARE TRIANGLE BLOCK

OK. Now. Cut your scraps into triangles. I cut mine between 2″ and 2 1/2″. Cut a matching white (or white-on-white) fabric. Right sides together. Sew triangles with 1/4″ seam. Chain piece to save time and thread. Sew one triangle after the other. Do not cut thread until all triangles are sewn.

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Cut thread chain. Press triangles open. Cut tips off the corners.

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Now you are ready to build your wonky block. You need 24 HST’s per block. Twenty to form the outside square and four for the center of the block.

Starting with the LEFT side. Select five (5) HST’s and line them up. Mix up the colors and patterns. No repeats in a block. (Refer to photos for placement.)

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TOP. Add five more HST’s.

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RIGHT SIDE. Add five more HST’s.

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BOTTOM. Add five more HST’s.

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CENTER. Add four HST’s.

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When all 24 HST’s are placed, your block should look like this.

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Next. Add White Filler Triangles along the sides.

Using white or white-on-white (WOW), cut strips of 2 1/2″ by WOF. Now cut the strips into 2 1/2″ squares. You will need a lot of these squares depending on how many blocks you make.

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Cut 2 1/2″ squares diagonally down the center.

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Place one white triangle in the empty slots along the block edges according to the photo. Eight per block.

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SEW HST’s TOGETHER

I like to pin each row so when I am sewing I don’t have to guess which direction the HST should face.

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Sew HST’s together by row. Press strips. Doesn’t matter which direction to press the seams since they probably won’t line up to abut anyway.

Trim strips using the “shortest” HST as your guide.

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Trim top and bottom of the strip.

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SEW ROWS TOGETHER.

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When sewing rows together, only be concerned with getting the center HST’s lined up. The rest won’t matter. They will be wonky if you used different sized HST and won’t line up with the adjoining rows. (They may look funny now but in the end, they will be ok.)


Now time to trim the sides of the sewn blocks.

Starting with the right side.

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This is the area you will trim first. See my pencils? That is your guide for ruler placement. Place your see-through ruler with the one inch marking on the edge of the “top” HST and one inch marking on the edge of the “last” HST in THAT SAME ROW. Don’t worry about any wonkiness. The one inch of white will balance it out and create a uniformity of white sashing throughout your quilt top. Go around the block and trim the four longest sides.

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You can also trim the shorter sides of the blocks. They shouldn’t be that much off. Just a tad.

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This is how your Wonky HST Block should look with all sides trimmed.

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One last thing to do to complete your wonky blocks. Add the corner triangles so blocks can be sewn together to form your quilt top.


ADDING FOUR TRIANGLE CORNERS

Select whichever fabric you wish for the four corners. I LOVE Polka Dots!! So that is what I used. Lots of colors.

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(Note: Depending on what size your block ended up, you may wish to experiment with ONE block first. Before you cut all the corners. Cut two. Pin them to your block. Finger press to make sure the corner triangle extends to the edge of your block. So you are NOT cutting into the block when trimming. I started with 4 1/2″ which proved too short. 4 3/4″ or 5″ would have been a better choice. BUT you experiment with one block to make sure your triangles are lined up with the block edges when sewn and pressed.)

Your corners will be added on the longer sides of the block. See my pencils.

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Sew and press corner triangles. Trim side edges as needed.

And DONE!! Repeat to make as many blocks as desired for your quilt top.


Arrange Wonky Blocks to your liking.

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As you can see, most of the wonkiness disappears and is not so noticeable when block is turned diagonally. Diamond shaped.

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This is my quilt top. It measures 56 1/2″ by 57″. I just need to quilt it.

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Hope you will make a few of these Wonky HST Blocks. And hope my tutorial was helpful. Thanks for following along. 😀


Linking to…

http://www.conniekresin.com/2013/06/linky-tuesday_18.html

It’s SPRING And Everything Is Growing


The month of April was all about digging, cutting and trimming. Nope, not outside. Inside. In my sewing room. Having a love affair with my scraps. Oh how I love thee.

It is so satisfying working with scraps, even the teeny tiny pieces. If you have worked with them, then you know how time consuming the process can be. It takes weeks, even months to “grow” them into a piece large enough for a quilt. I even have names for my latest scrap projects. Hot Pockets. Stairsteps. Wonky HST’s.

Want to see?

This is HOT POCKETS.

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At first I was just piecing together scraps. Mixing up the fabrics and colors. Then to make it more interesting, I decided to add a square of polka dots here and there. Little pockets.

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So far, I have orange, lime and pink sections. Lots more colors to add. Except for the pocket square, it is 100% scraps. Probably a few more months of piecing.


STAIRSTEPS is next. Last month I showed you the beginnings of this project. It looked like this.

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It was made with cut off ends from my Scrappy Trip Around The World blocks. Didn’t have many so I created strips from scraps.

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At first I named this project Dominoes. But after taking about 30 photos, I started seeing little burgundy steps. Stepping down row by row.

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So calling it Stairsteps just made more sense. I LOVE creating these strips. I have pulled from everywhere. Charm packs, scraps purchased on Ebay, fabric from friends, stash. But mostly my scraps. Sashing is 1 1/8″ wide and I get three strips per WOF.

Three panels are completed. They are hanging on my design wall with avocado fabric in the background. I plan to use it for sashing.

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This photo shows how I want it to look when finished.

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WONKY HALF-SQUARE TRIANGLES (HST’s). Except for the white filler triangles along the outsides, this project is 100% scraps.

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If you remember my Hugs and Kisses quilt, all those snowball-type corners created a ton of cut off ears.

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I wasn’t sure what I would do with them but saved them anyway. There are hundreds of them. So far, I have made 20 of these wonky blocks. The HST’s are different sizes, hence the wonkiness of the blocks.

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I haven’t completed the design yet. Working on how I want to connect the blocks. I am thinking 50 blocks should make a nice sized quilt. More details coming. More photos to follow.


You may remember me showing you my 5 by 5 blocks last month.

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Well, they grew too!! From 8 blocks to 18. I added aqua/turquoise (love them!!), red, blue, mauve and pink.

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I will probably do a couple blocks in black/white and maybe gray. Still thinking on this one. The final design hasn’t popped into my head just yet. Maybe add a HUGE border to make it lap size.


Even my Block of the Month quilt from my quilt group grew since the last time you saw it. This is April’s block.

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I now have six blocks completed. Half way there.

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Won’t have the quilt top finished until around the end of November. One block per month. But I have been auditioning fabrics for sashing and borders. Leaning toward more of the purple for the final border and maybe the back.


Not too many finishes for April. Just a few. I will post photos on my sidebar. The little doll quilt I showed you a couple days ago is finished. I ended up using the mauve fabric for the binding.

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Binding machine stitched front and back.

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And the doll pillow I was making turned out human sized so now I have to start over and piece more squares to make a much smaller one.

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Just one of these should do it. Squares are 1 1/2″.

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Well… that does it for me. I had one Heck Of A Scrappy Month. Happy. Happy. Happy. 😀

What all have you been creating? Do tell.

Quilted Table Runner Inspired By Macrame

Finally…

I get to show you. No more teasing. No more showing you parts of photos. 😀

This was my inspiration.

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A placemat, candle ring and floral holder. In Forest Green macrame cord. I can’t even remember when I made them. I think around the time I retired five years ago. Within that first six months when I was going crazy trying to stay busy and figuring out what to do with the rest of my life.

I kept them on my work table the whole time I was making the table runner. I even used the mat to determine the spacing for the strips on the back.

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Love the versatility of this mini quilt. Two-sided table runner.

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Or as a wall hanging.

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My loopy swirls on the green border came out so-so. I need to practice more.

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Well, that’s my Big Reveal. Hope you enjoyed the mystery of it all. 😀

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Half Square Triangles: Part 2


Yep, adding dark green to cranberry and lime was a “head shaker” to my eyes, too. At first. But I had a clear vision on the end look, so I kept going.

Along the way…decisions…decisions.

Decision 1 – Borders. How wide to make the dark green log cabin borders. I didn’t want it to overpower the other two colors. Just make it interesting to look at. A thin slice of dark. I cut them 1 1/2″.

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Decision 2 – The Back. Should I make a simple one fabric back or a pieced back. Though it took longer, I opted for a pieced back. Reversible. Tired of the front? Flip it.

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Decision 3 – Quilt Design. For the quilting, I knew I would stipple it but needed to decide on the design for the border. Decided on loops. I needed to try more than just meandering. I have to admit. I am comfortable with stippling. Need lots and lots of practice once I am out of my comfort zone.

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Decision 4 – Binding. The last decision was on the binding. I REALLY wanted half lime and half cranberry in an “L” shape. But the camera lenses disagreed. Said NO, all cranberry. Got to listen to my One-EYED-adviser!!

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I have to hand sew the binding. So come back tomorrow for the full reveal and to see what inspired me to add dark green. 😀

Half Square Triangles: WIP From July


To tell you about what I have been working on for the last few days, I first have to take you back to this past July. Back to when I was making pillows.

Remember these? I made all those strips using plum, cranberry and lime and made two pillows.

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https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2011/07/10/new-striped-pillow-covers-with-buttons/

Then for some reason I decided to also make Half Square Triangles. Lots of them.

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The plan was to make a pillow using all HST’s. But somewhere in the eyeballing stage, my project went south. I hated it!! Just those two fabrics. Cranberry swirls and lime with tiny brown dots.

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Boring!! And I couldn’t find any other fabric in my stash to jazz things up. So they sat.

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Enter my new fabric into the picture. I so want to cut into them.

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A couple of the designs I want to try have half square triangles. And then I remembered those already cut ones.

It’s been months since I thought about them. Now with fresh eyes I had an idea on how to make the HST’s interesting again. Turn them on point.

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And add a third color. A solid. Which I rarely use. But I was thinking, I could do interesting things in that solid space when quilting.

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More to follow. Stay tuned….