This is the year of finishing unfinished projects. So I pulled out a few of those babies and decided to start with a chevron quilt using fabric from my stash that I started a few years ago when chevron anything became so popular.
I started by cutting squares of two different fabrics, cutting them diagonally and then sewing the two fabrics together to form a square. Then my thinking cap came on and I realized that this was the perfect project for practicing the “sew and slash of squares” method. (My name for the technique!) The quilting world calls these the “Half-Square Triangles.”
Cut squares from two different fabrics. Size doesn’t matter, only that all the squares are the same size. On one of the squares on the WRONG side, draw a line on the diagonal. There are rulers out there designed for this purpose but I just use whatever ruler is long enough for the diagonal.
Layer a square from each fabric (2 squares) on top of each other RS together. Using the center line as your guide, sew a ¼” seam line on each side.
Cut on the center line and Voila, you have two half-square triangle blocks.
So much easier than cutting squares on the diagonal and THEN sewing another triangle to it to make it square again!!
Don’t forget to press the seams at each step. I prefer to press my seams open as opposed to one side, as I get a flatter seam and more precise matching of points. BUT, because you are pressing on the diagonal be very careful to not slide the iron along the seam but lift and press as you go. Sliding the iron will distort the fabric and then the square will no longer be square!! I often use a small applique iron to press the seams open.
After pressing the seams and blocks, “square” them up by trimming the blocks to the size required. This is a step that I am always tempted to omit because of the time involved but if I really want my quilt to be square and precise and the points to match up THEN this step is necessary. Take your pick of the rulers available to make this job easier.
Now comes the really fun part! Lay out your completed half-square triangle (HST) blocks in the design of your choice. Sew blocks together, then rows together, until you have a quilt top the size you want.
I decided to practice on a 9” square which when sewn into a half-square triangle block equals an 8 ½” square. Using fabric from my stash, I only had enough for a 7 blocks across and 7 blocks down for a throw quilt size of 56” square. In sewing all the blocks together in a chevron design it was necessary to follow a chart to make sure that the blocks were sewn in the correct direction. Another example of using my mind:)
With the top finished, it was time to do something with the pile of left over scraps of fabric. The miser in me wants to use every bit of fabric that I can so I decided to piece the backing using the scraps. With no design or plan in mind, I laid out all the left over fabric on my cutting table and mulled over different configurations. After changing my mind many times I finally settled on the design configuration that used almost every last piece of fabric and with the addition of some other stash fabric the back was finished.
On to the rails!! With the back pinned on it was time to add the batting. I use Quilters Dream Wool Batting and absolutely love it. It is lightweight with a ¼” loft. Machine quilting on it is a dream and it washes beautifully. And the batting comes in a quilt throw size of 60” x 60” which was the perfect size for this quilt.
After pinning on the top it’s on to the quilting. My rails are from Bernina and I quilt with a Bernina 820, using Quilt Motion Touch. I learned a few years back that I am too much an A personality and free motion quilting was NOT a relaxing adventure! After a learning curve, machine and software issues resolved, I am quite comfortable using the software and am now experimenting more with the many choices of motives available. I am finding that I enjoy this process almost as much as the actual sewing of the quilt tops. Another example of keeping my mind active:)
Until the next “unfinished” project is finished. . . .