At last, we can start to feel summer in the air! The sun’s been pretty elusive, but the longer days have been perfect for quilting and sewing in natural daylight.
This month as part of my beginner series I wanted to show you an effect that you can make with half square triangles, (HSTs) and a super speedy trick with squares that will make people think you’ve spent hours sewing small pieces together when really you haven’t! That’s the beauty of quilting; to the untrained eye, even simple blocks with a clever trick can look really impressive.
First of all I wanted to show you how you can use half square triangles to create a chevron effect. To make the perfect HST, do refer to my previous blog post, with a full tutorial on how to make them. For this example I have made eight HSTs to illustrate the chevrons, but you can of course make as many as you wish.
Take your HSTs and orientate them as shown below.
Stitch the top row together in pairs and press all the seams to the right. Then stitch the bottom row together in pairs and stitch all the seams to the left.
Now join the top and bottom pairs together to form two blocks of four HSTs. Join the two blocks together.
And there you have it, a really fun chevron effect.
When choosing fabrics, you may want to consider colours and pattern carefully; you probably want the chevron design to stand out, so you will need quite a lot of contrast in colour between the chevron and the background. You can have so much fun with this! Why not go wild and match leopard print with hot pink, or if you wanted a crisper look, go for a solid background and a print for the chevron. The possibilities are endless!
Disappearing 9 Patch
And now for the really quick trick with squares. This is called a Disappearing 9 Patch. First you need to stitch together a 9 patch block. This is literally just 9 squares sewn together in rows, in a three by three formation. For this example I’ve used 5” squares.
Now for the fun bit, you’re going to cut this block up and sew it back together again!
Find the half way point both horizontally and vertically and mark with a Hera marker in a ‘plus’ formation. Cut down each of these lines, being careful not to move the fabric. Your block should now be in four quarters.
Now, rotate the pieces until you have a pleasing formation. I’ve decided to go with this layout:
Next, you’re going to sew the pieces back together again. Stitch the top two blocks together and press the seams to the right, then stitch the bottom two blocks together, pressing the seams to the left. Join the two sections together nesting the seams, and you’re done. A seemingly intricate quilt made of lots of pieces, sewn together really quickly. Don’t let the secret out!
I think a quilt made up of these blocks and with some wide sashing around the edge would make a wonderful small bed quilt. Or if you were really daring you could sub cut your quarters into quarters to make even smaller blocks! Once again, so many possibilities for fabric and pattern play.
I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Groves, who provided me with this beautiful Gutermann Blooms fabric. It’s just so pretty and uplifting! If you would like to purchase some for yourself, do email email@example.com for stockist information.