Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Slicing and Dicing

The quilt I'm making for the 2012 school auction is made up almost entirely of quarter square triangle blocks, also known as hour glass blocks.  I need to make about 400 of the hour glass blocks.  Luckily, I have some good tools!

I started with teh Easy Angle ruler.  Thelma of Cupcakes 'n Daisies blogged about this ruler, recommending it for making half-square triangle blocks.  What do you know, but I found it among my (rather extensive collection of) rulers.  I don't recall using it before but I think I saw it demonstrated at a quilt show and bought it then. 

Anyway, I decided this project would be the perfect time to try it out and I was not mistaken. It is very easy to use. I sandwiched one blue fabric with a gold fabric, right sides together, using a bit of spray starch. I cut the strips then used the Easy Angle ruler to cut the strips into triangles. The pairs stayed together fairly well and were easy to feed through the sewing machine, chain-style. 

The next step was to cut each resulting block in half, diagonally, and re-sew pairs together to yield the hour glass blocks.  I deliberately made them a little oversize so I could cut them down to the perfect size.  All this cutting is tedious but I find it is the only way for me to get the required accuracy.

For this cutting, I used my Bias Square ruler (shown here on a dinner napkin so you can see the markings).  This ruler has markings every 1/8th inch, plus the diagonal line marked.  It made it easy to trim the blocks down to size.  As you can see in the first photo above, I was basically shaving them down to the correct size and squaring them up. 

So, this is what I have now.  About 400 blocks, arranged by color combination, and ready to be sewn together in rows.

Still a lot of sewing to be done, but I am finished with the cutting.


  1. Looking forward to seeing the finished quilt. I love blue and yellow.

  2. Ha! Another Easy Angle lover! I've had an easy angle for many years and even though I try different methods for half square triangles, I think the Easy Angle is still my very favorite. It's fun to find someone else who likes it!


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