Monday, 5 March 2012

March BOM!!!!

Okaaaaay, my internet has been more off than on tonight and so I am just hoping that I get this post written and out there whilst it is on tonight!  It has taken me three or four goes so far to upload the pictures so hear's hoping that I will be able to write this post quickly and post it tonight!  

March's BOM is the half square triangle.  This is such an effective block!  There are so many things you can do with it and normally I would upload some pictures to inspire you but I may never get back to this page.

So, back the the BOM.  The half square triangle isn't hard but it does involve a bias seam so you have to be a bit careful.  Here goes!  Cut yourself some 5" squares.  You want at least two light and two dark.  Better results will be achieved if you use quite a pale light and just something that has good contrast with it for the dark.   
Take all your light squares and draw a pencil line diagonally across the square.  I use a 2B pencil.  Make it dark enough so that you can see it.  If you have trouble with your fabric moving as you try to draw try one of the following:
sharpen your pencil,
lie your fabric on very a sheet of very fine sandpaper - the grip hold the fabric and stops it from slipping whilst you draw.
Next pair up all your light squares right sides together with your dark squares.  You should probably pin them together keeping the pins away from the line you have drawn.  Using your quarter inch foot sew a quarter of an inch on one side of the line as per the diagram.  I have used blue thread to make it easier for you to see.  Use thread to match one of your fabrics - your choice which.
Do this with all your blocks and then turn the blocks around and sew down the other side of the line.
Once you have finished cut your squares apart.  The drawn line now becomes your cutting line.
This is the important part.  Lay your triangle down on your ironing board with the dark side up -  now you are going to open your square out.  I do it by gently sliding my fingers between the two fabrics whilst keeping the light fabric flat and gently flip the dark fabric over.  Finger press the dark fabric down - you want the seam to go the "Dark Side".  I need Star Wars theme music here - I also need a hand model but let's move on!
You don't need to press to hard with your fingers, just enough to hold the fabric down enough for you to be able to put your iron down.  This is where you have to be gentle and make sure you don't stretch the seam out of shape as this is now a bias seam.  Once I have pressed with the iron first, I like to give a light water spray and press again.
Now you have to snip off these annoying little tails.  Some people get their ruler and rotary cutter out - feel free - I just hold the square carefully and do it with the scissors.  Can't show you a picture of me holding with the other hand as I haven't yet learned to take photos with my nose!
You can see one tail has been cut off and one remains but you can now see your block!
Each pair of squares makes two blocks.  There are lots of ways you can arrange them.....flying geese
Square in a square........
this has probably got a name but it escapes me at the moment
and my favourite - the pin wheel.   This is the next step if you are feeling brave.  Don't feel you have to though - if you try one and don;t like it feel free to just send me the half square triangles (or HSTs).  I am sure most of you will manage though.
Take two pairs and pin them together - IMPORTANT!!!  Make sure, in each pair, that the dark triangle is always in the same place and the light in the same place.  Sew with your quarter inch foot and 
Lay them side by side on the ironing board and iron the seams, you guessed it, to the "Dark Side".
Turn your pairs over and now iron the seams open.  This give less bulk in the middle in the end.  Now pin your two pairs together, making sure that you pay attention to the seams in the middle - you want to match them as accurately as you can.
Again, iron the seams one way on the right side and then turn over and open out the seam and press flat.  A spray of water is a good idea too.
Turn your block over and you should have a pinwheel that looks like this.  
Do the best you can to make sure that your centre point matches but there are no Quilt Police in Aussie Heroes  and your best is good enough so if you cant get a perfect point don't stress.  I don't believe any of the soldiers who receive these quilts are going to be picking an choosing based on the accuracy of your points.   
If you do choose to make pin wheels please make sure that you orient your darks and lights the same as I have.  It makes a huge difference to the end result if all the lights and darks are in the right places.  Depending on how many blocks I get I intend on making one pin wheel quilt and if I get enough HST blocks that are not sewn into pinwheels I will probably making a quilt in this pattern.
Now for the low down on February's BOM.  I can't show you any of the completed Feb quilts yet but you might like to know that we have enough nine patch blocks for 5 quilts.  Obviously I can't sew all five myself so a few lovely ladies have volunteered to take the blocks and finish quilts themselves.  LarissaChristine and A lovely lady called Claire who I will actually be meeting on Saturday has sewn 24 blocks and is going to put them together into a quilt top herself.  That leaves two quilts for me to sew and I am impatient to get on to them!

I am really looking forward to seeing what HSTs come in.  


The last date for posting nine patch blocks to me is March 31.  If you post after that they may have to wait for another quilt or quilts to be included in.  If you are posting some can you please let me know how many so that by the time they arrive I will have a layout worked out and can start working on them.  Just leave a comment if you need me to send you my address.  Overseas quilters, we would love you to join in the fun feel but it you could post yours a bit earlier - say around March 16 that should allow for most of the blocks to be here together.  You can make one block or more - your choice.  I am sure there are some of you that absolutely won't be able to stop at one......like me!  And, if anyone wants to volunteer to complete a quilt from the BOMs I received please let me know.

I hope that makes sense to all of you - leave me a comment if you are joining in and also if you have any questions.

I am going to quickly push the button and send this off whilst I have internet.

Till next time................keep spreading the word and happy stitching!





6 comments:

  1. Love it! I hope your internet keeps on working for you. I am looking forward to making these blocks and i will keep them ready for the next lot of postings.

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  2. You made me laugh! I don't know...maybe if you hung the camera around your neck and used your nose to press the button..it just might work. Okay, maybe not if you have a stubby nose! Well, that is the visual that came to my mind. You are so funny.

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  3. Your tutorials are lovely and clear and easy to understand,thanks so much..

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  4. Thanks for the giggle this morning! Jan-Maree, what size *should* this block be? -Not saying mine will be the right size, just wanting to know what I should aim for!

    PS- I love pinwheels, so I'll be making them - unless of course I get the layout mixed up in which case I'll be contributing to the other quilt(s).

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  5. After much thought and consideration, or is it too much thought and consideration....you could always set the camera up on a pile of fabric and utilise the self timer button to capture you working 'on the fly' so to speak! Will save your poor wee nose from any damage caused by pressing the shutter button!

    Love the new BOM - I don't mind 9 patch's, but love the effects you can achieve with HST's.

    Hope your internet problems are rectified soon.

    I can't promise, but will try and get some more blocks made and sent before the end of the month....if I were to make the ones in the bottom pic (the star with the pinwheel in the middle), how many blocks would I need to make for a quilt top? I could probably work it out myself, and I promise to try, but if you already know, or someone else already knows, can they please tell me?
    (beadnv (at) westnet (dot) com (dot) au

    Hugs
    Naomi

    Hugs
    Naomi

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  6. Hi again Jan-Maree,

    I know this is really picky and rude of me, but can I make a tiny suggestion about the BOM's? Could you possible put a few measurements in, such as one you have the HST's made from the two 5" squares so that beginners can make sure their stitching is accurate or if advanced sewists/quilters use a different method to construct the HST's they can see how far out their blocks are? Also, if you are able to let us know (read let me know!) how many pinwheel blocks are needed for a quilt top please? :o)

    Hugs
    Naomi

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