Whew! It’s Thursday morning and I’m struggling to get going today. I slept well until the local mob of Gulls decided to kick up a bit of ruckus well before 6am. These pesky birds have set up residence here, some 50 miles from the coast, making up for being low in numbers with their high volume calling. They are constantly patrolling the skies, chasing off Red Kites and Buzzards and skirmishing with the local crows.
My main goal this week has been preparation for the Patchwork Workshop tomorrow. On Tuesday I made the final adjustments to the pattern for the ‘Into the Woods’ table runner. Yesterday I printed out the foundation paper piecing patterns and made some part-finished examples for the demonstrations I’ll give in class.
My work table looked frightful most of the day but there is order now and a comprehensive list of equipment to pack ready for the workshop…
Of course, I haven’t just been concentrating on workshop prep, my mind has been ticking over an issue with another patchwork design I’d like to develop and write up as a pattern. A couple of months ago I made this sample quilt to test out the design. It’s hanging up in my sewing room at the moment and I have some fabrics to make a larger and hopefully better executed version. But as I’ve been glancing up at the first quilt I’ve been toying with some design modifications. The quilted points to the orange and yellow ‘O’s got me thinking I could make those shapes part of the patchwork….
Hmm! That would involve making Half Square Rectangles… Hmm! I haven’t done that before… There must be some tutorials on line…
So in the midst of preparing for the workshop I’ve been taking little snatches of time to construct HSR using several different methods. I’ve made enough two at a time Half Square Triangles to feel comfortable with the method and confident I can consistently produce HST units of the required size. However, it’s taking a bit of effort to get my head around HSR: laying the rectangles on top of one another at an angle and realising that changing the direction of the diagonal line will produce units that cannot be rotated to lie the same way is utilising quite a large patch of my sleepy brain cells…
I’ve found Jacquelynne Steves’ HSR tutorial very helpful.
Of course making a new-to-me patchwork shape has provided an opportunity to feed my ruler fetish! I have quite a comprehensive collection – most bought directly, others ‘free’ gifts with magazines. Some I use very regularly, a few I haven’t used even once.
Here’s the latest addition to my ruler stash, a Creative Grids ‘Perfect Rectangle Ruler’. This of course involves cutting individual triangles to make into HSR units rather than making them two at a time. (There is a helpful tutorial on using the ruler here).
I’m not sure I’ve settled on a preferred method for making HSR. The two at a time method is pretty reliable but the trimming does produce quite a bit of waste fabric. The Perfect Rectangle Ruler cuts the triangles to size so there’s no fabric wastage but the seam line produced is on the bias so there is a risk the blocks could distort… Claudia Lash’s pattern ‘Sail Away’ has HSR in the design and she kindly shared her method with me so I’ve not been short of tips and ideas on this little quest of mine!
My collection of Half Square Rectangles is growing 😀