If you have been reading this here blog for awhile, you know I love a good mini quilt swap. I have done a few and now have a pretty sweet collection on my studio wall. I just love how they all look grouped together!
Well, I’m working on a second studio right now and there are a few very blank walls that need filling, fast! That’s where this project comes in…
I wanted a few bright colored pieces that didn’t take much time to make. Half square triangles would be perfect because they wouldn’t compete with any swap pieces I received. In reality they normally take a little while to make and there is usually a lot of trimming involved.
Then the light bulb went off over my head! I had just received a new sizzix die that was HST’s (what we will call half square triangles from here on out). I pulled it out and measured the cutting area and realized it was almost exactly 5″ square, which meant it was perfect for Charm Packs! I had a bunch of new charm packs that I brought back from Quilt Market. PERFECT!
For the above quilt I used a bunch of scraps, 5″ charm squares leftover from a swap I had finished a few weeks back and the Half Square triangle 4.5″ finished square Sizzix die.
Like I said above, this die is the perfect size for charm packs, I mean 100% perfect, there is hardly any leftover fabric! You do have to position it very carefully because of this though. Always test a piece too because some manufacturers have small charm squares, while others have large ones. It’s all about preference on their part I guess.
I found that I could cut layers at a time with this die and still get a clean cut. I ran it all through just like I normally do, using the sizzix sandwich. The sandwich goes like this: Cutting Pad, Die (face up) fabric and then another Cutting Pad on top.
After cranking the fabric through, I ended up with the scene above! Two half square triangle pieces, with dog eared corners already cut, and hardly any waste. Those two little strips of fabric there on the right is all that was left over.
This step only took me about 5 minutes to accomplish and I ended up with enough pieces to make a scrappy looking top.
I very quickly laid them on my cutting board to come up with the best layout. There were actually a lot of options. It all depends on how you rotate the triangles. I timed myself making this THREE times and each time I assembled the triangles a bit different! I’ll share the other two in the next two weeks, they each deserve their own blog post because they came out awesome.
After I was happy with the layout I took a photo with my phone so I didn’t forget what went where. I paired together each squares worth of HST’s, right sides together and made a little pile. I rotated each set so I didn’t get them mixed up when sewing.
To make this go even faster, I used my 1/4″ piecing foot on my machine so there was no guessing involved. The foot has a little metal bar on the right side that helps guide the fabric along in a nice straight line while keeping the seam a perfect 1/4″. I love it! It’s available for any machine out there and runs about $6-$28 depending on your machine. Mine pictured is a Viking brand and was about $25, but I did just buy my little sister one on Amazon for her Singer that was $6. There was hardly any difference in quality.
When piecing things like these HST’s, I like to do them all at once using a technique called chain piecing. It’s where you just keep feeding the pieces through the machine without cutting the thread in between. You just wait until you are done and snip the threads in between each piece.
This step was probably another 2-3 minutes, but I’m one of those reckless fast sewers, so lets go with 6 minutes.
After snipping all of the threads, I use my fingernail and press open all the seams. You don’t need to do you HST’s this way, I just like an open seam and my quilting style keeps them secure when washing and such. If you are a minimalist or paranoid quilter, make sure to press the seams to one side to strengthen them.
This step took me all of 2 minutes.
Then from here I just pieced all of the squares together, pressing the large seams in between each set.
This step took me about 15 mins total.
Which brings us to 28 mins, which I rounded up to 30 mins. I’m impressed by that time! I doubt I could have accomplished that without using my Sizzix Fabi and the Half Square triangle die. Oh and bonus points: I had my daughter sitting next to me asking loads of questions the entire time!
After you have the top finished, the time it takes to complete the entire thing all depends on you. Do you hand sew your binding on? Do you quilt fast? Or will the quilting be intricate? Do you hand quilt? Are you making this into a pillow? (because it can totally be a pillow)
I machine sewed a little bit of my quilt top, and then tried out hand sewing for the rest just to see if I liked it. I’m still not sure how I feel about it, we’ll touch on that another day.
The finished piece ended up being 16″ square and I bound it in a black chambray. I would love to say that it is hanging on the wall in my new studio, but sadly I can not. CT told me she loved it and that it would be the perfect doll quilt. So now it is living in her room, keeping her doll warm. Good thing I made two more!!
Supplies Used for the Top Only:
- 16 / 5″ Charm Squares or more if you want more variety. I used all Alison Glass fabric.
- Sizzix Fabi Cutting Machine (or an equivalent machine)
- Sizzix Bigz Die – Half-Square Triangles, 4 1/2″ Assembled Square
Oh and I just ordered a bunch of extra charm packs because I plan on timing how long it would take to make a lap size quilt using this same system! Keep an eye out for the results.Pin It