I recently joined Tree City Quilters’ Guild here in Gainesville, FL. I get so excited every time the next meeting pops up on my calendar! Members bring snacks and drinks, there are raffles, a freebie quilting magazine library, guest speakers, etc. There is also always some time at the end of the meeting for show & tell. I have shown about 5 or 6 of my quilts since I joined in May. It’s an interesting experience for me because the guild is very much a traditional quilt guild and I am the furthest thing from traditional! I mean, really…. I have a four-patch block tattooed on my forearm!
Anyway, back to what I really meant to blog about…. At this month’s guild meeting we had a cutting/kit making workshop where we chose fabrics the guild provided and were to make a charity quilt with it. The guild is collecting charity quilts for the NICU at a local hospital and the quilts have to be 24″ x 36″ or smaller. After coming home with only three fabrics I decided to design the little charity baby quilt in my my EQ7 quilting software program. This is what I came up with:
The fabrics I am using are pretty close to the ones in the graphic and I think that it will make for a very cute baby girl charity quilt. The block I created is a simple design that is easy to cut and sew together. Each block is made up of 8 half square triangles, 4 squares, and 1 larger square block in the center. That’s it.
I knew the square units would be easy to cut all I needed was help with the half square triangles. Vicki, (from one of our sponsors) Quilting Lodge sent me a packet of 3″ Thangles just in time! For those of you that don’t know what they are…. they are strips of paper with the stitching lines and cutting lines printed on them to make the half square triangle making process much faster and easier. They come in a bunch of sizes from 1/2″ to 6″. Depending on the size you choose you will be able to make different amounts of half square triangles with each pack. For the complete breakdown click here.
Here is how they work:
You cut strips of your fabric 1/2″ bigger than the size block you want it to finish. For example I needed 3″ blocks so I cut all my strips 3 1/2″ wide. I did that for the two fabrics I want to make up my half square triangle. I lay the strips on top of each other with pretty sides of the fabric touching. Then you lay the Thangles paper strip over your fabric strips and pin in place.
Next, cut down the solid line that is in between the dotted lines. The instructions ask you to press while the paper is still on to set your seam.
Then you remove the special Thangles paper like this. I will admit, I thought that yanking the paper off of these was going to seriously distort my block but the Thangles are made of some special paper that even when some bits get stuck you can pull it out without yanking the delicate fabric of your block. So, that’s good! Another plus is that you can chain piece if you have enough of these setup. I did that with like 10 of my units but because of the angle of the lines on the rectangular strip I found ir more annoying than anything. So, I just did it the regular way. Even if you didn’t chain piece I think you would still save time. After pressing your blocks open I recommend measuring them to double-check and make sure they finished 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″.
I used them tonight to make 48 half square triangles and here is my product review of Thangles.