Saturday, February 18, 2012

Quarter-square triangle top

This quilt top is for our church project "Power of the Quilt," which provides quilts for cancer patients. I tried a new (for me) method of making half-square triangles. I sewed 42 pairs of light and dark five inch fabric squares together around all four edges. Then I sliced along each diagonal, cutting them into four pieces. This made four half-square triangle blocks from each pair of five inch squares, with the seam along the straight grain of the fabric. The edges of these small squares were cut on the bias, but that turned out not to be a problem at all. In fact the squares were more stable than the ones I make by sewing on the diagonal.

However I wanted the straight grain of the fabric to be horizontal and vertical. So I made 39 pinwheels and turned them on point, and filled in the sides with sixteen half pinwheels (and four quarter pinwheels in the corners). The result appears to be an 8 x 12 grid of quarter square triangle blocks. Many of the five inch squares were ugly prints in poor quality fabric, including some polyester. But it turned out well. I have a plan to use six inch squares that will produce a similar quilt on a slightly larger scale. Stay tuned - I'll post pictures of the process with detailed instructions.

The border fabric is a good quality reproduction print made by P & B textiles for the American Textile History Museum about ten years ago. I made two quilts from this collection, one for the wall and one for my dad. I finished the one for my dad in the summer of 2009 and gave it to him for his birthday. Neither of us look too great in this picture, but it captures the essence of the moment.

I had made dual trip around the world quilts and had planned to expand one of them to make a bed sized quilt. I had in mind a series of pieced borders using reproduction fabric, but as the sands of time trickled on, I realized I had to do something different to finish the project. I quilted the inner trip around the world on the diagonal. Then I pieced together four very large rectangles from large triangles in compatible fabric and quilted these separately. I joined them with bias strips front and back to make a wide border. Dad was so happy. We were in Chihuahua City for my cousin's 50th birthday party. Later that day he gave me a gift of his own - two star shaped sequins wrapped in a tissue.

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