Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

Yeah, sometimes things don’t go as planned. That’s how it was for me this weekend.

I had a project I wanted to work on. Two projects for work are due on the 18th so I feel like I really need to get moving on this one – I need 200 half-square triangles for it.  We were going out to our old home in northeast Colorado, which we have completely emptied, except for appliances. Everything else is in storage or at our apartment in Golden.

I made sure to pack very carefully: sewing machine – check; cutting mat and rotary cutter – check, check; matching thread, scissors and pins – check, check, check. We planned to go to the storage unit when we got there to bring a table and a chair for my sewing station. Uh-oh, Dear Husband forgot the key to the storage unit. I’m so sorry I didn’t get a photo of my fix for the problem. I set the sewing machine on the kitchen counter and sewed standing up. Now just take a minute and picture that in your head. It’s amusing, isn’t it?

But now, I want to talk a little more about those half-square triangles. In the August/September issue of Quilters Newsletter, our Easy Lesson talked about stencils for making half-square triangles. In preparation for the Easy Lesson, Linda Camp of Sunday Best Quiltworks  sent me a stencil in all the sizes from 1” to 4 ½” finished. Woo Hoo! The size I needed was there. So I got nearly all my half-square triangles done. With the stencil, it’s a simple matter of mark, stitch, cut apart and press.

This is the stencil and it’s worth its weight in gold.

7 7 1 Where Theres a Will, Theres a Way

The Stencil – Ready to Mark

Here are a couple of little hints. I have ¼ yards of fabric so my fabric isn’t as wide as the stencil. That was an easy fix. I drew the grid 2 wide by 5 long instead of 3 by 3 as the stencil is. I was careful to make the ends match so my stitching lines could continue. And I didn’t feel like I needed to mark the cutting line that is in between the two stitching lines.

7 7 3 Where Theres a Will, Theres a Way

Marked and Ready to Sew

I went to the sewing studio this morning to time myself with this method. It took 20 minutes from the time I turned on the light until I left again. I cleaned up and put things away, too. And I have 20 half-square triangles ready to press open.

I did finish 160 of them over the weekend. (Only part of those standing up, we did eventually get my kitchen table and some chairs.)

So here is where I am at this point.

7 7 7 Where Theres a Will, Theres a Way

160 Half-Square Triangles

I’ll keep you posted on this project. It’s going to be a fun one!!

Happy quilting until next week and  for great ideas and hints, remember to check us out on our website, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.


About Lori Baker

Lori is the creative editor at Quilters Newsletter.
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10 Responses to Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

  1. Kathy Kaser-Nichols says:

    For our guild, I did something similar. You take two 8″ squares, RST. Draw an X and a cross (from the centers of the sides). Sew 1/4″ from each side of the X. Carefully cut on the drawn lines. Press open. All half-square triangles will be on grain. Trim them to 3.5″ squares. Add one more 1/2-sq triangle to make a 9-patch. I had them arrange the 9 pieces in whatever pattern they wanted to and, when they were turned in, used them in two different settings. The tops are at the quilters now. Everyone enjoyed this. The blocks were similar, but interestingly different.

  2. Pat Jessup says:

    How about some hints where you do not have to BUY something, now that would be a help

  3. Where can I get 1 of those stencils? Sure would make things easier.

  4. Kathy C says:

    If you don’t want to buy the stencil, add 7/8″ to the finished size of your triangle square, then draw the grid on paper or the light fabric. Sew 1/4″ on each side of this line (the cutting line) then cut apart and press! … 4 friends and I made a master copy then completed over 1200 half square triangle blocks, each, in relatively short order!

  5. Sunnie says:

    If you stack the triangles dark side up, you can save time pressing them open!

  6. Pat Cole says:

    I use to sit on the floor and sew with the pedal under my calf muscle so I could watch TV. lol

  7. love everyones suggestions

  8. QuiltinGram says:

    I have paper rolls of these. They work wonderfully when you are using lots of the same two colours.

  9. jennifer says:

    Where can I get one of these?!

  10. Sandy G. says:

    This is how I made my first quilt back in ’90 watching Eleanor Burns with Quilt in a Day on PBS draw a grid on the light fabric and sew continuous lines on either side of the diagonal lines to make HST’s. I thought at the time it was amazing, and so my quilting journey began.

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