Sunday, December 14, 2008

Backing avoidance

36 two-inch half square triangles per block. What was I thinking?

Instead of making the backing for the orange maverick star quilt, I'm working on these blocks from a UFO that is three months shy of being nine years old. Yes, for some reason it's all of a sudden important that I work on this instead of cutting two pieces of fabric and sewing a very long seam so I can then baste that maverick star quilt. At the time I packed this away I hadn't made a single block, just a bunch of half-square triangles.

After 9 years, there's suddenly progress!

I'd pulled out this UFO awhile back and was using the half-square triangles to end chain piecing on another project. I'd slip a half-square triangle in when I wanted to free my other project from the sewing machine to press it. Then when I went back to the machine I could continue my piecing without a big thread tail. The half-square triangles were ever so slowly getting sewn together. Not enough of a sense of accomplishment to keep up that snail's pace -- especially when there's a quilt backing waiting to be completed.

The two blocks at the top are unsewn. Seam allowances really shrink these down. And, look! That block in the upper right has a couple triangles going the wrong way. At least I caught it before I sewed it that way.

This past week I've gotten two blocks sewn, two more partially sewn and two others laid out on the design wall. I also cut a number of three-inch squares in light, medium and dark. Still a ways to go though. The 16 blocks in this little quilt (36" x 36") will require 576 half-square triangles! That should keep the backing at bay for a bit.

The half-square triangles are made by putting two three-inch squares right sides together, drawing (or eyeballing) a line diagonally through the square and sewing a quarter-inch seam on either side of the line. Cut on the line and press the seams open. Then trim the half-square triangles to two inches.

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