Friday, February 26, 2010

My Choice: Shoofly

This is the first time I have ever made this block.
There are a trillion blocks I have never sewn, but I am so glad I decided on this one. What do I like? VERY little waste for one. And the pieces are all the same size so I can cut a lot at once from a fat quarter and know how many blocks I can make from those pieces.

Actually I make the triangles first, the easy way.

I first cut a 9 inch square from two fabrics, place them right sides together and draw two diagonal lines from corner to corner, as pictured here.

Then I stitch 1/4" on either side of the marked line. Thank heaven I have a quarter inch foot on my machine.     Then I cut the square in half, turn and cut in half again, resulting in four equal squares with stitching down the diagonal of each.

 Cut the square diagonally on the drawn line and open up to reveal a perfect (for me) half square triangle.

Ta da!
Measure that finished square and cut the remaining pieces of the block that size and you're ready to sew.
Totally fun.
I know I will need  54 blocks for my bed quilt, and there are three more days in this quilt along. If I made 18 a day ( for two more days) and sewed them all together on the last day I will have finished SEVEN tops this month! Not counting Full Sails. I think this is a good use of February and may have to make this an annual event. 
The thought of quilting them some day in the future has come up, more than once. I no longer have a work surface big enough to layout larger quilts for basting. And my knees won't do the floor type. I am going to contact several longarm quilters and see if they will do the prep work of basting the quilt, and then I will do the actual quilting. 
One more thing. Yesterday I diddled away for hours online looking at this site on Flickr. Fresh Modern Quilts. It contains over 7900 quilt pictures of pretty darn wonderful semi-traditional-semi-contemporary pieced quilts. So very inspiring and I suggest you allow a few days time to review them all. I know about 28 I want to make right away!


  1. Anonymous8:41 AM

    OK, now why did you have to go and tell us about that site on Flickr? As if you, Wanda and several others aren't enough to keep up with?!
    All in fun.....looking forward to spending some time poking around at those photos. :)

  2. I love your coloring blocks and the tutorial on HST was great. But as Judy stated...why did you put that link of all those quilts on you post....????? I'll never get anything done....LOL

  3. Thanks for that insidious link, Melody. But luckily it has a slideshow ode, so I can knit while quilts go scrolling by, and hit pause if one is especially wonderful! Thanks!!
    Jeri, snowed in in NY with too many projects

  4. Love the colors! I never thought to use a bigger square to make for blocks. I only get two at a time.

  5. Very smart triangle-cutting trick. I like the way you think, especially making the squares fit your triangle sizes.

  6. I agree with Leslie! Making the squares the same size as the HSTs is a stroke of genius. It's so obvious, so why haven't I thought of that?

  7. Check with a local community centre or church. I used to go and baste the larger quilts using the wooden "banquet" tables in the chuch basement when they were not busy. Many community centres have similar type tables.

    I like to tape my backs down to make sure there are no wrinkles so it worked well for me. Now I have I 10 foot handquilting quilt frame with separate rollers for top and back so my basting is a lot easier.

  8. Love your site and ALL your artistic contributions. Thanks so much for sharing with us!

  9. When you did the half square triangles how did you figure the 9 inches are those unfinshed 2 1/2" if so I think I know the answer. Thanks for a great tutorial and all the extra you share with us all.

  10. I have used this method a number of times and have found it best to press the triangles open after the diagonals have been sewn, but before the final cut is made.... just prior to the cut being made in the second-to-last picture.

    The piece is "solid" at that point, and pressing won't skew it. Whereas once the final cut has been made and you try to press it open it is a bit fragile and it is easy to press out of shape.


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