Bonnie and Camille Quilt Bee
Shine on Sampler-Month 7
Written by Brenda
The four blocks for this section aren’t terribly complicated and use a great many half square triangles, often abbreviated to HST’s. I love how this sampler gives us such a variety of blocks to make. Different sizes and color combinations help keep things interesting, don’t you agree?
What I would really encourage you to do with your blocks is to check your accuracy. Whether you are using traditional methods or AccuQuilt, it is important to make sure you are doing everything you can to make the perfect blocks.
With the directions in the book, you are making your HST’s oversized and trimming them down which can be a very accurate method to use. Are you using a small square ruler to trim your squares? My favorite is the Creative Grids 6 ½” square. I have seen people try to do their trimming with a large 6 x 24” ruler which is possible, but a bit awkward and can result in poorer accuracy or mistakes in trimming.
AccuQuilt users have fewer steps to take when making half square triangles since there is no need to trim your blocks, but more attention needs to be paid to your accuracy in your seam allowances. After making your first block, measure it to make sure that it is absolutely accurate.
If your square is oversized, you can trim it down, but I would encourage you to make a minor adjustment in your seam allowance to achieve that more accurate unit which leads to an accurate block!
The Flutter block, the Friendship Star, and the Happy Day blocks use both HST’s and non pieced units to create the blocks. If everything is accurate, these will come together so that your seams meet perfectly!
The Good Times block only uses HST’s and it uses a LOT of them! Now we are going to talk a little bit about some math. Let’s say you made your HST’s for the Good Times Block and it was close to being accurate. Maybe you are only 1/32nd of an inch off which really doesn’t seem like much, only a few threads. When you add that up across the 8 units of the block, now you end up with a block that is ¼” off from what it should be!
You have heard me mention that I press my seams open. I find that this helps with accuracy too. When you press to one side, it creates more bulk and takes away a bit of the finished size of the unit. Here is my Good Times block with all of the seams pressed open. It lays flat and is very accurate!
I also appreciate having flat blocks when I do the machine quilting. No big bumps to go over which can distort your quilt.
Enjoy sewing these units and use them to hone your skills in making precise and accurate blocks!
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