Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Dazzle Burst - Clue 2

We're on our way! Let's get into clue 2...........

In Clue 1, we went over how to take our fabric and make strips out of it. We'll do that again but this time we won't be cutting squares. We're cutting triangles! We're going to make 84 half-square triangle blocks with the dark colors. Get out your two dark colors, your cutting mat, your rotary cutter, your cutting guide (EZ Angle or straight edge), and your sewing machine!

Let's just start out to say that there are many ways to get to our final block. I can think of 5 ways to make half-square triangle blocks, and I'm sure there are even more ways to make them than that. I will offer two ways of making them in this clue. You can choose which way you want to make them, how I do them or however you like doing them. We want to get the end result of 84 4-1/2" half-square triangle blocks!

This method will show you how to use the EZ Angle cutting guide. Don't have one? Get it! It's a great tool! Can't get one? I offer the instructions with a straight edge cutting guide as well. Just go down to that section and follow those instructions. Ready? Here we go!

I cut my strips at 4-1/2", from both the warm and cold dark colors. I figured out that I needed six strips cut from edge to edge in order to have enough to make the blocks. 

Line up the strips with right sides together and set them on the cutting mat. Put the EZ Angle cutting guide so the darkened tip is lined up on one edge and the 4-1/2" line is lined up on the opposite edge.

Make the cut on the hypotenuse side of the triangle! (remember thinking you would never need to remember stuff like that in geometry class? me too!)
You will flip the EZ Angle around so the 4-1/2" line is on the opposite edge. The hypotenuse is lined up along that cut edge and you will make the next cut along the leg side of the guide. Now your strip is squared off again. Keep swapping the guide and cutting triangles until you run out of fabric!

My strips produced 16 sets. In order to get 84, I need just over 5 strip sets.

Cutting the colors right sides together makes a perfectly matched pair after they are cut. Joy!

Place the hypotenuse side under the needle and stitch the 1/4" seam along the entire edge. Be careful to not tug on it or it will stretch. Chain sew triangle set after triangle set until they are all sewn together.

Take those blocks and press them towards the dark color or press the seams open. When you are done, you will have a block that looks like this. 
It's 4-1/2" square and will finish in the quilt at 4".

Have I convinced you to get the EZ Angle cutting guide? No?
Well then, here's how to make the half-square triangles without the EZ Angle cutting guide. 

Cut your warm and cold dark fabrics into 4-7/8" strips.

Now do a second cut at the same size so you have a 4-7/8" square.

Turn the square so it is in a diamond layout and place a straight edge down the center. 

Draw a line from point to point. I used a pen so you could see the line well but I usually use a fabric pencil. These lines will be on the underside of the block so choose the marking tool you like most!

You will need to sew 1/4" seams on each side of that line. If you want to draw those lines in too, feel free! It will take the guess work out of where to sew. The Fons & Porter 1/4" Seam Marker tool makes this step a pleasure. Set the guide down and draw the lines on either side of the tool. That's it!

Get the square under the needle and sew along both sides of the center line. When you get to one end of the line, lift the foot and needle, gently pull the fabric away from the foot a little, turn it around so you can sew down the second side. This technique will make two half-square triangle blocks.

After the squares are all sewn, you cut the two blocks apart on that first line you drew, point to point down the center of the square.

Press the seams to the dark fabric or open and admire your beautiful handiwork!

So there you are! Clue 2 is out there! Need more of a visual? Check out my Clue 2 video!

I hope you are enjoying the process. Next week we will be doing stuff with the lighter colors so get this one done! Til next time, create away!

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