Another tool in my Quilter’s Toolbox

As I said in my last post, this month was the second installment of the “Morewood Mystery” presented by Meadow Mist Designs, and this month centered around making Half-Square Triangles in two different sizes.

Cheryl, the moderator of the mystery gave some amazing suggestions for how to easily trim these HST’s using a Rotating Cutting Mat and the Bloc-Loc ruler. Check out my video to see these latest tools that I have added to my Quilter’s Toolbox…..

Continuing with Morewood Mystery

Last month I posted about joining the Morewood Mystery Quilt presented by Meadow Mist Designs. We are currently in the first sewing step, making Half-Square Triangles. The administrator of the mystery presented a wonderful video with suggestions about how to make these blocks faster and easier.

But first I had to MAKE the squares and decided to “up my game” a bit when drawing the lines prior to sewing. Previously I would just put the fabric on the cutting mat and trace the line but often the fabric would slip and slide around so that the line wasn’t straight and didn’t fall perfectly in the corners. This time, I pulled out my sandpaper board and used it to hold the fabric in place……

It worked perfectly!!

Once the squares were sewn, I turned to the first of the video suggestions…… a way to press the blocks so that the corners don’t slide out of square.

I normally cut the blocks apart first and then press them but Cheryl suggested that a majority of the pressing should be done BEFORE the center line was cut.

Press one side first……

Turn it around and press the other side so that it is pre-folded and looks like this…..

Now you cut along the marked line…..

When you get ready to do the final pressing, the piece is already “Pre-pressed” and ready to go!!

I felt like it made a huge difference in how the squares turned out and it will definitely help with the trimming process but I will talk about that tomorrow!!

So my HST’s are now ready to go and I will wait NOT-so patiently for the next clue!!!

Pathagoras was one smart cookie…..

According to Wikipedia, Pathagoras of Samos was an ancient Greek Philosopher who lived from 570BC to 495 BC. Under Occupation, it lists Philosopher, Teacher and Mathematician……quite the trifecta!!! But this third occupation is the one that puts him squarely in the middle of a blog devoted to quilting!!!

Cast your mind back to my Color Wheel quilt that was started about this time last year. I dutifully appliqued all of the circles on and then things came to a grinding halt with studio renovation, tax season and, dare I say it, CORONA!!!!

This was the last post that I made about this quilt and it ended up with the idea of continuing the quilt by putting it on point and adding triangles to each corner. This was my final idea about how to proceed……

So today was the day to figure out what size the triangles would need to be and THAT is where Pathagoras comes in. As part of his discoveries, he found the Pathagorean Theorem, based on this diagram……

….which I don’t REALLY understand, but I did understand the formula where a and b equal to the sides of the triangle and c is the hypotenuse of the triangle……

Since I always loved Algebra, I was pretty sure that I could figure this out!!! Normally, I would have just used trial and error and then cut off any extra along the sides but this time I needed to have things a bit more precise.

The first thing that I did was to lay out the top as it stands right now and figure out exactly where the next border would be added on. I used my Laser Square Up to draw in some basic lines…..

And then measured to see how long each side would be. I found that the hypotenuse of the triangle was 59.5 so now I had to calculate the sides. I started with the formula and did the math…..

…finding that my square needed to be 42 inches. I then drew a 42 inch square on paper, divided it across the diagonal and, voila….it measured 59.5 inches…..

It WORKED!!!!

Since I am wanting to have circle made from the 4 triangle corners, I now needed to get the circle drafted. Since my triangle was only 1/2 of the square in the corner, I needed to complete the square to draft the circle. Of course, I had ALREADY cut the square apart and discarded the unused portion so I moved to the floor and “drew” out the other half of the square with painter’s tape……

….making sure that the diagonal was 59.5 inches.

The final set was to attach a pencil and cord that was the correct length……

….and draw the circle…..

These photos don’t look square but I promise that they are!!!

So, now I have a precise size template to use to cut the fabrics and can move on to the more exciting designing!!!

That is TOO much math for one day!!!

Let’s go do something else!!!