How To Assemble a Half Square Triangle Quilt

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Yellow & Grey Flying Geese Quilt - Progress

Once you have all the half square triangles that you need, it's time to assemble them into a quilt top! You can save yourself a lot of time by pre-arranging the quilt squares on the floor and then sort of mass-sewing them together without cutting the threads or ironing until you finish a whole row. It takes a pinch of planning, as described below, but it really did save me bunch of time when assembling my Flying Geese Throw.

  1. Determine Layout of Half Square Triangles

    1. Determine Layout of Half Square Triangles
  2. Flip Pairs of Squares Over, Along Seam Edge (organize into a pile for each column)

    2. Flip Pairs of Squares Over, Along Seam Edge (organize into a pile for each column)
  3. Sew Along Seam Edge, Not Breaking Thread In Between Pairs

    3. Sew Along Seam Edge, Not Breaking Thread In Between Pairs
  4. Keep Sewing Pairs Together, Giving Enough Thread Between To Fold Over Later

    4. Keep Sewing Pairs Together, Giving Enough Thread Between To Fold Over Later
  5. Iron Pairs, Seams Open

    5. Iron Pairs, Seams Open
  6. Sew Each Pair to the Pair Below It, Matching Up Center Seams

    6. Sew Each Pair to the Pair Below It, Matching Up Center Seams
  7. Sew a Second Column of Quilt Pairs in Similar Fashion (steps 1-6), Iron Seams Open

    7. Sew a Second Column of Quilt Pairs in Similar Fashion (steps 1-6), Iron Seams Open
  8. Sew Columns Together Matching Up Seams, Iron Open

    8. Sew Columns Together Matching Up Seams, Iron Open

I did a thing!

Friday, August 28, 2015

wut...did i just do?

You guys. I've done a thing. A really big, tremendously huge thing. And it's only now, 2 days later, just kicking in. The thing I've been working towards for seven years, and immediately slaving over for at least two, is over. Over and done.

I wouldn't even let myself think about it. I'd take my goals in small pieces of time. Smaller and smaller as it got closer. The day of I was only thinking in 15 minute chunks of time. Now I get dressed. Now I buy cookies. Now I set up my laptop. Now I give a 45 minute talk which symbolizes all I've been learning and working toward for seven years. Didn't think about the forty minutes of grilling by specifically selected experts in my field. One question at a time. One word at a time. One sip of water. It's over.

Defense Set Up
EOF.
Post Defense

Some people find it anticlimactic. Immediately afterwards, I could feel a slow warmth in my chest. The next day, I nearly cried tears of joy while waiting for an elevator. And now I'm just sort of confused. I've been waiting for the volcano to erupt, it did, but I was prepared and got through it better than expected. Now I'm left looking at my reinforcements, wondering what I'm supposed to do with them. This wall just isn't necessary any more.

I've got my PhD.

Time to get wild with some sparkling juice Chocolate cake and flowers

Flying Geese Throw: Materials

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It's time for another quick throw quilt made of half square triangles. Half square triangles are so speedy. I'm going to go less into the step-by-steps of this quilt (as it's pretty much the same as the last one I made), but there's an additional how-to that might be handy here. Anyways, first we start with how much fabric and cut into how many half square triangles you need!

There's a tiny cat in this household who is rather fond of quilts.

Dizzy on the yellow & grey flying geese quilt throw top

You'll need...
Assuming fabric about 44" wide and a quilt that is 72"X64".
2.5 yards in accent color
2.5 yards in background color
Note: If you do the accent/background color with more than one fabric, as I did, just make sure it all adds up to approximately 2.5 yards each. Although, the fabric needs to be cut at least 5" wide (i.e., at least 1/9 yd).

You'll cut...
The 5" squares will turn into 4.5" half square triangles.
144X 5" squares in accent color
144X 5" squares in background color

Yellow & Grey Flying Geese Quilt Throw - Top - All But Closing Up the Binding
Dizzy inspects the quilt sandwich for puckers
This is how I sew all my two-at-a-time half square triangles. All together!

How To: Create 8 Half Square Triangles at Once

Sunday, August 23, 2015

How To: Make 8 Half Square Triangles at a Time

For quilts that are made up entirely of half square triangles, you can make even more identical HSTs at once. My previous tutorial describes how to make 2 HSTs simultaneously, but I've got plans for a different quilt involving tons more of the little half square triangle buggers. This tutorial is adapted from Karen Walker's on craftsy.

  1. Cut Two Squares ((finishedSize+1")*2)
    The finishedSize is how large the square will be in the quilt. In this case, my finishedSize will be 4", but with seam allowance this tutorial will produce 4.5" squares. So, these two large squares here are 10".

    1. Cut Two Squares ((finishedSize+1)*2)
  2. Draw 2x 45 Degree Lines Across Wrong Side of One Square

    2. Draw 2x 45 Degree Lines Across Wrong Side of One Square
  3. Layer Squares, Right Sides Together

    3. Layer Squares, Right Sides Together
  4. Sew 1/4" Seam On Both Sides of Both 45 Degree Lines (4 seams)

    4. Sew 1/4" Seam On Both Sides of Both 45 Degree Lines
  5. Make 4 Cuts, Splitting the Square In Eighths
    (I like to cut horizontally, vertically, and then the two 45 degree angles last)

    5. Make 4 Cuts, Splitting the Square In Half
  6. Iron Half Square Triangles, Seams Open

    6. Iron Half Square Triangles, Seams Open
  7. Trim Half Square Triangle to Desired Size
    In this case, 4.5", because my finished size is 4", with 1/4" seam allowance on each side.

    7. Trim Half Square Triangle to Desired Finished Size
  8. Done 8 half square triangles! Keep going!
    Finished 8 Half Square Triangles

How To: Propagate an African Milk Tree

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Three African Milk Trees from One
I inherited an African Milk Tree from a friend and it's been so happy, it's grown about 2 feet! However, a four foot tall skinny cactus that sprouts toxic milk juice is sort of an apartment hazard and so recently I set about chopping it down a bit and propagating it into additional plants for more friends. These guys are sooooo low maintenance (seriously, if you water more than once every two weeks, it'll get mad at you), so I want to share the awesomeness.

'Turns out, it's pretty much the same way you propagate other succulents, just with more thorns, toxic juices, and wobbly heights. I actually should've cut these down to about 6 inches each, because as it is, the new branches they'll sprout will make them seriously top heavy. Oh well, they'll be someone else's problem then!!

It's best to do this in spring or early summer. Your plant will thank you.
  1. Supplies: Over-sized African Milk Tree, Oven mitt, Sharp scissors, Paper towel, Plant pot with dirt (optionally, you could just plant the newly cut stalks into your old pot, thereby increasing the density of your plant without the need for a second pot).
    1 Supplies: Over-sized African Milk Tree, Oven mitt, Sharp scissors, Paper towel, Plant pot with dirt
  2. Preparations: If previously cut, ensure new branches have begun sprouting from cut
    2 Preparations: If previously cut, ensure new branches have begun sprouting from cut
  3. Preparations: Be very careful transporting. The cactus will stab itself and release its semi-toxic 'milk' juices
    3 Preparations: Be very careful transporting. The cactus will stab itself and release its semi-toxic 'milk' juices
  4. Cut through stalk, using oven mitt to prevent top from dropping. The sharper the scissors/knife, the less scarring of the plant there will be.
    4 Cut through stalk, using oven mitt to prevent top from dropping
  5. Avoid touching the toxic milk juices as much as possible. Wash your hands frequently, and do not touch your face!
    5 Cut through stalk, using oven mitt to prevent top from dropping
  6. Remove cut stalk
    7 Cut through stalk, using oven mitt to prevent top from dropping
  7. Place cut stalk down while cleaning and cutting other stalks
    8 Place cut stalk down
  8. Wipe toxic milk juices off plant with damp towel. A damp towel will also help to stem the plant's bleeding.
    9 Wipe toxic milk juices off plant with damp towel
  9. Place cut stalks somewhere to dry 3-10 days, until cut end heals. Out of direct sunlight.
    10 Place cut stalks somewhere to dry 3-10 days, until cut end heals. Out of direct sunlight.
  10. Keep away from animals and children. The thorns and the toxic juices aren't exactly good for anyone.
    11 Keep away from animals and babies.
  11. After 3-10 day wait, plant cut stalks 1-2 inches into small pot. Do not water for several days. African Milk Trees have really shallow roots, and so they actually prefer really small pots, smaller than the ones I'm using to be honest.
    13 After 3-10 day wait, plant cut stalks 1-2 inches into small pot.
  12. Done!
    15 African milk trees prefer smaller pots. Smaller than these. Better to underwater than overwater.
  13. Before cutting and propagating the [original] plant again, ensure it's begun sprouting new branches at its cut (shown below). For new plants, don't propagate until they've had a bit of growth (i.e., developed some roots).
    16 New branches will sprout where the original tree was trimmed
14 Recently planted milk trees have no roots at all, so they're quite wobbly.

Success: Roasted Green Beans

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Roasted Green Beans
As always, a giant pile of green vegetables tossed with a sprinkle of saffron salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Cooked at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Served by itself (omg), or alongside something more...varied. The blackened bits are the best :)

Pork Loin with Onion Jam

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