Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sometimes I make it up as I go…

I have a plethora of bonus half square triangles from several projects I have made in the past 2 years.  Bonus half squares are made when you sew a second seam to a square you are adding to a rectangle to make a triangle be on the corner of the rectangle.  Clear as mud I know.  But when the thought of making tiny half squares for a project seems overwhelming, it is a wonder to get them as a bonus when you take the time to sew the extra seam! I learned this trick from a class I took from Bonnie Hunter years ago.  She has lots of tips and tricks on her web site that make so much sense. Waste not want not is probably her mantra.

Stars over Challotte
I made a quilt last year from one of Bonnie’s books called Stars over Challotte.  It used up a huge number of bonus half squares and then of course I made a few more quilts that netted me many more bonus half squares. My little box of them is overflowing and I wanted to come up with something for using them up.  

9 patch stars
I decided to make a little 6” star with a 9 patch in the center.  The 9 patch is surrounded by half square triangles that make star points. I had lots of blue and brown and green and brown half squares so I made my little stars have brown points.

When I drafted my original pattern I needed somewhere in the vicinity of 72 stars.  I decided the stars would be pretty busy so I went back to the drawing board and made my pattern have a second block that would create the look of chains between the stars.

Yuck, back choice.

I liked the little tan and blue 9 patches that created the center of the star and decided to make the chain blocks from four red and tan 9 patch blocks.  I made four of them and sewed them together but there was now too much red to go with the blue and green so I went back to the drawing board.

make lots of sets and sub cut all at once. saves time!
My EQ7 program really got a work out this morning as I refigured the layout of the quilt. I settled on making the chain blocks from red and cream 4 patches. I will set 5 of them into a 9 patch using cream squares to separate them, and the chain will still be red but not so overpowering.

Even with all the stars I barely made a dent in the half square bonus box.  I am not even making a noticeable dent in my red and cream bags of strips as I create the four patch blocks.  

red and cream bags of 1 1/2" strips
I still need to round up the cream background to make squares to set the red and cream four patches together, but I have a handle on what I want to do now.  

How I remember things (grin)
The little cutie red and cream squares are being worked up in sets of 10.  I need 250 units to make up 50 blocks my pattern requires.  I have 40 units done.

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