Monday, December 27, 2010

BOW #29 Yankee Puzzle

All right, we took a week off for the holiday.  Hope yours were all wonderful!  

Yankee Puzzle is an easy segue from the Hourglass block, as it's just 4 Hourglass blocks, but with 2 different darks on opposite sides of the hourglass, which forms a pinwheel in the middle.

For a 12" block you'll need 4 Quarter Square Triangles of each color (paired with a background color).   You'll start out with:
(1) 7-1/4" square of Dark 1
(1) 7-1/4" square of Dark 2
(2) 7-1/4" squares background

Make 4 QSTs (Quarter Square Triangle units) --well, half units, I suppose--of each color (see BOW #28 for instructions); combine a Dark 1 unit with a Dark 2 unit to make squares......

And arrange those into the Yankee Puzzle block.

This is a good block for secondary designs--or, rather a secondary color design.  When you put four of them together you create a second pinwheel, in the other color.   Very nice design feature!

 And before I close, here's a little construction variation that you might find useful.  Once you have created the Half Square Triangle units for the first step in the QST, you can put a Dark 1 HST and a Dark 2 HST, right sides together (with the Darks opposite each other), draw on the wrong side a line that is perpendicular to the first seam on the HSTs, and sew 1/4" on either side of the line.  When you cut on the drawn line you will have two QST units with the two colors opposite each other.

Have fun!!


Monday, December 13, 2010

BOW #28: Hourglass

You should have the hang of HSTs (Half Square Triangles) by now, and have used them in many blocks.  Now it's time to get started on QSTs (Quarter Square Triangles).   Take heart:  they start with HSTs!

Half Square Triangles are squares made of 2 triangles so, as you might expect, QSTs are squares made of 4 triangles; the Hourglass block is a single QST unit.

To make a 12" finished Hourglass block

(1) 13-1/4" light square
(1) 13-1/4" dark square

Use the squares to make 2 HST units. (Remember, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of the light square.  Place the light and dark squares, right sides together, and stitch 1/4" inch on either side of the drawn line.   Cut on the drawn line, fold back the dark triangle of each and press.  Square up to 12-7/8"

At this point, there are 2 ways you can proceed:

Now, cut the HST units from corner to corner, at right angles to the seam of the HSTs:

Then put two resulting triangles together, making sure that dark is next to light:

Just as with the HST, there are many blocks that use QSTs, so it's a good block to have in your toolbox.  We'll be looking at some other blocks, in upcoming weeks, that use QSTs or easy variations of it.  By itself, though, the Hourglass makes a great filler block, or alternate block in quilts.    Hmm... Some Hourlgass blocks in baby colors or bright colors would make a great baby quilt....

MK: Right on cue -- ta-dah! I forgot I had this baby quilt, until Karen mentioned it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Greek Cross Pairings

Did I see a request for some favorite pairings with the Greek Cross? I came up with about a dozen, but I'll limit it here to 2 from recent BOW entries. The Bear's Paws has a nice diagonal feel, and the Churn Dash creates an interesting secondary pattern with the HSTs in the corners. Do you have a favorite pairing for this block? Let us know!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

BOW #27: Greek Cross

Greek Cross looks like it might be complicated, but it's just a few shapes, easily constructed.  It's an interesting block for playing with alternate blocks in another design.

For a 12" finished block you'll need:

(4) 4-1/2" Half Square Triangle (HST) units, red/green (choose colors that  you like!)
(4) 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" green rectangles
(4) 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" gold rectangles
(1) 4-1/2" red square

If you need to review how to make HSTs, see BOW #1

Arrange and sew all the pieces as shown:

You can use just Greek Cross blocks, and you get something of a secondary pattern going on:

or you could alternate with another block, especially another in a nine-patch configuration, such as...well, a nine patch!  You have choices in colors for the nine patches, and you may have to try a few to find one that you like.    Here's one with just red and green:

But that's a little too much red and green for me.  (And you'll do a better job of piecing than I've done with virtual piecing--Open Office and I are having "discussions" tonight...)  So, I'm going to add in a little gold, to coordinate with the Greek Cross block:

And I like that better.  It seems more balanced, color-wise.  But I think I could create more of a secondary pattern if I switched positions of the red and green in the nine-patch:

That's more pleasing and interesting--to MY eyes; you'll find what your eyes like best!

BlockFab is a great way to try out those secondary patterns with different alternating blocks (Monkey Wrench, perhaps?) and different colorways.  I think we might even persuade Mary Kay to try a couple, and share them.....