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Build your Blocks With Confidence!

Posted by Catherine Dreiss on Jan 9th 2020

Hello! It is a pleasure and an honor to write about my book, Quick & Easy Quilt Block Builder. The goal of this slim but information-packed book is to provide practical and comprehensible choices when piecing blocks.

Quilt making is supposed to relieve stress, not create it

I decided to write this book just as I was learning to quilt and sewing my first project. My quilt making story turned dark almost immediately because the pattern designer’s instructions were to make a quilt entirely with four-at-a-time half-square triangles, resulting in some very stretchy, cut-on-the-bias HSTs that made accuracy impossible.

My frustration with that ill-fated project led me to take some action – which was to do research on alternative ways to make the elements of quilt blocks; not just half-square triangles, but also quarter-square triangles, flying geese, square-in-squares, partial seams and more. I learned that most quilt pattern designers describe their favorite methods to piece blocks but they’re not necessarily the best ways. Other methods can be more precise, or more thrifty, or simply faster. My book shows as many alternative ways to make common quilt block elements as I could pack into its 48 pages so you can make informed decisions when you piece your blocks.

Know your choices when building your quilt blocks

Did you know that there are at least seven ways to make half-square triangles? Each one has unique advantages and drawbacks, and as a fellow piece-lover, you probably can appreciate (and use!) each one.

Quick & Easy Quilt Block Builder shows you each technique with clear step-by-step illustrations and instructions plus provides the math for many sizes plus gives instructions for sample blocks providing a lovely a-ha moment of how any given technique can work plus includes a free download for many paper-piecing patterns!

Seven ways to make half-square triangles

  1. Super Scrappy Half-Square Triangles When you don't need matching pairs of HSTs because you're going for a scrappy look, this is perfect. Starch to stabilize your cut-on-the-bias fabric!
  2. Two-at-a-Time Half-Square Triangles This seems to be the preferred technique of most quilt designers, and is great if you need just a few HSTs in specific colors.
  3. Four-at-a-Time Half-Square Triangles The edges of your HSTs are going to be stretchy so starch the heck out of them. This technique is ideal to use with square pre-cuts like charm packs and layer cakes.
  4. Magic Eight Half-Square Triangles If you want to feel like a boss, this method is for you. You sew before cutting so no bias edges, and it really does feel like magic to start with just two squares of fabric and end up with eight identical HSTs.
  5. Half-Square Triangles from 2½" Strips Raise your hand if you have leftover strips from your Jelly Roll projects! Here is one way to use them in your next project.
  6. The Perfect Pieced Half-Square Triangle I seriously fell behind on a BOM and wanted to catch up. After going through five months of instructions, I realized that I needed to make over 100 identical HSTs. This was my go-to method for that many.
  7. Half-Square Triangles Using HST Paper Paper templates provide perfect accuracy when creating many identical HSTs, which is great for the quarter-inch seam challenged. Readers of the book will find a code to free downloadable HST papers.

Are there more ways to make half-square triangles? I bet there are! Please comment below or email me at the.cursing.quilter@gmail.com if you care to share your special method. And take a look at Quick & Easy Quilt Block Builder which also covers many alternative ways to make other common quilt block elements.

Please follow me, The Cursing Quilter, on Instagram and have fun building your quilt blocks!

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Order Quick & Easy Quilt Block Builder here! 

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