Inserting 1/2″ Strips

Here is a (probably overly) detailed tutorial on inserting 1/2″ strips into a block. This is the block in question:

First, cut a rectangle of fabric: 4″ x 5.5″. Then cut two strips for the inserts 1″ x 7″. How did I come up with 7″? I just measured the diagonal of the rectangle and rounded up.

Next, mark the center of the short sides of both ends of each strip.

Cut the rectangle across one diagonal (oops, I didn’t take a picture of that!). Take one triangle from that cut and lay it down on your cutting mat. Line up one strip parallel to the long side – making sure the center mark is to the left of the side (or to the right if you cut right handed!). Disclosure: I am left-handed, although I cut with both hands, I typically cut with my left!

Lay your ruler down so it is parallel to the left (or right!) side of the triangle, with the edge of the ruler touching that center mark at the end of the strip. You want to cut off that tiny piece so you have an easy way to line up the strip to the triangle for piecing.

Put the strip RST on top of the rectangle, you should have a nice 1/4″ notch to line up your pieces — stitch! (This is actually a picture taken for the second side, but it shows how the notch is formed!)

Press that seam – I like to press to one side, usually toward the strip. Now, line up the other triangle, place the piece triangle so the strip is parallel to the long edge with the center mark beyond the edge just like we did in the previous step. Trim off that triangle and piece.

Press – again, I like to press to one side, toward the strip. Now on to the next strip. Generally, just repeat the same steps. Cut across the opposite diagonal. Line up the strip. Trim the little dogear. RST and stitch.

To make absolutely sure that the X lines up perfectly, you’ll do a little extra for the second side of the strip. From the back side of the block, mark the stitch lines across the strip and then mark a line 1/4″ from the raw edge. (It’s really light – if you can’t see that let me know and I’ll make it clearer.)

This indicates exactly where the piece needs to be aligned. Stick a pin through one cross and then to the pieced side 1/4″ in from the raw edge. This is where you want the pieces to connect. Repeat with the other cross. Use those two pins to help you get everything lined up then pin the pieces together – I place a pin parallel to the stitch line and remove it once I get to the first intersection. Once the pieces are secured with a pin, remove the two pins that you used to align the pieces.



Stitch. Press. Voila! I know that’s a lot of detail – but after the first block you can start making shortcuts. Why does this work? Because the 1/2″ strip takes up the same amount as the seam allowance, so you aren’t taking anything away from the rectangle. Here is a view from the back that shows that.

Happy Piecing.

Sanibel Pillow Tutorials

I was finally able to find some time to get some tutorial videos edited! Today I uploaded two new videos – one showing the hand applique and one about the quilting. I have one more to edit – making the pillow cover and installing an invisible zipper. Here is a link to my YouTube channel.

sanibel pillow final

The next few videos that I have planned are: slice and insert, cutting and piecing equilateral triangles. I also have a couple of new tools I’d like to try out and show you how well they work – I’m not big on fancy rulers, but these look very promising!

In the meantime, I have a Riley Blake challenge to get to! Are you doing the MQG challenge?



Sanibel Blog Hop

Today is the last day of the Sanibel Blog Hop! Sanibel is a new Moda fabric line designed by Gina Martin.Sanibel-LogoI don’t know about  you, but all of this beautiful weather and flowers coming into bloom gets me in the mood for summer. This fun and colorful fabric is just what I need to add a little summer color to my house! I love the variety of playful prints. Gina included some very graphic prints like the lawn chair webbing, Adirondack chairs, circles and sunglasses. There are also some more organic prints like the large scale floral and a small scale floral.

sanibel fabric lineI decided to make a set of throw pillows for my otherwise plain gray couch.

sanibel pillow all I wanted to design something fun and easy-going. These pillows were a joy to make. I  have a video tutorial up on my youtube channel.sanibel pillow orangeI will be adding more videos to the series that will include how to quilt the block with a walking foot and how to make the pillow cover using an invisible zipper.sanibel pillow orange closeI love this fabric line so much that I couldn’t stop at throw pillows! I had to start a quilt. I was hoping to have it well underway by now, but life keeps getting in the way! Here’s where I am so far. I’m hoping to have some time to dedicate to it by the end of the month, so stay tuned!

sanibel quiltGina is letting me giveaway a layer cake of her Sanibel fabric – which is perfect for making these pillows! Just leave a comment here or on the video to enter any time before Sunday, April 12th!   Congratulations to Beth, the winner of the layer cake!

sanibel layer-cake Be sure to visit all of the other stops on the blog hop – I’ve seen a lot of cute projects!

Stitching and Bacon
Sally’s Angel Works
Jess Toye Quilts
I am a Quilter
Silly Mama Quilts
Gina Martin at Pattern and Hue