May 16, 2017

Week 10: Long Time Gone Sew Along | Half Square Triangles Block 1

Use Template B-13 from Set B

Take advantage of this quick and easy block to both look ahead and catch up.  In the catch-up department, for some reason I still need to cut and make 2 Churn Dash blocks!

Looking Ahead and Making the Block Simultaneously

1. It looks like Jen used 35 different fabrics for her triangles and I want to do the same. When using templates, we always cut strips one dimension of the template first and then use the template for the final cut. (Yes, cut a strip even if you only want two triangles.) So, I needed 2-1/2 inch strips of both light neutrals and contrasting prints. I don’t need a lot of variety in the light neutrals so I cut strips from 7 or 8 different fabrics 2-1/2 inches wide and 10 – 12 inches long.

2. Now, what about the 35 contrasting fabrics? For efficiency, look ahead. Is there another place where we need 2-1/2 inch strips? Yes, next week in Half Square Triangles block 2, and again in the “60 degree” triangles.

What about the borders? You may remember that I’ve mentioned that I want varying widths on my three borders and 2-1/2 inches is the width for my middle border. On Jen’s borders, there are 10 or 11 strips on each 70 inch side. If I cut 35 2-1/2 inch wide strips between 10 and 18 inches long, I could accomplish four things!

    a. I could pair them with neutral strips and cut 2 B-13 Half Square Triangle sets. One set would be for this block and …
    b. I would have all the triangles I need cut for next week’s block, too.
    c. I would be close to having a full border cut.
    d. I can use at least some of the strips for the “60 degree” triangles.

If you are planning on making a 2-1/2 inch pieced binding like Jen did, you’ll probably want to cut a second strip while you have the fabric out.

3. I paired light and contrasting strips and stacked them 3 pairs high. Then I cut 2 pairs of B-13 triangles from each stack one for this week, one for nest week. Don’t skip cutting off the corners. Even with my nipped off corners, the bulk is noticeable.

4.  Next, I separated the strips and put the assorted colors aside. Since I don’t plan to put light fabrics in the border, I paired them again with new contrasting fabrics and repeated this process until I had 35 pairs of triangles.

5. Chain-piece the triangle pairs and press seams toward the darker triangle. Arrange in 5 rows of 7 as shown and join. Alternate from row to row the direction that you press the seams that join the squares to create perfect opposing seams for joining the rows.

I pressed the seams that joined the rows up. Some may choose to press that open, but I anticipate quilting in the ditch and do not want the open seam.

More Looking Ahead

If you have been following, you know I’ve already layered and quilted Section 4. I had finished piecing another set of 4 Pineapple blocks sometime ago and now with the HST Block 1 done, I’m only missing a row of 6 Peaky and Spike triangles to complete Section 1. I can’t stand not to finish! The instructions are on page 23 in the Long Time Gone book, called 60-degree triangles. They are really 53-1/2 degree triangles, but who's counting?

Using the Multiple Size Peaky and Spike – Product #8289

The 6 contrasting Spike triangles can be cut from the same 2-1/2 inch strips you just used for the HSTs. Don't forget to reposition the multi-size tool and trim off the corners for easy piecing. Instead of cutting 6 pairs of Peaky triangles, I chose to cut 7 neutral Spike triangles to alternate. It saves a lot of seams and I like the clean look better next to the HST block. Trim the neutral triangles to size on each end of the row.

On page 11 of the Peaky and Spike instruction booklet, we tell you how to join two Peaky triangles to make a rectangle, but until now we didn’t share joining 2 Spike triangles. We are sharing our future page 11 with you right now!

Excerpt, page 11:

The corners are engineered to fit perfectly when Peaky and Spike are sewn in the most common arrangement, as on page 2. The pieces fit together in other positions, shown below. but the corners do not align ideally. It just takes a little practice to create these units. For example, to make a rectangle out of two #97 triangles, cut both triangles in the same orientation and pay careful attention to matchpoints when sewing.

You can also sew Spike triangles together to make a wonderful Sawtooth border. End each strip with a Peaky triangle and use kite units for corner blocks.

Check Your Finished Block Sizes

Jen has included finished sizes for all of the units. They really aren’t suggested sizes! This jigsaw puzzle doesn’t fit together without accurate finished block sizes. If you choose to machine quilt in sections, this is a Cardinal Rule! Measure the edges that will be joined eventually. If they match before quilting and you quilt with the same density on both pieces, they will match when they are joined.

Just like section 4 shown in Week 5, I'm adding 8 inches in length and width to the batting and backing. I will position the pieced unit in the lower right corner so that all of the extra batting and backing extends at the top and left side of the quilt, as it is pictured on the inside cover of the Longtime Gone book.

Here is my Section 1 layered and ready to quilt. Just like Section 4, it has the extra batting and backing allowed for the borders to be added “Stitch and Flip.”

And here it is with the extra batting and backing rolled and pinned to be more convenient to handle when quilting.

For more information about machine quilting in sections, see my book Machine Quilting in Sections and my newest Craftsy Class by the same name.

More About Half Square Triangles Block 1

Visit these other Long Time Gone Sew Along blogs, too, for tutorials, contests and other info:

Use the hash tag #LongTimeGoneSAL to share photos on Instagram.

Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell. Copyright 2016 by Jen Kingwell Designs. Available on From Marti Michell website,

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