Half Square Triangle Blocks

For years I’ve been saving the leftover triangles from flying geese and snowball blocks.  I usually mark a line for a second seam and before I even trim them off my project, I sew a little half square triangle block.  I’ve been tossing them in a little box with no real plan for them.

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Recently I decided that it might be fun to sew them all together into blocks, and put the blocks together in an improv half square triangle quilt.  The sizes and colors of my HSTs are all different, so I don’t know how it will look in the end, but I’m excited to try it.  I also think it will be a fun scrapbook quilt, with bits of fabric I love from other projects.

I haven’t done any trimming on these.  Just sewing them together for fun.

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I don’t have a goal for finishing.  I’m just going to play with the idea between other sewing projects and see what happens.  One thing’s for sure – I have a lot of them!  It will be fun to see what becomes of it.

Jennifer

15 Minutes of Play – Aqua improv blocks

aquaimprovblocks

I have had a small stack of crazy skinny triangle shaped scraps sitting for years.  They were the last leftovers from my Water and Sky quilt, and the second one, and finally this lone starburst.   Two quilts and a pillow is pretty good for one fat quarter bundle!  I didn’t see how I could possibly use the scraps for anything, but couldn’t bear to get rid of them, either.  If we were all colors, these would be me.

Motivated by Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s challenge to do fifteen minutes of play, and also by my sister who regularly sews scraps together to make new fabric as she works on her projects, I’ve been pulling out random piles of scraps and sewing without a plan to see what happens.

These improv blocks are a result of that exercise.  I LOVE them!  I love the way the wonky points turned out, and the way the colors work together (nothing new there) and especially I love being able to do something with this last little bit of some favorite fabrics.

aquascraps

There were a few square and rectangle pieces in with the other scraps so I sewed them together as well.  The question I’m asking myself now is, do I put all of these blocks together in one mini quilt, or do I add them to some other improv blocks I’m sewing for a big scrappy quilt someday?

aquaimprovmini

This little block is destined to become it’s own tiny mini quilt.  It’s my favorite, and I think I’d like to live there.  I’ve got it hanging in a random spot in my sewing room so I can see it while I wait for inspiration to strike on how to quilt it.

It makes me so happy to be using all these pieces!  I’m SO glad I didn’t throw them away when I thought surely they were useless.  How about you?  Do you save scraps?  How small?

Jennifer

Prosper: {mini wishing well quilt}

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I made this mini quilt over a year ago, before I ever mailed my Wishing Well quilt off to Quilty magazine for publishing.  It’s time to share some photos of it!

Before I say more, I need to confess something.  I never wanted my Wishing Well quilt to have that name.  I wanted to call it “Prosper.”  Here’s why:  back in June of 2014 I got a random email from Mary Fons asking me to design a quilt for Quilty.  I was stunned.  I even thought it might be a hoax of some kind, until I replied to the email and it turned out that I really was communicating with THE Mary Fons.  Shortly after that, I was pondering 2 Chronicles 20:20 which reads, “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.”  I was pondering it because it was part of a lesson I would teach at church, but personally the word “prosper” really grabbed me.  We were experiencing some trials at the time that didn’t feel anything like prosperity, but instead felt like the opposite.  I found it interesting that this verse didn’t connect prospering with material resources at all, but instead aligned it in relation to belief.  It was so opposite of what the world describes as prosperity, and I found myself mulling it over a lot, looking for ways in which we WERE prospering, ways less obvious to me until I went digging.

Then one day I stumbled upon a tiny drawing – no more than one inch square – of a vintage quilt block called “prosperity.”  The name caught my eye and because of my personal musings I began examining the block and kind of liked it.  I did some internet searches to see if anyone else was making the prosperity block and found nothing, so I went to work adapting the quilt block to contain no Y seams, and enlarging it for a more modern feel.  Thus my design was born, and the quilt was made, all to the tune of that verse of scripture in my mind.

Need a reminder of the original quilt?

wishingwell1

I used the scraps to make the mini (which is NOT the original block cut in half.  I went about it in a far easier way.)  And so, this quilt has always been “mini prosper” to me:

miniwishingwell2

It was really fun to make, and I especially enjoyed quilting it in with a small crosshatch pattern.

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I enjoyed it SO much that I took my test block and quilted it too, with rows even closer together.  This mini finishes at 9 inches square and makes me giddy with happiness.  I love the tiny quilting!

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The larger mini I backed in a coordinating pink fabric and bound with my favorite navy Architextures text print.  The tiny one I backed in the same fabric I used to back the original quilt – a Maude Asbury for Blend fabrics alphabet print.

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So there you have it:  two mini quilts I made almost a year and a half ago.  Ha!  I must add a little to the story.  It’s true that you can prosper even when hard things are happening, even when personal, health, family or financial struggles abound.  I’m sure I haven’t learned as much about this as I’ll someday understand, but I do feel like I’ve had kind of a prolonged tutorial in this, perhaps partly because I’ve thought about it so much.  I hung the larger of these quilts in my closet of all places, beneath a sign that says “rejoice” and I look at it every day.  It’s a reminder to me that we are rich in blessings that can’t be measured, and there is always something to be happy about.  Especially if I have the courage to look for it and truly see it.  There have been days – more than I care to admit – when I didn’t have the courage to rejoice, but seeing this quilt reminded me at least that it wouldn’t be permanent, and that somewhere up ahead there are good things in store.

miniwishingprosper

So wherever you are, may you prosper today!

Jennifer

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