Tuesday, July 10, 2007

READ the directions!

OK, I've got to tell you all: sometimes I can be a REAL goofus! Enter my latest quilting booboo!
When I was making my HSTs (half square triangles) the other day, I thought I had remembered that for a 2 1/2 inch finished square, I needed to cut my initial squares (that would subsequently be cut in to 2 triangles) 2 7/8 inches. Unfortunately, I started to reason and decided that I must have remembered wrong, that certainly it MUST be 2 5/8 because after all once it's in the block, it's only a 2 inch square, so certainly 2 7/8 must be wrong. Well, those of you who have done many HSTs know that 2 7/8 was right! Too bad for me. I had already cut boohoos of 2 5/8 inch strips before I realized my mistake. I thought, "Well, maybe if I do 2 7/8 segments of those strips, giving me rectangles and not squares, I can fudge a little on my seams and make it work."
So here's an example of what I ended up with:

Not a very good square is it? But don't you like the new ruler I bought yesterday? It's 6 x 12 inches; the only one I had before yesterday was 6 x 24. I kept knocking things off my cutting table every time I turned that long ruler to do my "squaring up". And obviously with the above photo, it's quite clear that I needed to do a LOT of that. This particular square was not salvageable for this project, but I'll keep it for a smaller square for some other unknown project of the future. (Oh, so THAT'S how we get all those stashes?!)

I haven't tried out my new ruler yet--that's on the agenda for tomorrow, but I have used this little craft iron that I bought a few weeks ago and I REALLY like it for these little squares.

So with my trusty little iron, a good ruler, and rotary cutter

--and, of course a VERY scant 1/4 inch seam, I'm able to salvage a lot of those funny little NONsquares! Luckily it's a bias seam, so raveling out is unlikely.

Hmm, shall I count them all when I'm finished to see how many were usable for this project? We'll see.


Anonymous said...

Oh MARY LYNN! I do the same sort of computations all the time. My DQF asked me to figure how much fabric she would need to back a queen sized quilt. After some serious calculations, using a calculator, I came up with 94 YARDS!!! LOL--Goodness knows, that ain't right!! Carol

amy said...

And even then, no matter what I'm supposed to cut but knowing how I sew, I always round up that extra 1/8th. Drives me nuts to have to trim, but then I have tidy HSTs when I'm done.