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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Quilted Holiday Table Runner - Day 2


Continuing our table runner.  Take 2 green charm squares and put them together matching corners exactly.  Cut them to 3-7/8" x 3-7/8" square.


Cut the 2 green charm squares in half diagonally and set aside.


Take 3 more green charm squares and cut them to 4-1/4" x 4-1/4" square.  Cut them in half twice as shown.  Take 4 aqua charms and cut to 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" square.  Set aside (Do not cut them in half! - Picture not shown).


Take 2 aqua charm squares and cut to 4-1/4" x 4-1/4" square.  You will then cut them in half diagonally twice.  When you prepare to cut in half diagonally, especially if you have several squares on top of one another, make sure that they are layered perfectly.  When you begin cutting, be careful not to slip your rotary ruler.  After you have made the first diagonal cut, simply cut the square in the other direction diagonally without moving the square.


Now, separate your triangles and set aside.


Let's build the center red  block.  Take 4 red triangles and place on the 4 sides of the cream square. 


Notice that the points of the triangles extend past each corner of the square by about 1/4".  This is exactly as it should be.


Begin by sewing 2 red triangles to opposite edges of the cream square.  Always use a 1/4" seam.  I follow the edge of my presser foot because it provides me with a clean 1/4" seam allowance.


Press open the triangles - pressing towards the triangles.  Trim off the dog-ears.


Place the other 2 red squares on opposite sides of the cream square making sure they are centered and that the seam allowance that extends past the edges is equal on both sides of the triangle.  Stitch in place.


Press open and clip off the dog-ears.


Measure your block.  It should measure 6-1/2"


Repeat this process for the green square.


You should have 2 squares that look like this - one red and one green.


Lay out a red and cream square and a green and cream square as shown.


With right-sides together (RST), stitch together as shown to make 2 small squares.  Press.  Trim off the dog-ears.


With RST, lay a red triangle on top of the red/cream square you just stitched as shown.  Do the same for the green square.



Stitch the triangles to the squares and press so that the result looks like you see above.


Grab 2 aqua triangles and pin to the red and green pieces as shown.


Stitch and press towards the aqua triangle.  Lookin' good!


Take 2 cream triangles and and 2 aqua triangles (mine are cream and aqua because I ran out of aqua charm squares - oops) - and put them together as shown.


Place them RST and stitch (always a 1/4" seam.  Press towards the aqua fabric.


Now, line up your pieces as shown, being accurate by lining up the seams before you pin and stitch.


See the seams?  If you want them to match perfectly, you have to line them up.  That is why having an accurate 1/4" seam, pressing, and pinning accurately makes a big difference in the result!!


Next, with RST, check to make sure that your seams are up against each other as perfectly as you can get them.  NOTE: Don't assume that just because the seam matches at the top edge that it will match when you finish stitching.  Wanna know why?  Because you are stitching 1/4" from the top edge of the piecing.  If you think about it, you need to check to make sure that your edges match perfectly from the 1/4" edge to the top edge.  Then  you'll have nice, straight seams!


Pin that baby in place.  If you don't pin (beginning with the seam you just lined up), you are bound to screw up the alignment.  Don't take a chance.  It takes a few seconds to pin it in place and then stitch.


Press Open towards the triangle you just stitched on.  Trim off the dog-ears.  Smile at your perfect seams and nice piecing.


Take a cream and red triangle set and a cream and green triangle set and lay them next to the block you are piecing.  When you do this you are less likely to stitch across the wrong edge.  Check your work as you go and you'll have fewer mistakes.  I prefer to have my seam ripper collect dust, but it never seams to happen.


Just making sure.


When you have your pieces stitched together and pressed, take your transparent ruler and place the 1/4" seam marking at the top of the triangle.  See it under the ruler?  That tells me that I have a perfect 1/4" seam allowance that I can stitch this piece to another section and the tip of the triangle already stitched together will be a nice, clean point. 


In other words, you don't want to stitch this piece to the first block and cut off the tip of your triangles in the process.  I know, I've done it and it isn't pretty.  Check your accuracy by lining up the horizontal marking on the ruler with the vertical markings, placing the 1/4" marking at the tip of the triangle point beneath the ruler.  If necessary, trim away any excess.  If you look closely at the picture above, you will see just a tiny bit of excess past the edge of the ruler.  I took my rotary cutter and trimed it away.


Lookin' so nice!  Check out those points!! And those perfect 1/4" seams past the center triangle points!!  Yep, this is going to be very pretty when it is all pieced together.


Your completed rectangle should measure 3-1/2" x 6-1/2".  Check your work.  I always do.



Now, pin the red rectangle you just finished onto the red square.  Check your points!  your matching center seams! At the 1/4" tip from the top edge!  Then pin in place.


Notice this isn't a perfect match.  That's okay.  Why?  Because I know I have cut accurately and stitched accurately and at this point of the process, I need to make sure that the top edge that I am getting ready to stitch has the "center" tip of the "center" triangle matching the tip of the cream square beneath it.  If these seams match perfectly and you pin from the center out to the sides, you'll be fine.


See what I mean?  Check that out.  Tip-to-tip.


Press it open and it should look like this.  Repeat these steps for your green square and rectangle piecing and we'll be set to continue tomorrow!  See you then!



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