Acrobats: Quarter Square Triangles

Several years back I was introduced to a fantastic book: 501 Rotary Cut Quilt Blocks by Judy Hopkins.  I have found this book to be a fantastic resource. I use this book often. How do I use it? I have challenged my private Facebook group: Sew Anyways with Nancy McNally to learn 2 new blocks a month. We are currently in our 1st month, block 2: Acrobats.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/240137286367256/

In order to join my group, you have to answer the questions when you request to join. I will approve your membership as soon as I see your request. Now, back to the quarter square block.

The Acrobats block is made up of  9 quarter square triangle units and 11 squares. The layout of the QST. + the Sq. makes the block appear as if there is an X  running through it. This is a block that is not seen very often in the public domain of the World of Quilting. That is the reason I chose Acrobats for the 2nd block of this month.

Let’s talk about Quarter Square Triangle (QST).

It consists of 4 triangles (hence the name quarter).

A QST consists of 4 triangles sewn together to create a square. You can’t just sew any type/group of triangles to create a QST. The triangles must have the cross or straight of grain as their base or bottom. The 2 remaining sides of the triangle come together to form a 90° angle (the center)…but don’t put this one the outside…its cut from the bias! That means it will stretch or distort.

In order to figure out what size of a QST you need, there is some math you need to do…I know I know…just bare with me.

Let’s say we want a 3″ FINISHED size QST block/unit : add 1.25 to your 3″

We want our QST to have 2 different fabrics.

3″ + 1.25 = 4.25

We will need 2 fabrics cut at 4.25″ (4 1/4″) squares.

Cut on BOTH diagonals.

Place fabrics in the layout you would like and sew.

The QST will measure 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ this is the unfinished size

It will finish at 3″ x 3″. In the diagram below. I have 2 squares lined up (1 black & 1 white). Blue lines going through both blocks showing to cut on both diagonals. You will yield 4 triangles of each. I only show 2 of each, because that is all you need for 1 quarter square triangle block/unit. You will yield 2 quarter square triangle blocks/units total. The 3rd picture in the diagram shows which ones to sew together. Press towards the darker color. Pressing lines/arrows are not shown in the picture.

Sew…that is how you do the math for a Quarter Square Triangle! It is really simple!

The only step remaining once you piece your quarter square triangle block is to trim to the correct size. Sometimes sewing triangles can be tricky, they can slide or move. Once your block is pieced, iron, then trim to the correct size. For Trimming, I always find center. Align my ruler on the center. See the diagram below.

My block is 3″, center is 1.5. I rest the 1.5 intersection on my ruler on the very center of my block. I have it circled in red. Before trimming, check all 4 sides of the ruler/block. Make SURE the fabric is extending past the desired measurement, not less than or on the inside of the desired amount. If my fabric would have been on the other side (less than) of the 3″ mark…going towards the 2″ side, I would not trim. At that point, I would begin examining my seam allowance…

As for the Acrobat Block,

Happy Quilting!

Nancy McNally

 

What is in this bag?

You know, sometimes you just need to leave that bag alone..the one that is sitting up high on the shelf that you can’t reach. Well that bag was calling to me. I knew not to touch it. I just had too! So what was in that bag? This was! I dumped the contents onto my table work mat.

What a HOT MESS!!

I dove in! I remember this project! Why in the world would I shove into this bag without organizing it first?

As I began digging I found a pin…the hard way, “OUCH”! Dug some more to find the pin and that is how all of this happened. I took each section that was pinned (I did kind of sorta organize it some what…kind of), unpinned and placed all the sections across my longarm machine. Next I brought my regular size ironing board out and set it up. I attacked!

I ironed each section, spray starched as I worked on each one. I had decided I was going to take the time to iron, and fold neatly to place the sections into Ziplock bags. Thanks to my assistant and friend Cheri, I’m really enjoying these ZipLock bags. It took a good while to iron this pile. Not all the pile was ironed. Some of the pile was scraps. I chose to put the scraps into their own Ziplock bags. So here is how far I had gotten with this quilt. Now, I don’t have everything lined up perfectly on my design wall, so no judging.

The picture with the X blocks, there will only be 1 row of these blocks surrounding the quilt. There is also a skiny border to separate the body of the quilt from these X Blocks.

After all the dust settles from our move, I believe I’m going to put this one on my list of MUST FINISH NOW projects.

I folded all of the sections, pieces and parts nicely. Placed all in LARGE Ziplock bags and tucked away again.

By the way, I designed this pattern. Let’s hope I can finish this one. I can see some amazing quilting designs that need to be stitched.

As of today, March 7, 2018 I have to remove my design wall from my sewing room. Why? It looks extremely tacky for the listing of our home (my home is for sale as of today). Can’t wait to move into the new one!

I will have to have my quilting friends over for a day of sewing!

Happy quilting everyone!

Nancy McNally

Went LEFT instead of Right…

What am I thinking?! I went Left instead of Right! LOL Do you have any idea as to what I am referring to? NO, ok I will tell you. About a month ago I rearranged my sewing studio to accommodate my business. I sew out of my home, but I just felt like I was on top of myself. So….I moved my sewing machines, tables, bookshelves, books to a separate room. I thought this would help me focus a little better. The truth of the matter, my room was too cluttered…decluttering needed to happen. Not moving things around.

So, how does turning left have anything to do with this? Keep reading

I coaxed my sons into coming over to help move my things into the other room. They were glad to help! HA! I coaxed them over by promising dinner to them! LOL Seriously, my sons always help their mom out, always. As my son John and I were moving the last few things I realized how much I did not want this to happen! I lost my pretty window view to the outside world. I had sat sewing in the same spot for YEARS! And now my view was gone. He saw it in my face and knew he had to help. I went ahead with my plan to sew in the other room, the new room.

Hang in there, I’m getting to the turning Left part. Keep reading

I gave it about a month and that was it. I could not take it anymore. I have to admit though, it was nice saying I have a longarm room, a sewing room and a video room. As of today, I have a sewing room and a video room and I am a much happier quilter. I uncluttered bookshelves that held magazines, books and gobs of paper!! GONE! I vacuumed, dusted (including the walls) and moved almost everything back the way it was! So, now when I walk down the stairs to my basement, I turn LEFT instead of turning Right!  Turning Left was how things were for years. Turning to the right, just felt unnatural for me. I feel like my life is back to normal. This is one change I did not like and I am happy I have my sewing studio cleaner and back to where it should be.

      

Life is good for this quilter:)

Happy Quilting everyone!

Nancy McNally

New Sewing Studio

About a month ago I blogged about “A Change in the Air”

http://nancymcnallyquilts.com/september-2017/there-is-a-change-in-the-air/

actually, it was over a month ago, that’s ok 🙂 you can read about in the link above. There is still more change coming, little steps. My first step was to separate my longarm from my piecing sewing machines. I have a new sewing room. It is much smaller, than the room I was in, but I had to separate. I had to separate the two areas of sewing because I am easily distracted! I was unable to bring my wall (shelves) of fabric into my new sewing room. And you know what? That is a good thing! Because now I focus on what I am currently working on.

As I was moving my sewing machines, tables for my machines, cutting table, rulers, threads, iron board I realized I can’t move any of my fabric into this room…uh oh!! The walls looked bare and the room suddenly became cold and uninviting. This actually saddened me. My son John was helping move things into my new room and he saw what was happening to his mom. All of a sudden mom got really sad. I kid you not! I was sad. I almost cried. You may think that is silly, but as a creative person, I can’t handle having the feeling of closed in or isolation. It takes over, the closed in feeling, and creativity is gone. For 10 years I sewed in the same room. I had a beautiful view out of my window and from my sliding glass door. I wanted to put everything back where it was RIGHT THEN!  So why did I do it?! I’m still wondering if this was the best decision.

I can’t tell the entire reason yet, I’m just hoping that this decision was the right one. I need to focus. Somehow! Focusing is difficult for me. I get bored very easily and distracted easily….and menopause does NOT help! LOL As I sit her typing at 7:25am a hot flash takes over! When are these hot flashes going to end!

Focus!

Finish the task on hand…write the blog…but look at what I am working on today 🙂

There is a plan behind all of this. Again, little steps at a time. If this room does not work out for me, then plan B will be put into motion…what is plan B? I Don’t know! LOL I will figure it out with my husband, family, Cheri My and my great friends!

Today’s agenda:

1-Finish piecing the blocks from yesterday

2-Purge through books and magazines! Get rid of what you no longer use

3-Longarm!! I have some ideas and I have got to stitch them out!

Here are some pictures of how things look now…a little progress, still needs more work. I have to sew while I organize and set up both rooms. Eventually it will all be done.

Clearing the room
setting up sewing table
My new view, that was the window I had a beautiful view from, now it is down the hallway 🙁
Its coming together
Cutting table and wall of rulers
Present day…its a creative mess!

Time to get back to work!

I hope you are having a wonderful day!

It is Friday!

Happy Quilting!

Nancy McNally