Table Top Turkey Trot

I’ve been so wrapped up in three additional days off school for the kids (yes, we are now on our THIRD snow day in a row; they are climbing the walls!) that I totally missed my dresden turkey table runner tutorial (isn’t that a mouthful) being posted over at Moda Bakeshop!


The  idea for this project came to me around the first of November. I drew up the plans, and it was approved pretty quickly. I had hoped to have it ready to post at Moda Bakeshop by Thanksgiving, but by the time I had the fabric in hand, that only gave me six days. My life, apparently, does not allow for a 6-day turn around time. It was ready before Christmas, but was just posted Monday.

Go check it out. It’s a festive take on a dresden block, and looks great on a fall table. That fabric is Floral Gatherings, and if you want to make some fall decor, I absolutely recommend picking some up. The colors are just perfect and remind me of an autumn walk through the changing leaves.

The tutorial includes a pdf download for the dresden template and the turkey body appliqué. You can download that pdf here as well.

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 9.01.22 AM

Half Square Triangles 101

Alternate Title: For Rachel and Colin’s Wedding Quilt

Alternate Title: How to make a quilt block when you’ve never sewn a quilt block before


IMPORTANT: Your quilt block must finish at exactly 9.5 inches. That’s a 9-inch block with 1/4 inch seam allowance all the way around. If it’s a touch bigger, that’s okay; it can be trimmed. If it’s too small, though, it cannot be easily incorporated into the quilt with the rest of the blocks.

**Tip: To achieve the above finished measurement, be sure to sew your block units together with a “scant 1/4 inch” seam allowance. That’s just a thread-width or two smaller than a 1/4 inch to account for the thread and pressing the block unit open

**Tip: You can make your quilt block with a sharp pair of sewing scissors and a needle and thread. Your kitchen shears or paper craft scissors or the scissors you’ve been using to trim your bangs will not be sharp enough to achieve a clean cut on fabric. For about $15, though, you can purchase a rotary cutter and a small rotary mat, which will make this much easier. (Something like this can be found at JoAnn Fabrics, Michael’s, or other craft stores. Bring a coupon to those big stores if the item is not on sale.)

Okay. Let’s get started.

Materials Needed:

Fabric: one light and one dark fabric was mailed to youcolor_pics
Sewing machine and thread OR sewing needle and thread
Sharp fabric scissors OR rotary cutter and mat
Ruler (see through ruler with a grid to square the block is best)
Iron and Ironing surface
Triangle template (optional. For method A only)

Part 1: Make the half square triangle units

If you’ve never made a quilt block before, a great easy place to start is with a half square triangle. This is just what it sounds like. It is a quilt block unit composed of two triangles of fabric, which, sewn together along the diagonal, make a square. These half square triangles (HSTs) can be arranged in a huge variety of layouts to create different quilt blocks.

For this 9-inch block (9.5 inches, unfinished, before it is sewn into the quilt), we will use a 4×4 grid of half square triangle units. Each of the 16 HSTs will be 2.75 inches, unfinished, and 2.25 inches when they are sewn into the block or quilt.

Did you notice the pattern of the seam allowance? We will always sew our seams together 1/4 inch (very slightly less) from the edge of the fabric. Thus, whatever the finished measurement of the block or block unit will be, you add a 1/2 inch to account for the seam allowance on all sides.

Method A: Triangle template

1. Using the triangle template (it should be 3-1/8 inches on a short side), cut out 16 triangles of light fabric and 16 triangles of dark fabric.

2. Place your triangles into pairs of light and dark. Stack each pair so the right side of the fabric is in the middle and the wrong side is facing out (note: with the type of fabric chosen for this quilt, there may not always be a difference between the right and wrong sides of the fabric. In that case, don’t worry about it. If there is a difference in the two sides, the brighter side goes in the middle).

3. Sew your HST together along the long side of the triangle, a scant 1/4 inch (remember: that’s just a thread width or two shy of 1/4 inch) from the longest edge.


Method B: Start with Squares

This is the method I prefer for making half square triangles. It goes a little bit faster and doesn’t involve fiddling with templates. Use whichever makes sense to you.

1. Cut out 8 squares of light fabric, and 8 squares of dark fabric, each measuring 3.25 inches (note: you could cut them at 3-1/8 inches, like the template, but I prefer to cut the squares slightly large and then trim the HST when it is complete).

2. Place one light square and one dark square with the right sides of the fabric in the middle and the wrong sides of the fabric facing the outside. Draw a diagonal line on the top square going from corner to corner. You can just use a regular pencil or pen for this. It will be hidden in the finished quilt block.

3. Sew two diagonal lines parallel with the line you drew, one a scant 1/4 inch to the left of the drawn line, the other, a scant 1/4 inch to the right of the drawn line.

4. Cut the square into two along the diagonal line you drew.


 Both Method A + Method B:

Tip: chain piecing

To speed the process of making your block units, try chain piecing. Cut out all your pieces and place your pairs together. Sew one pair. Rather than pulling that pair out of your machine and trimming the threads, leave it there and sew the next pair right behind. Trim when you have finished sewing all pairs.


Finish the HST: 

Whether you have used template or started with squares that were cut apart, you should now have a stack of 16 triangle pairs that are sewn together along their longest edge.

With the dark side up, nudge your hot iron between the two triangles and press the block unit open. This will press the seam allowance toward the darker fabric.

Trim each HST to 2.75 inches.


 Part 2: Construct the Quilt Block

Now that you have  your 16 finished HSTs, it’s time to decide on a pattern for your block. There were several included with your fabric. There are several more here. (Fun side story. The man who generated these 72 patterns is a Perl programmer who was dating a quilter. He developed the program to generate rotationally symmetric HST blocks.)


But these are just the “rotationally symmetric” choices, you are welcome to explore beyond that. I really had a lot of fun playing with my HSTs before I finally settled on the pattern I wanted to use.


Now you have 16 finished HSTs and you’ve decided on a pattern for your block, let’s finish up!

1. Beginning with the first row, place two adjacent HSTs together with the right sides in the middle, and their common edge aligned. Sew together using a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance. Sew the next pair of HSTs together the same way. Attach these two pairs using a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance to form your first row. Press your seams open.

2. Repeat for the remaining three rows of HSTs.

3. Flip the top row down onto the second row so the right sides are together in the middle. Align each of the seams between HSTs and pin in place. Sew the rows together using a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance.

4. Continue in this manner until you have sewn all four rows together. Press your seam open. Flip the block to the right side and press flat.

5. Trim to 9.5 inches square.


All done!


Mail your block off to be include in Rachel and Colin’s wedding quilt.

E-mail me if you have questions. Or call. Or we can Skype and I’ll help (this offer valid for Rachel and Colin quilt makers only)!


Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Okay, time to head to New Jersey. Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about New Jersey, but I’ve got a good friend who lives there and it’s called the “garden state” so it sounds lovely enough, right? (Let’s just forget about all the Jersey Shore stereotype and focus on the “garden”, okay? We all love a nice garden, and you are going to love this block!)

There are a number of different ways this block could be put together. Possibilities I’m using include use mostly half square triangles or make the “legs” of the x a single piece of fabric. Instead, I’ll show you how to construct this block as a 3×3 grid made up of flying geese and half square triangles.

Road Trip Quilt Along 2013: New Jersey

Cutting directions for New Jersey quilt block:

From background fabric (gray for me):
(4) 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch rectangles

From fabric 2 (dark pink):
(1) 3-1/8 inch square (for center on point square)
(6) 3-inch squares (to use in the corner half square triangles)

From fabric 3 (yellow-gold):
(4) 2.5-inch squares
(12) 3-inch squares
*6 of these will be paired with dark pink to make HSTs
*sub-cut 2 of these on the diagonal to make 4 triangles to use around the center on-point square
*4 of these will be used to make flying geese

From fabric 4 (dark orange):
(1) 5.25 inch square (used to make 4 flying geese)

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Construct the block

1. Make the center square.
Use the 3-1/8 inch square of Fabric 2. Along each edge, sew a triangle from 1/2 of a 3-inch square. Trim the center square to 4.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

2. Make 12 half square triangles using (6) 3-inch squares of Fabric 2 and (6) 3-inch squares of Fabric 3. For a review of how to make HSTs, please revisit the Maryland tutorial. Trim each finished HST to 2.5-inches.

3. Make 4 flying geese using the 5.25 inch square of Fabric 4 and (4) 3-inch squares of Fabric 3. This is my favorite method for flying geese, but it works best when you need 4 (or multiples of 4) geese.

The first step is similar to how you make a HST. Begin by aligning two 3-inch squares in opposite corners of the 5.25-inch square. Draw a line from corner to corner, bisecting both of the smaller squares.

Sew a 1/4 inch line of stitches to each side of line you just drew. Cut the piece apart on the drawn line.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Iron the small triangles up away from the large triangle you created with your cut.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Align the remaining 3-inch squares in the remaining “empty” corner of the larger triangles. Again, draw a line bisecting the square into 2 triangles. The line will begin at the “empty” corner of the large triangle and end between where the two smaller triangles are attached.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Sew a line of stitches 1/4 inch to each side of the line you drew and cut the piece apart on the drawn line.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Iron the final small triangle open. Trim the flying goose to 4.5 inches x 2.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

4. Put together the sub-units of the block.
4a. Sew each flying goose unit to a 4.5 x 2.5 inch rectangle of background fabric along the long edge of the center triangle.
4b. Combine 3 half square triangles with (1) 2.5 inch square of Fabric 3 as seen below.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

5. Sew the 9 sub-units into rows, sew the rows together, and your done! Don’t forget to share your block in the Road Trip Quilt Along Flickr group!

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Linking this up as my finish this week.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Delaware

I have not actually spent any significant time in Delaware. At most, I’ve driven through a portion. So, if you’ve been there, tell me something fun to do in Delaware.

This block is pretty straight forward and should come together really easily for you.

Cutting directions:

From background fabric:
Cut (1) 2.5 inch square
Cut (2) 6 inch squares, then sub-cut each of these on the diagonal to make 2 triangles (4 total)

From each of two focus fabrics:
Cut (2) 5.5 x 2.5 inch rectangles
Cut (1) 6.25 inch square

Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

Making the block

Create half square triangles from the 6.25 inch squares.  Place the fabric right sides together. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. Sew a line 1/4 inch to each side of the drawn line. Cut the square apart on the drawn line. Iron open. For instructions with photos, go back to the Maryland tutorial.

Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

When you’ve finished the HSTs, cut them apart on the diagonal through both fabrics as shown below.

Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

Place each 2-color triangle right sides together with one of the triangles of background fabric and sew along the long edge. Iron open. Trim this piece to 5.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

From here, it’s just laying out the remaining pieces of the block and sewing them together.

Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

Easy! But remember to sew the pieces together so your background HSTs all point to the center? See that line at the top of this block: that’s where I sewed the last row on upside down. The seam ripper is my most important sewing tool!

Road Trip Quilt Along: Delaware

Another way to baste: craft foam

Hello, hello! Welcome to the Monday Link Up at Plum and June. Please share your link below and remember:

1. Link up any recent sewing/quilting post.
2. In your post or on your blog, please include either a text link or a button letting people know about this link up.
3. Visit at least the two bloggers who link up before you and everyone who visits you from this post.

Monday link up

If you’re looking for some fun blocks to add to your sewing list, I’d love it you would join me in the Road Trip Quilt Along, going on right now! If you’d like to see the plan, you can find it here. You can see what’s already happening by checking out the tutorials for Virginia Reel and Maryland Beauty. I’d love it if you wanted to make a couple of these lovelies and share in the Road Trip Quilt Along Flickr group.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial  Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Today, I wanted to show you the method I use for basting. There are many ways to get this done of course: spray basting, bent safety pins, needle and thread. But I prefer to baste with straight pins. In fact, I’ve always basted with straight pins. When I made my first quilt, that was all I had, but then I just never got around to buying the bent safety pins that are preferred by many.

Problem 1: the pins can fall out and then the quilt sandwich is not secure.
Problem 2: Maneuvering the quilt through the machine means you will get jabbed once or twice. Ouch!

I took a Leah Day class on Craftsy and was thrilled to learn that she prefers straight pins, too. But Leah has it all figured out. She secured the pointy pin tips with a product called a pinmoor. Brilliant! Solves both of the problem. But, now a new problem: pinmoors are expensive!! Almost $20 for a pack of 50.

However, I bought this 12×18 inch sheet of 5mm craft foam for $1.27.

baste a quilt with craft foam

With a  straight edge, a utility knife and a little bit of time, I had 192 anchors to use with my straight pins to baste a quilt. The craft foam is not as thick as the pinmoor, but I found it worked just fine. I wouldn’t go thinner than 5mm, but if you could find thicker craft foam, that would be great, too.

baste a quilt with craft foam

I cut the craft foam into 1.5 inch strips.

baste a quilt with craft foam

Then I sliced each strip into a 3/4 inch rectangle. If you want to be precise, you could mark the foam before cutting, but I just aligned my ruler with the edge and dove in.

baste a quilt with craft foam

Now, use straight pins to baste and cap each pin tip with a piece of craft foam. They are quick to put in, stay put, come out easily, and don’t make your fingers hurt with opening and closing all those safety pins.

baste a quilt with craft foam

Hope this helps with the next quilt you have to baste.

Now, link up below with what you’ve been up to this week! Don’t forget to visit a couple other links and maybe make a new sewing friend.


Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland

From Virginia, our road trip takes us north into Maryland. During last year’s road trip, we made a Maryland Star, so this year, we’ll try something different. I’ve seen this called “Maryland Beauty” and it involves a series of “feathered triangles” with the feathers measuring just one inch. My husband saw me making this block with teeny tiny triangles and he said: “Why would you do that to yourself.”

Me: “Because. Doesn’t it look awesome?”
Hubs: “Yes. But … why would you do that to yourself?”

It’s worth the reward!

Cutting direction for Maryland Beauty quilt block:

Background fabric:
1/2 of a 13-inch square cut on the diagonal
1/2 of a 7-inch square cut on the diagonal
(18) 2-inch squares

From each of 3 focus fabrics:
1/2 of a 6-inch square cut on the diagonal (3, 1/2 squares in total)
(5) 2-inch squares (15 in total)
Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Create Half Square Triangles

From the (15) 2-inch squares of focus fabric and 15 of the 2-inch squares of background fabric, create half square triangles. Here’s how:

Align 1 square of focus fabric and 1 square of background fabric right sides together.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Draw a diagonal line through the square.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Sew a line 1/4 from each side of the marked line.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Cut the square in two along the line.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Iron each of the 2 halves open.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Trim each to 1.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Repeat 14 times. You will end up with 10 half square triangles from each of 3 fabrics, but you only need 9 of them.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Cut the remaining 3 squares of background fabric in half on the diagonal.

Put the block together

Begin with one of you 6-inch half square of focus fabric. You will add the small half square triangles along two edges. Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

All small HSTs will face the same direction. Sew 4 of them together horizontally, and add an extra half square of background fabric to the end. Sew 5 more small HSTs together vertically and add an extra half square of background fabric to the bottom.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Attach first the shorter piece and then the longer pieces to the large half square of focus fabric. Trim the long edge of the triangle so it is 45-degrees from each of the other edges.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Sew this piece to the 7-inch half square of background fabric.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Trim the resulting square to 6.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Create 2 additional feathered triangles by the same method and sew one to each remaining edge of the background fabric half square. Sew this entire piece to the half 13-inch square of background fabric.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Trim your Maryland Beauty block to 12.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Maryland Beauty block: the cheater way

If you agree with my husband and think “why would I do that to myself?”, there is a short cut to this block. It’s much easier to put together, but just remember: it’s not nearly as awesome!

You’ll need:
From background fabric:
1/2 of a 13-inch square cut on the diagonal
1/2 of a 7-inch square cut on the diagonal

From each of 3 focus fabrics:
1/2 of a 7-inch square cut on the diagonal (3, 1/2 squares in total)

Put the block together just as the direction indicate, but instead of constructing and then using the feathered triangles, you’ll just use the 1/2 7-inch squares.
Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial Road Trip Quilt Along

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia

Hello and welcome to the first stop on the Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia. This quilt along was born last summer when my family travelled through a total of 16 states in 8 weeks. In order to keep myself sewing while we were away, I decided to make a quilt block to represent each state we travelled through. This year, the road trip isn’t really happening, but the blocks we’ll be making represent states that are contiguous, so this is a hypothetical road trip, and you really could travel this route if you desired. When we are finished, we will have 12 blocks representing states from the northeastern United States.

Last year’s road trip also began in Virginia, and I showed you how to make a Virginia Star. This year, we’ll make something else to represent Virginia: the Virginia Reel (though, as of 2 weeks ago, I no longer live in Virginia. Perhaps next year we’ll begin our road trip in Missouri!).

Cutting directions:

*note: the block can be made with 2 different fabrics, rather than 4, as I used. If using 2 fabrics, you will need 2 center squares of each color.*

Center: Cut a 2-inch square of each color.

Radiating triangles: *You will need 1/2 squares (cut in half on the diagonal) of each color. If you are using 2 fabrics, you will use both halves. If you are using 4 fabrics, you will only use one half.*

Cut a square of each color in each of the following sizes:
3-1/8 inch
4 inch
5-1/4 inch
7 inch

Cut each square in half on the diagonal to make two triangles.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

Construct the Virginia Reel block

All seams are 1/4 inch.

Sew the 4 center squares into a 4-patch. If using 2 fabrics, alternate their placement so a square is not adjacent to one of the same fabric. If your seam allowances are accurate, you should have a 3.5 inch 4-patch block.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

Add the first round (smallest) triangles. The bottom left corner of each triangle should be touching the square of the same fabric. Trim this block to 4.75 inches square.



Add the next larger size triangle. Again, the bottom left corner of the triangle should be touching the triangle from the same fabric.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

Trim the block to 6.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

Continue in the same manner for the two remaining rounds of triangles. Trim the resulting block to 9 inches, and finally to 12.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

I cut out a second center square of each color and used my other 1/2 square triangles to make a second block.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

Easy, right? I thought this was a really fun block. Come and share yours in the Road Trip Quilt Along Flickr group!


How to make a pretty checkbook cover

There’s no reason why those “everyday things” can’t be lovely to look at, is there?

Maybe you don’t write a lot of checks anymore, but as a parent of little ones, I certainly do (preschool tuition, dance class, soccer). For all of those, checks are the best way to complete the transaction. When my new checks came in this week, I decided I just didn’t want to carry around that blah, dark blue, flimsy plastic cover that comes along with them.

So I made one out of a favorite fabric. It took less than 40 minutes. Here’s how you can make one, too!

Checkbook cover tutorial


You’ll need a fabric for the outside and the lining and a fabric for the pockets. You can use the same if you are so inclined. I used the flimsy, plastic cover to measure the size. It is 6-3/8 inches wide and 6-7/8 inches long when opened.

Checkbook cover tutorial

From outside/lining fabric cut: (2) 6-7/8 x 7-3/8 inch rectangles

From fusible interfacing cut: (1) 6-1/2 x 7 inch rectangle

For pockets:
From fabric cut: (2) 6-7/8 x 6-1/2 inch rectangles
From fusible interfacing cut: (2) 6-1/2 x 6 inch rectangles

Checkbook cover tutorial


Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the outside and wrong side of the pockets according to the directions. I left the lining without interfacing, but if you want a stiffer cover, just cut another piece.

Checkbook cover tutorial

Optional: round the corners. You could leave them crisp and pointy, but I chose to round mine. You don’t want to cut off much of the area of your cover, so trace a small diameter circular object.

Checkbook cover tutorial

Fold each of the pockets in half so that they are 6-7/8 x 3-1/4 inches.

Checkbook cover tutorial

Edge stitch along the folded edge of each pocket.

Checkbook cover tutorial

Align the pockets on the right side of the lining so that the raw edges match up and the folded edges are toward the center.

Checkbook cover tutorial

Place the outside piece, right side down, on top of the lining and pockets. Pin in place. Round the corners of the other layers. Sew around the perimeter with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, leaving a large opening for turning the cover right side out. (I actually left most of one side open so it would be easier to turn with all the interfacing.)

Checkbook cover tutorial

TIP: As you round those tightly rounded corners, go slowly. Move a stitch or two at a time, then lift the presser foot, leave the needle in the fabric, and turn the piece. And repeat.

Checkbook cover tutorial

Notch the corners to reduce bulk.

Checkbook cover tutorial

Turn the checkbook cover right side out through the opening. Poke out each corner. Iron flat, tucking the seam allowances of the opening under to press.

Checkbook cover tutorial

Edge stitch all the way around, enclosing the opening in the process. Again, so slowly, a stitch at a time, as you move around the rounded corners.

Checkbook cover tutorial

Well done! Something pretty for your everyday!

Checkbook cover tutorial


How to turn your dresser top into an ironing board

I happened upon a tutorial from a few years ago where Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson converted a fold-up tv tray into a pressing board.  In the post, she mentioned wanting to use this technique to make a pressing board out of the top of an IKEA dresser before it was put together.  It just so happened that I had a planned trip to IKEA the next week.  And my planned purchase for that trip was a storage solution for in progress sewing projects.  This idea was prefect!

Go read the tutorial for technical details, but I’m going to tell you how my dresser top became a pressing board.

I started out by putting together the dresser front and sides, but left off the top and back.  I also assembled the drawers.  (My assistant is not particularly helpful.)

I then focused on the dresser top.  This is the piece that would become my pressing board.

On the back, there are two holes on each corner, which attach the dresser top to the dresser.  Notice how the set of holes nearer the top of this photo are a couple inches away from the edge of the top piece?  This dresser has a little lip on the front.  This detail will become important in a minute.

I followed the directions in the Oh, Fransson tutorial to put the pressing board together.

I used a piece of 100% cotton home decor weight fabric for the top and 3 layers of 100% cotton quilt batting to give the pressing board a little bit of cushion.  I cut the batting just slightly larger than the dresser top and the home dec fabric a couple inches larger all the way around.  Then I pulled the fabric tight and secured it to the bottom of the dresser piece with a staple gun.

I was careful not to put staples in or right next to the holes where my hardware to finish assembling the dresser had to go.  When I was ready to finish assembling the dresser, I took my seam ripper and made a little hole in the fabric to correspond with the hole for the dresser attachment pieces.

Here’s where that dresser lip becomes important.  I failed to recognize that it was there, so I didn’t cut my fabric longer on the front side.  As a result, when I put the dresser together, the edge of the fabric did not tuck seamlessly under the dresser top where it couldn’t be seen.  It’s likely that no one would have ever noticed this edge under the front lip of my dresser/pressing board, but it bothered me enough to fix it.

I thought I could just attach a strip of fabric that was long enough to cover the edge and tuck under the top piece of the dresser when it was assembled.

It looks nice enough in the picture below, but with that extra fabric, I couldn’t get a snug enough fit between the main part of the dresser and the dresser top.  I ended up taking out all the staples and using a larger piece of fabric.

I’m thrilled with the end result.  It will be great to have this little dresser next to me when I want to easily iron quilt pieces during a project without getting up to go to the ironing board.

And the drawers are just what I had in mind to store projects I’m working on.

Multiples of 3: quilt block tutorial

This is the “Multiples of 3” Quilt Block
3 x 1 = 3: This block is composed of 3-sided triangles; each triangle is made from 3 pieces
3 x 2 = 6: 6 triangles are used to make up the 6-sided hexagon in the block
3 x 6 = 18; The hexagon is made from 18 identically shaped pieces
3 x 8 = 24; Add in the background pieces and this block used 24 pieces of fabric

Multiples of 3 Quilt Block Tutorial

Make a template for your “kite” pieces

Each triangle in this block is an equilateral triangle with three 6-inch sides (and 3 60-degree angles).

Begin by drawing a line, 6-inches in length on a piece of paper.  Line up the 60-degree line on a clear ruler with the line you just drew and draw a 2nd 6-inch line at a 60-degree angle from the first.  Complete the triangle by drawing a third 6-inch line.

Mark the center point of each line.  Split the interior of the triangle by connecting the center point of each line with the opposite corner of the triangle.

The “kite” template that will be used for this block is formed by two adjacent interior lines that extend from the center point of the triangle to the middle of exterior edge.  This triangle is composed of three of these “kite” shapes.  Choose one of them and add 1/4 inch seam allowances on all sides of your template.  Cut out the paper template.

Use the template you just made to cut out 18 “kite” shapes from fabric.  My preference is to use 6 different fabrics and cut 3 kites from each fabric, but you could use as few as 2 different fabrics, or go really scrappy and choose 12 different fabrics.  (Actually, this block would be a great scrap buster block because the individual pieces aren’t very large.)

Arrange your kites to make up a hexagon composed of 6 triangles.  Each triangle will have two identical fabrics to form the base and a different one for the apex.

Begin by sewing the two base pieces of one triangle together.  All seams will be 1/4 inch.  Mark 1/4 inch from the center point of the triangle.  Sew from the outside edge of the triangle to the point you just marked 1/4 inch from the center edge.

Fold down the top edge of the fabric you just stitched together.  This will expose a second unsewn edge of one of the kites that compose the base of the triangle.  Lay the kite that will be the apex of the triangle on top, right side down.  You will have now have a stack of three pieces of fabric: 1. the bottom, right side facing up, which is already sewn to 2. the middle, with one edge folded back between the layers and 3. the top, right side down.

Flip the stack over so you can see the first line of stitches.  Again, sew from the edge of the triangle and stop where your previous line of stitches stopped, 1/4 inch from the center point of the triangle.

Two of three interior seams are now completed, and just one remains to finish the 3-parted triangle.

Match the two un-sewn interior edges.  The two kites that still have these un-sew edges will stack on top of one another.  The third kite will be folded in half.  Line up the two interior seams that have already been completed.

Once again, sew from the edge of the triangle and stop where the other stitches stopped, 1/4 inch from the center point.  I like to put in a couple back stitches here to hold it in place.

Iron the triangle open.  Now make 5 more!

To get the best results when you make your hexagon, you will need to trim your triangle so the edges are even.  I have tried this without trimming and ended up with a hexagon whose two halves wouldn’t match up correctly.

Trimming the triangle, Method 1: faster

This is the easiest way to trim your triangle.  You simply line up the 60-degree line along one edge of the triangle and use a rotary cutter to trim the adjacent edge.  Rotate the triangle so that the edge you just trimmed lines up with the 60-degree line on the ruler and trim the adjacent edge.  Repeat one more time and you’re finished trimming.

Trimming the triangle, Method 2: more accurate

This trimming method involves making a triangles template of the size the triangle is supposed to be.  It takes a little extra time upfront to make the template, but goes just as quickly as the previous method after that and it more accurate.  I made my template on heavy card stock so it would hold up well.

Begin by drawing an equilateral triangle with 6-inch sides, just as you did to make your “kite” template in the beginning.  This time, as I mentioned, I used card stock.  Add a 1/4 inch seam allowance all the way around the triangle.  Draw another triangle to the interior, about an inch from the outside edge.

Cut around the outside of the seam allowance line.  Cut out the middle of the triangle.  Add a line perpendicular to each edge at the half way point.  This will help you line up the interior seams of your fabric triangle.

Line up the fabric triangle under the template and place your ruler along the edge of the template.  Use a rotary cutter to trim off the excess.  Repeat for the other 5 triangles.

Arrange your triangles how you want them to appear in your block.  Sew three triangles together into a half-hexagon.  Repeat for the other half hexagon.

Place the two half hexagons right sides together and line up the center seam and the interior seams.  Sew the two halves together and iron the hexagon open.

Completing the “Multiples of 3” block

I prefer to cut my background fabric larger than needed and then trim the block down later.  From your background fabric, you will need:

(2) rectangles, 6.5 inches x 2 inches
(2) rectangles, 6.5 inches x 8 inches, cut on the diagonal to make (4) triangles

First sew the two thinner triangles to opposite edges of the hexagon.  Lay out the triangles around the remaining four edges of the hexagon.  Sew the upper triangles to the hexagon. Iron open.  Sew the two lower triangles; be sure that your fabric extends beyond the edge of the piece already attached to the triangle.  Iron open the final pieces.

Trim the block to 12.5 inches.

Want to see how this block looks in other colors?  Here ya go!

I know it’s Tuesday, but since this is a modern block, which I made for the 4×5 Modern Bee, and I began writing this up on Monday, I’m linking up with {Sew} Modern Monday (while there’s still time!)