Monday, 27 October 2014

They Can't All Be Winners...or Can They?

Easy HST Quilt
Easy Half-Square Triangle (HST) Quilt
This is my latest quilt top. It’s been tormenting me for a while, as you can see here, but I finally finished her!!!

I've included a very brief tutorial at the end of this post, because it turned out to be a lot more popular than I anticipated. The truth is, I wasn't even going to show you as I simply didn't think it was worthy of a public viewing. Funnily enough, this quilt is now starting to hold a lot of meaning to me. Not just because it does look pretty funky, but, because it really had me thinking about who I am and where I'm going with this blog. 

It's so easy to become caught up in the whole blogging world. Following all the big names and drooling in envy at their incredible, award winning creations. It's hard not to use that as some sort of benchmark for your own blog/quilts. The problem with that is, it's just not me. I don't want to be a prize winning artist (not that I'd complain mind you). I just want to teach and show the world that anyone can be a quilter. To be proud of what you create, even if you think someone else’s is better. I want to show my mistakes as well as my triumphs. Most of all, I want to show that you can create something meaningful no matter what your skill level may be. 

What does this have to do with my quilt? 

I started this quilt as nothing more than a way of practising half-square triangles (HSTs). It was destined for the spare room and never intended to be a work of art. Not long after starting, however, the self-doubt kicked in. It wasn't pretty enough. There was nothing impressive about it. No one will like it (this cracks me up because it's not like my spare room has a high turnover of guests). Other quilting bloggers will think I'm a joke. The list of internal taunts goes on and on (I never claimed I was entirely sane). 

It all turned around when I was sewing the last few seams. I'd settled on this layout because it was simple, yet effective. Exactly what I like for my blog. It is definitely an 'anyone can make this' quilt. Something else I like on my blog. Most of all, it showed that things don't always go according to plan. Hmmm my blog again?? That's when I realised that I had lost my focus. I was so caught up in everyone else being marvellous that I didn't even realise that this quilt represented everything about my blog. Simple, funky, a great learning experience and it shows that you don't need a work of art to have a beautiful quilt. 

Isn't it funny? It wasn't a prize winning quilt, or a fantastic business opportunity that reminded me of where I wanted to be...it was just something to throw over the rarely used spare bed. I guess it really is the little things ;)

Anywho. That's probably enough touchy feely for one day, so, let's get down to this tutorial business. 

I won’t go into a lot of detail as this really was a quick and easy sew.

Requirements
This quilt measures approximately 72’’ x 90’’.
1 x White Layer Cake (or 40 x 10’’ squares)
1 x Patterned Layer Cake (or 40 x 10’’ squares)

Steps
Separate the squares into 40 sets of one white and one patterned piece.

On the wrong side of the white piece, draw a line diagonally across.

Draw a diagonal line
Draw a diagonal line
Place the white square on the patterned square, right sides together. Sew ¼’’ away from either side of the drawn line.
If you don’t have a ¼’’ foot, draw one line ¼’’ from either side of the diagonal and sew along those lines.
Sew 1/4'' from each side of the line
Sew 1/4'' from each side of the line
Cut along the diagonal line creating two units.
Cut along the diagonal
Cut along the diagonal
Open the triangles and press the seams open or to one side (I pressed open for this quilt).
Press the units open
Press the units open
You should now have 80 HST units.

Arrange them in the following fashion and sew together. I joined the blocks into rows first and then the rows together.
Final Layout
Final Layout
See, I told you it was easy ;)

For more HST hints, download my free pattern It's All Black and White from Craftsy: http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/other/its-all-black-and-white/116532


4 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your post. The quilt is great and I love the colors. Just remember that a lot of people share your worries and neuroses, but we don't blog. It is a brave and sharing thing to let it out and encourage others. Everyone starts somewhere...even the big names! Keep up the good work!

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    1. What a lovely comment. Thank you so much for the encouraging words :D

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  2. I know exactly what you mean about getting caught up in the blogging world. I started getting that way and ended up with a bit of quilter's burnout from trying to keep up! Now I'm trying to focus on more sewing and less blogging as I want to make what I like and not what people keep telling me I should like or make.

    I show and discuss my mistakes too, which honestly I think are an important part of the quilting process. I bet the "big names" have far more mistakes than it appears but they don't talk about it, and instead you just see them getting freebies from companies, publishing books etc. If I google "can't match seams" or whatever problem I'm having, it's a huge relief to find other people having (or had) the same problem and that it's just not me so perhaps I'm not as bad as I thought! i know when I very first started quilting (in 2009 or 2010) I ended up giving up for a couple of years because I couldn't produce results like I thought I should be! If showing that my blocks can be wonky or I missed corners or my seams were way too scant but I fudged it anyway ends up helping another quilter who is on the verge of giving up - thinking they're just doing it all wrong - then I feel like I have accomplished something! No one is perfect at what they do, and I like to be realistic about that.

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    1. (Silly Internet ate my awesome reply. Here are the bits I remember writing hahah).

      It's so hard to not compare ourselves to everyone else. I mean, we're all 'quilters' so obviously we'll all be the same LOL

      I made the decision recently to be kinder to myself. I only fix really obvious mistakes and generally will just shrug and move on. It's working wonders for me. I'm much happier as a quilter/blogger. I'm even coming up with better designs and my sewing is a lot more accurate as I'm not afraid to take chances. I've learnt so much just by taking that step back and going "meh" to the part of my brain that says everyone else is better hahaha.

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