The “Use Fabric” Challenge for April is Half-Square Triangles. This is such a basic unit in quilting, yet many quilters struggle to find accuracy and consistency when piecing them. Next week I will start a series on various construction techniques for half-square triangles (HST) so you can get good results every time.
It has become common for patterns to instruct you to cut oversize and then square up the HST to size. Since I specialize in efficient, practical, and time-saving techniques, this just breaks my heart. At my age, I don’t have enough time left to trim slivers from HST. Sidenote: I read yesterday that humans will reach immortality in eight years so I just have to hang on that long, then my dream of unlimited time will come true. Haha!
I spent some time in EQ8 deciding on a block for this month’s challenge. I finally came up with something, then started thinking the block is probably too time-consuming to realistically finish the quilt in April. In the middle of the night, I woke up and realized I have a UFO that would be perfect: the Carpenter Star block.
I found the blocks, then looked on my website for the instructions and realized when I updated the website, the search bar disappeared. Nothing is ever easy around here! I fixed that, then found the tutorial for the block. You can check it out here. I started this quilt in 2017, so it is overdue for a finish. The blocks began as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge at So Scrappy. The idea there is to use a particular color each month in the block of your choice. This challenge is still going so if you want to bust some scraps each month, check out the 2023 RSC here.
Now, as I revisit these blocks, I think I want to separate them and make two quilts; one with traditional fabric for donation and one with more modern fabric to keep for a while. When I made the aqua blocks for the RSC, the blocks look brighter than the others. I think they will stand out too much. Anyway, how pretty would this quilt be with some corals, bright greens, and yellow? I will still use my favorite neutral…teal, to tie them together.
The Carpenter Star blocks finish 16 inches square. It only takes 20 to make a 64″ x 80″ donation or lap quilt. I think that is manageable for April.
To meet the challenge just make any block with half-square triangles. It doesn’t have to be a Carpenter Star. You don’t even have to finish the quilt. The finished top or blocks are fine too. The point is to use scraps and stash to make something pretty!