A few days ago I looked through a bin of UFO’s and came across my Heritage Sampler blocks. This was block of the month project I coordinated at the shop a few years ago. All of the applique blocks were complete and I only had three blocks left to piece. Even these three blocks were cut so I don’t know why I stopped working on this so near completion. I quickly pieced the remaining blocks, trimmed the applique blocks and sewed the top center together. This quilt has an outer border of nearly 300 half square triangles so I pulled out the border triangles that were cut and pieced them. I was 96 triangles short so I cut those. That’s where I am now on this project. I hope to get another little burst of energy this evening so I can finish piecing the triangles. It shouldn’t take too long to piece them into the border. I just love this project and now I can’t wait to finish it. The pattern is by Lori Smith of From My Heart To Your Hands. All of her quilts are just wonderful and it’s so rewarding to finish them! Here’s a picture of the top so far.
While piecing all the half-square triangles I thought I’d make a little tutorial on stack pressing. When I teach classes I’m always surprised at how many people haven’t heard of this. I think it’s very efficient and your pieces end up well-pressed and FLAT. Give it a try next time you’re piecing a bunch of blocks and see if you don’t think it works well!
Stack Pressing Tutorial
1. Press seam closed. This helps relax the thread into the seam. Then open up the triangle and press the seam toward the darker fabric.
2. Place the closed seam along the open seam that you just pressed. Offset it a little bit, then press this seam closed. Open it up and press it open toward the darker fabric. You’ve just pressed your first piece again.
3. Continue placing the next piece along the piece you just pressed. First press it closed, then open it and press.
4. I usually stack eight pieces before starting a new stack. I let the stack sit and cool off before handling it.
5. Once the stack has cooled, I pick them up together and trim the “dog ears.” It’s very easy to slip the tip of the scissors between the blocks and snip.
I use this pressing technique for almost all my piecing. Just remember to offset your blocks a little bit from the previous piece and you’ll have nice, flat blocks!