Monday, April 02, 2012

Aqua, Grey and Yellow

HST placemats

I just finished sewing my first quilt top with half square triangles (more on that later), and since I had never sewn half square triangles before, I wanted to do a quick project to practice before diving into making a whole twin sized quilt top.  I made these using the method where you draw a diagonal line down the middle of a square and then sew 1/4" on either side of it - Jeni has a tutorial here.  I originally planned to make a pillow top, but then midway through sewing up the rows I decided I was more excited about seeing these triangles on my table than on my couch, so I sewed up two more rows and made a set of placemats.

HST placemat

The finished triangles are 3" so these measure a nice 12"x18".  I did my best to place them randomly, but I realized that with a scrappy patchwork version like this, where you don't have a defined light/dark or pattern/solid, pretty much any layout ends up looking like either zig-zags or flying geese.  So I tried not to worry too much about the patterns that emerged and just went with it.

placemat binding corner

Both to save time, for more durability, and to practice my technique, I did the binding on these placemats all by machine - I have done this before but have to look it up each time, this time I followed AmandaJean's tutorial and was really happy with how it turned out!

placemat backs

I bound and backed these in Kona Medium Grey, and had fun quilting them in two different patterns to create a little variety.  I actually really love how the backs look, it makes me want to make a set of really basic solid placemats that just have fun quilting designs on them!  Or maybe I'll just use the backs of these sometimes :)  I had a lot of fun learning a new technique this way so I am thinking that I may use this same color palette (or something that goes) in the future to make other scrappy placemats with different patchwork techniques that I have been wanting to try out.  Wouldn't that make a fun set?

wonky chevron bee blocks

Speaking of this great color combination... when I went to pull fabrics from my stash to make the HST blocks, I just gravitated toward this color combination, and it was only midway through all the cutting and piecing that it occurred to me that it was nearly exactly the color combination that Natalie had picked out for our March do.good stitches blocks.  I guess it was lurking in my subconscious, too funny!  It worked out well, though, because it meant that I had already gotten out all the fabrics that I needed to make my bee blocks this month.  I had a lot of fun with this pattern (following this tutorial) and definitely want to do more with it in the future - maybe make a table runner?  It was definitely nice to do some loose, improv-style piecing after lots of precise HST corners!

[ETA] I'm linking up to Megan's Festival of Half Square Triangles over at Canoe Ridge Creations - there are lots of beautiful HST quilts entered, so definitely check it out if you haven't yet for some fun triangular inspiration!


  1. Very nice hst project! Love that you quilted them 2 different ways! I really like the chevron block too - very cool movement!

  2. I love the placemats! How fun! Your dgs blocks look lovely, too!

  3. Your placemats and bee blocks are super cute! That's a fantastic color combination! :)

    Don't you think it's funny that you sewed curves before HSTs? It's like learning calculus first and then multiplication! ;D

  4. Beautiful color palette and HSTs are great fun because of the endless possibilities. Your placemats are gorgeous!

  5. See, this is what you smart quilters do -- make something small and manageable to learn and practice a new technique. Then there's me -- charging full-speed-ahead with no idea what I'm doing, so all my mistakes are right there smack dab in the middle of a giant bed quilt that took six months to complete. Then I think to myself, "Gee, I really ought to try something small like a table runner to test out this block pattern/color combination/quilting motif/weird thread/whatever," but then I'm too impatient and I drive right off the cliff at full speed like I always do!

    I can't wait to see the big half square triangle quilt when you're ready to show it off.

  6. Nice! I'm not a big fan of gray (although it's growing on me) but this is a dynamite color combination! And I love the quilting on the back. Sometimes, that's the best part.

  7. I love your improv piecing and your HST placemats are really pretty

  8. Thanks for linking to the machine binding tutorial, I had only ever tried it by trying to catch both the top and bottom at the same time. needless to say, that doesn't work out all that great! And love the hst's!

  9. i love these, Kate! Love the colors, pattern, and quilting. Lovely.

  10. The colours in the placemats are so lovely and the chevron blocks look wonderful too!

  11. These are so pretty Kate. I cheated & ordered a 1/2 yard color coordinated quilting bundle from fabricworm to get started on mine. What type of batting did you use? I've never had to buy batting before...


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