Easy Chevrons for Celtic Solstice Part 2

Just took a look at Part 2 of Celtic Solstice Mystery. After all the units like these I just made for Lazy Sunday, I am not looking forward to making more of these.

UnknownLight bulb moment!

Why can’t these be strip pieced? The answer: They can!

I did a little math and it looks like I can make these with strips as follows:

  • 1 5/8″ strip of green
  • 1 5/8″ strip of neutral (the green portion needs to be 1 1/8″ wide for the corners to come out right)
  • 1 5/8″ strip of yellow or in my case tan

Sew together the three strips with the green in the middle. Then cut the strip sets at a 45 degree angle, some in both directions to get opposing chevron pieces.

photo 1

Cut your 45 degree angle slices every 2″ to get the right width. I used my 3.5″ square to measure the 2″ inches and I line up the 45 degree mark on my 6 x 12 inch ruler with one of the green/tan or green/cream seams for accuracy.

Then line up your 3.5″ ruler with the side and the two green points.

photo 2

Slice off the excess tan and cream and you have a perfect 2″ x 3.5″ unit.

photo 3

Sew together and press the seam open. A perfect 3.5″ square.

photo 4

I still have waste triangles of the tan and cream, but no waste green triangles. So I figure I’m saving some amount of fabric and loads of time with this method. My waste triangles are now in my box for the Wild and Goosey paper pieced blocks.

Update:

To save even more time, take two strip sets and press seams in opposing directions as Bonnie suggests. Then sandwich the strip sets together before you slice on the diagonal.

photo 1

Then you can slice the opposing directions all at once.

photo 2

Trim by lining up your 3.5″ ruler on the 2″ mark at the end of each seam line where the points form, and you’ll have your units nested together all ready to sew.

Tried this again today and it works perfectly to get your 3.5″ chevron unit with no trimming required.

I’ve added a link to a printable version of this post here.

I’ll hook this up to Bonnie’s Monday Progress post when it goes live.

Enjoy!

PS: Someone asked about the border units for Lazy Sunday. Use three 2″ strips, cut diagonally at 2.5″ wide and it works.

Lavender Eye Pillow Tutorial

I’ve always wanted to make a lavender eye pillow. When I was in Paris I even brought home some French dried lavender. I searched the web for just the right tutorial and didn’t find exactly what I wanted, so I decided to create my own version. I give credit at the bottom of this post to those tutorials already posted on the Internet where I got my ideas for finished size, amounts of filling to use, and the separate cover.

What you will need:

  • 4.5” x 18.5” Muslin or any fabric you want for the inner pillow. It will be hidden inside the cover.
  • 5” x 22” Fabric for outer cover. I used a 100% cotton Asian print from Hoffman. You could also use a silk.

  • 1 Cup Whole Flax Seed
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Lavender

To make the pillow:

1. Cut your muslin fabric 4.5” by 18.5”. You will fold it in half lengthwise.

2. Press the narrow ends of the muslin under 1/4”.

3. Sew the side seams together on the muslin leaving the end open.

4. Turn the pillow right side out.

5. Measure out 1 cup of flax seed and 1/2 cup lavender.

6. Mix the flax seed and dried lavender together so they are well distributed. I used a flexible plastic container so I could squeeze the top like a spout when pouring into the opening of the pillow.

7. Pour the flax seed and lavender mix into the the open pouch.

8. Pin the open end together.

9. Stitch with a fairly small stitch to keep the filling from leaking. I used a 2.0 stitch to do this.

Your inner pillow is complete.

To make the cover:

1. Cut your cover fabric 5” x 22” or half the WOF is close enough. Perfect use for a FQ.

2. Press the narrow ends of the cover under 1/4” and top stitch.

3. Fold one end under approximately 1” and press.

4. Lay out the the outer fabric with right side up and center the pillow lengthwise.

5. Fold over the end with the folded edge to the middle first.

6. Then fold the end with the 1/4” hem on top.

7. Pin where these two edges meet. This is the back of the cover.

8. Remove the pillow from the cover and pin the back to the front so the folded edges are approximately in the middle.

9. Sew each side of the cover, backstitching at both ends.

10. Optionally, finish your seam allowance with a zigzag stitch or pinking shears.

11. Turn the cover right side out and poke out the corners so they are square.

12. Insert the pillow as you would any throw pillow into a cover with this type of opening.

Your pillow is finished!

I gave several of these as gifts this year for Christmas. I included a card that gave the contents of the filling and care instructions for the outer cover. They were a big hit.

My inspiration for making my own version of the pillow came surfing the Internet and more specifically from the following tutorials:

Feel free to use this tutorial to make your own eye pillow or gifts for others. But please do not publish these instructions as your own.

Copyright 2012 StitchingCircle.com

Shaded Four Patch Tutorial

For Bonnie Hunter’s Easy Street Mystery Part 3, we are asked to make more (I’m still working on these units from Orca Bay 🙂 ) shaded four patches. While the method Bonnie uses works fine, I’m bored with sewing triangles on squares. So, I searched around on the web and found this method in Billie Lauder’s YouTube video and a couple of other places. Although, the instructions weren’t for the size we need. So I decided to experiment and I came up with this, which works perfectly for me.

1. Cut two 2” purple squares from the purple 2” strips as in Bonnie’s instructions.

2. Cut two 2 3/4” rectangles from the white/black 2” strips.

3. Sew each purple square to a white/black rectangle. Press the seams toward the right. Mine are finger pressed at this point.

4. Sew the two rectangles together with the purple squares at opposite ends, just like a four patch.

5. Clip the seam allowance in the center so you can press the seams toward the white/black on both sides. Again, mine are just finger pressed.

6. Using the Easy Angle ruler or in my case, the Fons and Porter equivalent ruler, slice the finished unit in half diagonally as shown to get two perfect 3 1/2” triangles.

7. Sew two 3 1/2” triangles to the newly cut units as in Bonnie’s instructions to complete two 3 1/2” square unfinished units.

And there you have it. Another way to make the shaded four patch unit.

Update 12/10/2012: It was mentioned to me that this method was also shown in a book by Sally Schneider (Scrap Mania: More Quick Pieced Quilts). So, I’m happy to give credit where credit is due. Although I have no direct knowledge of Sally’s method or the book myself.

Update 6/24/2014: Adding the additional step I’m using to complete the 3.5″ unit. Cut a 3.5″ x 4.25″ rectangle of the corner triangle color.  Using the HST ruler of your choice and mentioned in step 6, draw the cut line on the Step 4 unit. Place the solid rectangle on top of step 4, right sides together. Sew 1/4″ on either side of the cut line. Then cut on the cut line. You should have two perfect 3.5″ shaded triangle units.