March 22, 2012

Block of the Month Project: Block #3

In February, Craftsy's Block of the Month series took us on an adventure with half-square triangles.  I say "adventure" because Amanda, Caitie, and I all suffered some bumps and bruises and ripped out stitches.  But we also learned about accurate piecing, magic methods, and the all-powerful scant 1/4-inch seam, and in the end we have these lovely Balkan Puzzle blocks to show for our effort.

Block of the Month, Block 3

We followed the instructions for creating half-square triangles using the so-called magic method: You stitch a scant 1/4-inch seam all the way around two squares postitioned right-sides together. Then you slice the square up on the diagonals, press the pieces open, and have 4 half-square triangles on the bias to work with. Because the units are cut on the bias, they're very stretchy and can be tricky to work with without pulling them this way and that. Between the stretch and some inaccuracies in my scant 1/4-inch seams, I found myself in a Goldilocks situation with this block: My first attempt was too small, and my second attempt was too big. For the third try, I opted for the traditional method for creating half-square triangles, and my block was just right. Plus, I have 2 spare blocks to piece into the backing now, so all that effort was not totally wasted. Thank goodness for extra fabric!

To see Block #1, click here.
To see Block #2, click here.

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