Welcome guest blogger, quilt designer, and teacher Carol Moellers! Carol’s Quilts of Valor® patriotic lap quilt, Enchanted Evening Star, is featured in the March/April 2016 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine. Read on, and don’t miss the fabulous fabric giveaway at the bottom of the page!
Hello Quilters! I am thrilled that McCall’s Quilting invited me to be a guest blogger. Creating quilt patterns and using beautiful fabric to make the pattern have always been a fun way to express my creative spirit. I love to share and encourage other quilters how you can take simple shapes and create beautiful quilts. For me, designing quilts with the wonderful fabrics is fun, enjoyable and something I love to do.
The quilt I designed is the featured Quilt of Valor (QOV) in the March/April issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine.
My quilt Enchanted Evening Star uses the patriotic red, white, and blue prints from RJR Fabric’s Basically Patrick collection designed by Patrick Lose. The lap size quilt is perfect for any deserving veteran. I used the Star, tone-on-tone Lily’s Linen, and Dapple fabrics from the collection.
Being able to make this involved-looking quilt with only half-square triangles (HSTs) and simple flying geese units means that it is achievable for even a confident beginner. It is all in the fabric choices and placement which create a wonderful secondary pinwheel block. The quilt is made with a 12″ block which is repeated 20 times.
The pinwheels appear when the blocks are sewn together.
Don’t let all these half square triangles in the blocks and in the border keep you from doing this project. There are a number of ways to make HSTs. I would like to share with you one way to make them fun, fast, and accurate. This is the rapid fire way to make HSTs and it is so easy. Another tip I would like to share, is when you have a number of HSTs, accuracy is of the utmost importance. To achieve very accurate HST units I like to use a 6 ½” x 6 ½” Bloc Loc Ruler® for squaring them up to a perfect 2 ½” inch unfinished square.
The first step is to decide what size square of fabric you will need to make 8 HSTs in a flash. Here is the formula.
- Multiply the finished size of your HST by 2.
- Add 2″.
- Cut two (contrasting) squares of fabric to match that dimension.
The HSTs in Enchanted Evening Star finish to 2” size, so if you use the instructions above….
Multiply 2″ x 2 = 4″
Add 2” + 4″ = 6”
Cut two squares of fabric 6” x 6” each.
Now, watch the magic happen. Place the two 6” squares, right sides together and draw two diagonal lines on the fabric’s wrong side of one of the squares. The diagonal line will go from one corner to the opposite corner as shown. Draw a second diagonal line on the opposite corner, going from corner to corner. You will have drawn an “X” on your fabric square.
If you have a dark fabric and a light fabric, I suggest you draw your diagonal line on the lightest square. A #2 lead pencil will work nicely for drawing your lines. If both of your fabrics are dark, I would suggest a white thin-line chalk marker.
Secure the two fabrics with a pin or two to keep fabrics from shifting.
Sew a line of stitches 1/4″ from each side of each drawn pencil line with a quarter inch presser foot. You will end up with an “X” sewn with double lines diagonally across your block.
Press the sewn square to set the stitched lines. This will make the fabric lie flat for cutting.
Cut on your drawn diagonal lines of the sewn square. Make sure your rotary ruler is aligned so you are cutting on the drawn pencil line. You will have 4 triangle units.
Now cut through the middle of each of the triangle units.
Magic, you now have eight HST units.
Iron the units unopened on a flat ironing surface with the darkest fabric facing up. This will set the seams and make it easy to press them open.
Flip the top fabric of the HST unit open and use your iron to (carefully) press the unit open.
Now use your Bloc Loc Ruler® or other ruler of choice to square them up to a perfect 2 ½” unfinished square. This video will demonstrate the use of the Bloc Loc Ruler.
I hope this rapid fire way of making HSTs is a method you will use in other quilting projects.
I have a challenge for you, McCall’s Quilting blog readers. In 2016 I challenge you to make a QOV quilt. The next time you are shopping, buy red, white, and blue fabrics and give my project a try. I would love to see a picture of your finished project. You can find me on Facebook or on my blog.
Thanks so much, Carol. And now for the GIVEAWAY! We have 2 prize packages from RJR Fabrics! The two lucky winners will receive a 14 assorted fat quarter bundle from the “Basically Patrick” collection of basics and blenders in the range of colors shown, Lily’s Linen, Hexies, Suds, Stars, and Dapple prints. We can’t wait to see who the winners are and what you will create with your fat quarter bundles of RJR Fabric.
Leave a comment below before midnight February 28, 2016 and you’ll be entered into our random drawing. Winner names will be drawn on February 29 and notified by email.
This contest is open to US and Canadian residents, excluding Quebec.
If you’d like to make the Enchanted Evening Star lap quilt and don’t yet have a copy of the March/April 2016 issue of McCall’s Quilting, you can purchase print and digital copies of the magazine here, or download the pattern separately from our online shop.