Work in Progress (WIP) Wednesday – HSTs Done!

I’ve made some really great progress on all of the HSTs that I need for my baby quilt.  I’m not sure if the method for making HSTs that was a part of my pattern is the normal method or if it’s a handy shortcut but either way, I really like it!

I started out by cutting out all of my 4.25″ squares (10 from each of my 9 colored fabrics and 90 from my white fabric).  I am now 100% sold on the use of a rotary cutter!  It makes doing all of this cutting so much easier!

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Then, I paired a white square with a colored square (right sides facing each other).  Using a pencil, I drew a line from corner to corner on the wrong side of the white square.  After pinning, I sewed the squares together, making a seam 1/4″ on either side of the pencil line.  I used my rotary cutter to cut along my pencil line, making two triangles.  When these triangles are pressed open and trimmed down to 3.75″, I have two HSTs!

Here you can see the progression of all of the steps:

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And here you can see where the stitches are a little better (since you can’t really see my white thread on the white squares in the above picture.

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It feels really good to have all 180 of my HSTs done and to be ready to start putting the quilt top together!

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My biggest question that has arisen from my progress so far is this: How often do you replace the blade on your rotary cutter?  I’ve decided it is my favorite tool but I don’t know how long the blades last.

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Tools of the Trade

Before I get to any sewing, I wanted to share the tools that I’ve accumulated to help me as I work.

The most important has got to be the sewing machine that my mom bought me, a Janome Sewist 500.  She told me that she wanted to start me off with a nice enough machine that I wouldn’t feel like I needed to upgrade it and she wanted it to be high enough quality that it would last me a long time.  So far, I’ve found it really easy to use.  Thanks mom!

Janome Sewist 500

Janome Sewist 500

She also got me a sewing basket filled with all sorts of different tools and notions!  I’ve got nice fabric scissors, a pin cushion and lots of pins, replacement needles for my machine (as well as needles for hand sewing), extra bobbins, a fabric pencil, a small metal ruler and a flexible ruler – what more could a girl need?!?

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I also got myself a mat and rotary cutter as I didn’t want to have to cut all my pieces for the quilts out by hand.  Reading reviews online made me decide to go with Olfa.  It seemed to be most people’s favorite.

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Lastly, I got myself a few rulers from Jo-Ann Fabric so that I can more easily get straight edges and make all of my pieces the proper size.

Ruler 2     Ruler 1

So hopefully with all these tools, I’ll be ready to tackle my first quilt.  That said, I’m sure as I continue on my quilting journey, I’ll come across more things that make my life easier (or are simply just fun things to have)!  What tool do you find most useful in your quilting?