Saturday, January 28, 2012

experiments with Triangulations 3.0 -- and a first Swoon block

In sewing up the first of many Bear's Paw blocks for my Next Big project, I had a chance to try out Triangulations 3.0 -- purchased during a recent Connecting Threads sale.  Triangulations is essentially a collection of pdf templates for stitching up large numbers of half-square triangles at a single go -- with a single line of stitches.  It is brilliant!  Rather than cut and mark and stitch twice and cut and trim a huge stack of fabric squares, I can lay a printout of the template for the size I'm seeking, stitch away, and trim along the marked lines.  It saves lots of time, and uses the paper itself to stabilize so the HSTs don't get distorted during pressing (finger pressing in this case).  For my Bear's Paw quilt, I need 2.5" HSTs, and I can make 12 at a time.  Happy, happy me.

Triangulations 3.0 also includes templates for making flying geese, individual ones or chains of them -- and it struck me that this new tool of mine would lend itself wonderfully to Thimbleberry's "Swoon" quilt design.  I have seen some gorgeous versions of Swoon over the past few months, and then Katy started a swoon-along that has been tempting me (and about 600 other quilters)...but with so much on my plate it didn't seem wise to even dip a toe in that pool.  Nevertheless, with exploration of Triangulations as my justification, I did -- I stitched up one Swoon block last night, using two favourite fabrics (brown "henna garden" and a blue-on-brown dot from Lecien basics) and over the next several months I plan to continue (slowly) adding blue-and-brown Swoons to make a summer-weight quilt for our bed.

Starting at the end, here is the block I made:

And here are a few process shots.  I know the piecing of this block has been causing a few headaches for many people, but I honestly found it pretty fun and straightforward.  It may be that all those tiny Farmer's Wife blocks have raised my tolerance level for fussy piecing (and the unpicking-resewing routine).

The 3.5" HSTs needed for this block can be sewn 8 at a time (8-per-sheet), which happens to be the exact number needed (in this case) of the brown-and-background HSTs and the brown-and-blue HSTs.  I only needed 4 blue dot-and-background HSTs, so used a template sheet cut in half.

Clear as mud, right?  If anyone wants a clearer explanation of how Triangulations works, I can give it a try.  But a quick viewing of this video should do the trick!

Happy stitching!


Sheila said...

Good info, I make HSTs 8 at a time but still have to trim to fine tune, this looks interesting. And your swoon block is lovely.

aksherry said...

Love your Swoon!!!

Archie The Wonder Dog said...

Love your Swoon block!