Saturday, November 20, 2021

UFOvember: Rework!

When you make "quick corners" (on snowball blocks or flying geese, for example), do you save the trimmed off triangle pairs? Unless they're really tiny, I can't bear to throw them out, but they just sit in piles. And piles. And piles.

Star Bows leftover triangles

Opposite Directions lap-size leftover HSTs

So when Bobbie from Geeky Bobbin posted about her UFOvember plan, I knew it was time to pull out a pile of those neglected triangle pairs and rework them into a finished project! I even had the perfect time to work on it--our fall Great Lakes Modern Quilt Guild retreat!

I grabbed the leftover triangles from my Opposite Directions baby quilt (shown below) with a very loose plan in mind. Because the original quilt measured just 39" x 51", I knew I'd need to supplement with additional fabric to make another baby quilt. 

Opposite Directions quilt pattern

These leftover fabric triangles from my quilt are from Art Gallery Fabrics' Pine Lullaby Rediscovered collection, plus two colors of Pure Solids.

Make HSTs. I chain piece these, which speeds the process along. Head over to IG and see my reel showing how I sew these as efficiently as possible. 

**One tip for chain piecing (and not just HSTs): Use your seam ripper to cut apart the threads between each stitched unit. Faster and easier than scissors!**

Then I trim them to a specific size. I find that it's easier to go slightly smaller with these HSTs made from loose triangles; that way you don't have to worry if your stretchy long triangle edges match up perfectly because you've got more wiggle room for trimming. 

Play around with layouts. I had leftover fabric from this quilt that I loved, so I knew I wanted to work it in (which also would allow me to make a larger quilt!). I started out by laying out all my HSTs just to get a visual on the size I was starting with (not very big, in this case...these HSTs are 2.5" square, so right here I' looking at approximately 22" x 34"). 

Then I switched to experimenting with layouts on the computer, because for me, it's faster. And I was on a mission to get this quilt done during my retreat! :)

My Design Ideas

1. This was my original idea. Those adorable critter heads were the backing fabric for my original quilt, and I thought it would be fun to fussy cut them and randomly insert larger squares into my HST pattern. needed borders to be bigger, and I didn't have enough fabric for borders. Let's keep looking.

2. I'd also been thinking stars, making the HSTs into a scrappy low volume background, and still using the critter focal squares. I like this, but honestly, it was more work than I wanted to do. I wanted simple and striking.

3. Here's a star variation where the stars don't pop- using just HSTs and critter focal squares. I liked this design s as well, but that first design kept tugging on me. 

4. Ultimately, here's where I ended up - with my original design, but using leftovers of the white/black prints for the focal squares so I could use the critter fabric for a border. A good compromise, I think!

Start sewing! Since I was at a quilt retreat, I focused and stitched, and assembled this quilt over a two-day period. I joined HSTs into pieced sections around the focal squares, and then into larger rows.

The finished quilt top:

Bask in the great feeling that you used up some long-neglected triangles and created a quilt top. Now it's time to quilt and bind it before it lingers in a different UFO pile! :) 

And bonus - I'll be saving those rejected layout ideas for future HST project finishes!

Looking for more UFOvember inspiration? Check out a full month's worth of ideas!

  • November 1 - The Geeky Bobbin -
  • November 2 - Strawberry Creek Quilts -
  • November 3 - Katie Mae Quilts -
  • November 4 - Pretty Piney Quilts -
  • November 5 - Mary Go Round Quilts -
  • November 6 - Exhausted Octopus -
  • November 7 - Just Get It Done Quilts -
  • November 8 - By Hilary Jordan -
  • November 9 - Sew Hooked on Treasures -
  • November 10 - Sunflower Stitcheries and Quilting -
  • November 11 - Blue Heron Quilting -
  • November 12 - Carrington Creates -
  • November 13 - Sarah Goer Quilts -
  • November 14 - Better Done Quilts -
  • November 15 - Ashli Montgomery | Virginia'dele Smith -
  • November 16 - Puppy Girl Designs -
  • November 17 - Lovingly, Lissa -
  • November 18 - Art East Quilting Co -
  • November 19 - rjbosscher -
  • November 20 - Love to Color My World -
  • November 21 - LynsAvenue -
  • November 22 - Quiltfox Design -
  • November 23 - Maeberry Square -
  • November 24 - Karen Bolan Designs -
  • November 25 - Tina1802 -
  • November 26 - Lazy Cozy Quilts -
  • November 27 - True Blue Quilts -
  • November 28 - The Scrappy Camper -
  • November 29 - Sarah Ruiz Quilts -
  • November 30 - Lyric Art -

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