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Wednesday, 8 June 2022

HSTs - (half square triangles) the easiest way - Tube quilting method

Certainly a lot has changed since I made THIS HST quilt and wrote MY FIRST "quilt" TUTORIAL, but in this past decade (how that happened­čś▒) I definitely learnt a lot and I am so proud of the whole learning curve and process that led me to being more confidential with quilts and quilting.

I can't stop laughing at fact that I did use my serger for complete piecing process of my first two quilts and that I didn't even know what dog ears were and why they should be trimmed, but these quilts are still "alive" and cherished and sincerely sometimes I am even challenged to use serger again for some piecing aspects ­čść (hopefully the quilt police isn't reading this).

One thing is sure-HSTs are still my favorite quilt unit. They are versatile, fun and easy to make and they give beautiful results. 

But, back to process and learning-I made so many quilts in these last 10 years, since I made the first one and I used so many different techniques when making HSTs. From traditional "2 at a time" to more modern "4 or 8 at a time" to triangles on a roll, I realized that tube quilting method is the best one for me:

1- because it saves time and fabric

2- it's precise

3- it's trimming free! (while in all other methods, you need to square and trim precisely the HST, which can be a long and exhausting process, here you get a perfect, ready to go unit...minus the dog ears)

The only tricky part of this technique can be edges that are cut on bias. That means that they tend to stretch a bit, if manipulated, but I tested that too (you can see it in the following video-the difference between HSTs done with fabrics cut on grain VS those cut on bias) and I came to a conclusion that I still prefer the traditional, on grain cutting, than cutting on bias, even because for me this "negative aspect" can immediately become a positive one, in case you need that bit of stretch for aligning your HSTs in rows, if you know what I mean ;)

What I also learnt is that some people cut fabrics on bias (45 degree) to avoid this "feature", but I personally prefer using a bit of starch and smaller stitch length which helps with eventual wonkiness. There are many other blocks and units that are cut on the diagonal (like diamonds used for Lone star quilts), but they get stabilized in the quilt assembly process and also in quilting.

Shown in the video are the 2 1/2" HST squares (used in my Kelim pattern) that were created with 2 1/4" strips, cut on grain and also 4" unfinished HSTs (used in my upcoming Kelimi pattern ) that were created with 3 1/2" strips  (tested when cut on grain and on bias).

Fabrics used in the video are from my Capri collection for Art Gallery fabrics.


I wouldn't recommend it when bigger HST units are in game (like over 6"), but I still didn't have a quilt asking for that large HSTs.

In my quilt patterns I like to include a diagram, measurements and directions for this method, but I realized that it would be much more convenient, to just gather all that info in one place, under this blog post and include a video too, which can be even more helpful to some quilters, especially beginners.

So, beside video, here are some pics prom the process along with the explanations.

Depending on the desired HST size, cut the fabric strips. You need 2 different fabrics and you can use the total width of the fabric (mostly 42-45" from selvedge to selvedge) or you can cut fabric on bias, if you prefer. Just place 2 strips, right sides together and sew on both sides with 1/4 seam allowance.

Large square ruler with a 45 degree line is needed to make accurate HSTs. There's also a special strip tube ruler available for this great technique and it basically gives you immediately the requirements for strips cutting.

Depending on the size of the unfinished HSTs and precision in cutting, the number of obtained HSTs will differ. I usually get 14-16 of 2 1/2" unfinished HSTs from 2 1/4" strips.

Cut along as you go, re-positioning your ruler from one side (one seam) to another (or flip the fabric set from one side to another, if easier). Trim the dog ears.
Carefully open the HSTs, finger press seams open and don't pull or push them with iron, just gently press (put the iron on the top for a few seconds) them with the iron.

In case you would need to print this, I am including an illustrated page from my patterns, showing the traditional (2 at a time) method and tube quilting method.

Using simple strip piecing (sewing available fabric strips lengthwise in rows) and using this method, you can obtain beautiful blocks and this is also my favorite way of using scraps. 

Happy sewing!

Saturday, 19 March 2022

Capri fabric look book

Sunday, 6 March 2022

Capri fabric collection

My Capri fabric collection has finally started to arrive in quilt shops worldwide!

There has been some shipping delays caused by pandemic, so the collection is a bit late, but just in time for spring!

Beautiful forsythia flowers are in full bloom, just like during the same period 2 years ago when I originally painted them. It was the beginning of the pandemic, so I remember that I suddenly had a lot of time to paint, as we were forced to stay at home, during major lockdown.

I started to paint in watercolors, dreaming about the Amalfi coast getaway and Italy vacation, knowing that it will not be that easy to travel and see our Italian family any time soon again. 

So I had to make a print that would represent beautiful and so authentic cities and colorful houses among the Amalfi coast and nearest, Capri island. It was a bit challenging to put it in repeat, but I somehow managed to do it.

I was enchanted with all the phots of the beautiful streets and corners of the Capri island and I am so glad I did a toile version with all these blue inked drawings.

Unfortunately, that print is available only in rayon, but it's a perfect substrate for this lovey print that with added lemons became even more unique.

Of course there are 16 prints in premium quilting cotton, great choices for both quilting and wardrobe making.

I also created this file with matching AGF pure solids, so that it can be convenient for quilt making. 

O course, there are more solids that can be matched with the prints, like pistachio and mint greens, but I tried to narrow down the choices to mainly blues, pinks and yellows.  

I hope that you will enjoy using this collection and that it will instantly take you to this beautiful part of Italy!

I can't wait to show all the beautiful projects that many makers have created for the AGF look book coming March 18th.



Saturday, 19 February 2022

Zellige quilt pattern

 It's zellige quilt pattern release day and I can't be more excited to show you something that I was working on for the past three mon

Zellige quilt pattern is constructed with traditional flying geese (FG) quilt blocks, half square triangles (HSTs) and simple squares with aim to obtain nice colorful interplay and lovely sawtooth star shapes. My inspiration for this quilt pattern was Mediterranean widely famous Moorish, Zellige tiles.

With my Capri collection in mind, this geometrical interplay and pattern design seamed like a great match.

Here is the original picture that served as inspiration for the quilt construction. It's fun to see how some ideas are born! 

This quilt pattern comes in different sizes :

- pillow front - two variations: 24.5” x 24.5” 

- table runner: 24.5” x 72.5”

- baby: 40.5” x 40.5”

- throw: 72.5” x 88.5” 

- bed: 88.5” x 104.5” 

But the combinations are limitless, so using just pillow fronts and connecting blocks, you can obtain different layouts and unique lap size quilts. 


It's always fun to see the process, but the best part is to see the final quilt. Another amazing part of the process is to have a good company to share the ideas, progress, suggestions and more! Again this time I had a group of amazing ladies willing to help me testing and improving this quilt pattern and I can't be more helpful for their support. And finally to show you their testing quilt versions - they did such an amazing job!

Becky @keepmeinstitches created the unique lap size quilt using variation of AGF blenders and my fabrics from various collection: Avantgarde, Esoterra and Skopelos.

Barbara @missdaisy7 combined different AGF prints and centers from my Mothers garden print ( Lavish collection) to create her unique lap size quilt

Lynne  @tinkingalong used various AGF prints to make the unique lap size quilt

Sue @vinyardquilts made the throw quilt top in AGF solids

Amanda @marmanda created the throw quilt using Maureen Cracknell's Gloria fabrics

Jennifer @jeifner  made Zellige baby quilt top tonal version in AGF solids

Lori @thegreyfinchcompany made the baby size quilt using mostly Bonnie Christine's fabrics

Becky @countrychickfabrics created the baby size quilt in different AGF prints

Aurora @auroraa1714 made the pillow featuring my Boscage fabrics

Robbin @sewfarmquilter made 2 pillow fronts (one in each variation available from the pattern)

I just love seeing different variations and different options and I hope that you feel inspired to create your version or simply recreate one of the variations shown.
Thank you again so much to my pattern testers,