Thursday, 26 April 2012

desperately daft housewife block

Jane asked me to contribute to her desperate housewives quilt blocks feature, which I excitedly set about doing before reading any instructions or paying any attention to to what size the block should be.

Hmm. Mistake.

Instead of making an 8" finished block I assumed a 12" finished block was the way to go.

You know what assume does? It makes an Ass of U and Me.

Now, I could resize my block but it'd involve highly confusing weird measurements and so I'll share it here instead (and I'll make something else that works for Jane - sigh).

This block has the exact same half square triangle units as the scythe pillow I posted a little while ago. I wanted to show how versatile the humble half square triangle is, and how much fun you can have with just a little bit of playing around.

Can you spot something wrong in this picture?

Top left hand quadrant & bottom right quadrant? Not facing the same way?

desperately daft housewife

Yep - that's better;


Currently my diet of coffee and not enough sleep isn't serving me well.

First up you need 2" thangles*, a fat 1/8 of 2 different prints (I'm using vintage modern by Bonnie and Camille) and a FQ of background fabric (I'm using pure elements in ash by Art Gallery) (you will have plenty of leftovers)
*You can get thangles from here (US) or here (UK)

Follow the directions on the thangles packet and cut strips, layering your fabrics right sides together and pinning the thangles paper on top.

You need to cut;
3 strips from fabric 1 (2.5" x 10")
3 strips from fabric 2 (2.5" x 10")
6 strips from background fabric (2.5" x 10")
4 squares 2.5"


If you lay your light fabric on top of the darker fabric it means when it comes to pressing you'll automatically press to the dark fabric. Cool, huh?


Reduce your stitch length, because you're sewing onto paper. Sew on the dashed lines, and cut on the solid lines. Press to the dark fabric, and trim off that little dog ear.


Tear tear tear your papers off.


Arrange your HST units like this....


NO! That's the scythe pillow block!

Arrange them like this!!!


See - same units, different layout = lots of fun to be had (I don't get out much, do I?)

The block is made up of the same unit 4 times, like this;


Set your stitch length back to normal. Sew each unit together in rows and press your seams open to reduce bulk;


Alternatively - sew the 2 different fabrics into 2 different units, like this -

A; (as above)


and B;


All you've done differently is flip the HST in the middle of the unit the other way. One tiny little change, and you have a whole new look;


Or (of course, you can accidentally sew the block up wrong like below...and not notice until 2 people point it out to you. And then spend about 5 minutes trying to see where you went wrong).

desperately daft housewife


You can use regular pieced half square triangles too - you need to cut 8 squares from fabric 1 (3" each), 8 squares from fabric 2 (3") and 16 squares from your background fabric (3"). Plus the 4 corner squares at 2.5".
When you've made your HSTs simply trim them down to 2.5" each.

I'm off to make something for Jane that measures 8" when finished now. Silly me. One day I'll learn to read instructions before I dive straight in.

Or maybe I'll just go to bed earlier in future?


RuthDesigns said...

Umm, was the rotated HST in the top left quadrant deliberate? It was wasn't it?

You daft bat making the wrong size! Very pretty block though :)

Katy said...

@ Ruth - I'm a daft bat for sewing the block up wrong in the first place. Desperately daft housewife = me.
Corrected, and fixed. *sigh*

Rosa said...

I know I'm a dummie - but did you not change the bottom right quadrant?(I'm talking about the top two photos)
Or maybe I'm just reading you wrong *sigh* - it's HARD to be a housewife. Desperate or not;-)

Those HST's are really versatile. Very nice lay-out:-)

Audrie said...

It's a pity they don't make 0.89" Thangles cos that's a pretty block! And going to sleep early is overrated.

Laura @ Needles, Pins and Baking Tins said...

Thousands of students across the globe survive on coffee and no sleep every day. Just pretend you are cramming for an exam or something... worked for me!

Isisjem said...

Cool block. Thangles look like a great idea - although Patch website defaulting to USD confused me as to where they were and the price!

Allison said...

hahaha, i'm on the same coffee/lack of sleep diet right now ;) great block, thanks for the tutorial!

Flying Blind... said...

Someone has stolen your photos!

Spoolhardy Girl said...

Boy, are you an idiot! Nice block though. :p

Annabellouise said...


Archie the wonder dog said...

Wrong size or not, it's a great block!

Live a Colorful Life said...

These are great blocks, especially with the houndstooth fabric. Coffee and little sleep--well it seems to be mostly working in your favor. I cannot believe how much stuff you get done!

**nicke... said...

i looked and looked and looked and i must be an idiot too because i can't see where you messed up! ;) the galloping horse rule applies here i believe!

Cherie said...

What a great block. It really makes your eyes go funny looking for the mistake. Great tutorial...really need to get some of those thangles =D

Katy Cameron said...

Oh man, now you're going to make me use those Thangles you sent, aren't you?! Kind of cool houndstooth effect

diane said...

I am the worst on reading instructions! Those Thangle things look like they would make piecing very easy. I like your block even if it is the worng size.

Kelli said...

I very recently made a similar mistake on a bee block over at my blog, and had already posted a pic of it, and had it nearly sealed up and ready to ship until I glanced at the picture and noticed something amiss. LOL Love the houndstooth and the thangles! Gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

I am going to have to check out those thangles. I like the block and your blog.

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