Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Diamond in the Rough - Week 3

Hi! Hi! Hi!!

Once again we meet to do the next step in the Diamond in the Rough QAL! 

Just a few reminders....

1 - You can join at anytime! There are no sign ups and no actual deadlines! 
2 - Work at your own pace.  I have dates listed, but its ok if you get behind or maybe you are on vacation.  It's ok.  Just pick back up when you can.  The instructions will ALWAYS be here on my blog! 
3 - I created a FLICKR group for you to post any picture related to this QAL.  Add photos of your fabrics, progress photos, and of course completed projects! I can't wait to see what everyone is doing! Click HERE to go to the Flickr Group :) 

If you are just joining us, I've linked weeks 1 and 2 below.  Feel free to join us if you haven't already!! 

Begin Piecing Blocks is the next step in this wonderful process.  Most of the blocks are just squares but there are some Half Square Triangles too! From here on out I will be referring to Half Square Triangles as HST's. 

NOTE:: These directions will vary a touch depending on if you chose to cut your squares at 3 7/8" or 4".  If you cut them at 3 7/8" then you should have perfect 3 1/2" squares and will not need to complete steps 6 - 8.  If you cut your squares at 4", please complete all steps. 

Step 1 : Take 20 of your squares (3 7/8" or 4", depending on what you chose).  Match them up to your liking.  I didn't worry too much about how I matched them up. Just make sure you have a little variety. 

You should have 10 pairs. 

Step 2 : On the WRONG SIDE of ONE of each pair, draw a line from corner to corner. I used a fine line Sharpie for this but you can use a #2 pencil or marking pen/pencil as well.  

I LOVE my Easy Angle Ruler to do this step! It's the perfect size and so easy to handle! 

Step 3 : Place your paired squares together, RIGHT SIDES FACING, and sew 1/4" on either side of the drawn line.  

Chain piecing here makes this go SO much faster.  Sew down the one side of each of your pairs, then sew down the other side of each.  You should have a nice long "chain" of squares. Trim apart and follow next step. 

Step 4 : Next, using a ruler, cut ON the drawn line, creating two triangle pieces.  Do this for all 10 pieces. You should have 20 triangles, Half Square Triangles, that is! ;)

Again, my Easy Angle Ruler is my favorite!!!

Step 5 : Next we need to press our HST's.  I HIGHLY suggest pressing your seams open for this project.  There are MANY seams and sewing it together will be easier. Quilting it will be too, whether it be you or your quilter.  Your quilter will thank you for it!

Press all HST's.  You should have 20.

Step 6 : If you cut your original squares at 3 7/8" you should not need to proceed.  Your HST's should already measure 3 1/2" square.

If you cut yours at 4" like I did, we need to trim these HST's down to 3 1/2" square.

Using a ruler that has a 45 degree line, usually the line that runs from corner to corner, place that line ON your diagonal line as shown below.  Make sure you are checking all sides to be sure you are with in the 3 1/2" marks.

Example.. The left side of the below photo has the HST extending just beyond the 3 1/2" mark, and the same for the bottom.  The top and the right sides, extend beyond the ruler and the 45 degree line matches up with the diagonal line on the HST.

Make sure your HST is set up just like this for each HST before you trim.  Remember, measure twice, cut once!

Step 7 : Now holding the ruler still, trim the excess from the right side and the top.

The below photo shows what it should look like.

Step 8 : Rotate your HST 180 degrees.  (Move the bottom left corner so that it is now in the upper right corner).

Line up the left edge and the bottom edge to the 3 1/2" marks on the ruler.  The HST should overhang just a tad on the top and the right again.

Once you have it lined up at the 3 1/2" marks, trim the right side and top.

Here is a photo of what your HST should look like once you've trimmed all 4 sides. 

Here is a photo showing the measurement the HST should be at. Double check just to be sure :)

That's it! Just repeat this process for the number of HST you will need for each block depending on the size project you chose.  20 HST will be needed for each block.

Don't worry about keeping each set of 20 together.  Once the blocks start going together, you can pick from the entire pile!

 I know it's a lot of trimming, but having those HST nice and tidy and square will make piecing this quilt so much easier. It's worth it.  Promise!

Remember, you don't have to trim them all in one day. Do a few each day and if you don't get them all done by the next post, don't worry! You will have some done to start your blocks. :)

Don't forget to post pictures in the Flickr group (link above).

Much Love!!!


  1. Hi I am back from Brisbane, and sorting and cutting fabrics! Have finally decided to make a Large Lap quilt. I am apprehensive that my diamonds won't work like your diagram, I am selecting a wide range of fabrics, so I hope it looks ok. I will post some photos once I have more of a selection of fabrics.
    Again, thank you for organising this wonderful quilty journey.

  2. do we need to worry about light and darks?
    when we make the pairs is it important or should it be all random?


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