Saturday, November 16, 2019

sewing Saturdays sleeves and half square triangle blocks the easy way

Welcome to Sewing Saturdays... my weekly round-up of studio time. When I finished this year's Halloween quilt (the one with owls) I took a few pics of how I attach a sleeve in the binding process.

If it's to go to a competition I make sure the finished opening is 4" exactly. This time I just cut the sleeve fabric about two inches less than width of quilt, and 6" (not 9") wide.
Hem the two ends where the hanging rod will slide through.
machine baste the top edge to the quilt before binding goes on.

Then I mark inside the halfway point, say 1/8th " less than halfway from the top and do a running stitch by hand across the whole width of sleeve.
The eighth inch allows some room for the hanging rod so the quilt won't bow out when hung.

 I just go thru sleeve, backing and batting. It's so much easier to do this now than putting on a finished sleeve after the whole quilt is done.
remember to tack the ends to the backing, fold it up to meet at the quilt edge and put on your binding as usual.
Because this is a wall hanging, I cut my binding slightly smaller than usual. I sewed on only one edge around the quilt, mitering the corners. Then when I was ready to handstitch it to the backing, I tucked the raw edge under the seam, folded it up and blind hem stitched by hand. It lays flat with little bulk and catches the sleeve.
It's doubled along the edge, but less bulk in the seam itself.

Next fast technique involves making lots of half square triangles.
I'm using this flannel panel to make a lap quilt. I am TRYING to use stash to match. The green border is much greener than it looks above, and has tiny dots which are so cute!
ack, image still looks washed out
The original pattern calls for little poinsettias around made of HST's in two shades of red. I have one, so I used my paisley orange/red fabric. I may have to find another red at a quilt store...

But the way to make 12 HST's with one long seam is this...
Print out the free pattern ( I had to change to landscape orientation to print)
Place two fabrics RST, pin the paper to them where it tells you to, sew one long continuous seam on the dotted lines then cut on solid lines.

The link to free thangles to make half square triangles is:

each time you use a sheet, it makes 12 HST with no stretching of the fabric!. I think it took 2 minutes to sew the seam, a bit longer to  cut out the blocks and pull the paper off. Be sure to hold the triangles secure as this will be ripping paper off bias. Press, and trim to size, I chose 3" blocks to finish at 2.5 so they'd fit my project.
I began laying them out to see how the orangish fabric looked, and it dulls the colors so despite having a substantial stash, there is no other red to use.
To make the cute poinsettias I need two black squares, two red and black, two red #2 and black squares, and two red #1 and red#2 blocks. It's gonna be cute!

I found a great site full of patterns and info called

spent some time there this week!

Linking to
can I get a whoop whoop Fridays  
design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts


  1. Hi LeeAnna,
    Thanks for all the sewing tips and tricks today!
    The HST paper print out looks good! Will be giving that a go!

  2. I like the paisley points. That's going to be SEW cute!!

  3. Oooooo, I love the lap quilt! I an in such awe of people who quilt. It's a beautiful skill to have.

  4. What good directions and photos for your tips. The Christmas wall hanging is charming and will only get better with the addition of poinsettias. Thanks.