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(sorry for the post-without-words. iPhone! *shakes fist*)

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So, if you’re thinking of making an x-plus quilt using Amy @ Badskirt’s tutorial, here’s a thing you should think about before you start:

leftovers.

Let’s review. Here’s the block you’re making.

SONY DSC

OK, see the Madrona Road text print + the Sketch units? Those are created by laying a smaller square on a bigger square, sewing along a pencil-drawn line, and then trimming off the excess .25” to the right of the seam line. Amy’s tutorial shows two little trimmed-off triangles going to scrap.

Don’t scrap those. Don’t even separate them. After you’ve made all four X-leg units, take your 8 trimmed-off paired triangles RIGHT BACK TO THE SEWING MACHINE and just SEW THEM UP RIGHT AWAY. I just treated this step as part of block-making, so that I didn’t even have a chance to procrastinate.

And, when you’re finished, you’ll have not only an awesome x-plus quilt, you’ll have a huge pile of half-square triangles like in the top photo. If you make 36 x plus blocks, you will have 288 HSTs, just waiting for you to press and trim them. My HSTs measure 2.75” trimmed (about 2 7/8” untrimmed). (Remember I made 12” x-plus blocks.) (And I actually have 296 HSTs, because I can’t count and actually sewed 37 x-plus blocks. Grrr.)

That’s a baby quilt’s worth. Out of leftovers.

I’m choosing to make the Ocean Waves quilt out of Denyse Schmidt’s book Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration. This means I am having to make some pattern recalculations, and I am actually having to unpick 2 HSTs per block set of 12. This does not bug me; it might you. You can do whatever the heck-o you want with your leftover HST wealth.

But tell me this isn’t tempting:

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(PS: I can’t and won’t take credit for this idea. Quilters have surely done this forever and ever amen, but I read Allison Harris talk about this method in February. She’s such a smart lady.)

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