I have nothing against Spinner, the block provided by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs. It’s nice and simple, it’s probably something that would look really cool as the overall motif in a quilt. We were even provided with an alternative center. I really can’t find any fault in it.
Except . . . I did. I couldn’t pinpoint what it was, but I was still a few weeks behind when I got to it, so I thought it would be okay. I would go to the Facebook group, sift through the Spinners the other group members had already done, and find one that I liked. Except . . . I didn’t. I think it’s the single points. I have moderate OCD which I generally keep in check, but I think those points pinged it.
And when that happens, things can get extreme.
It doesn’t look extreme. It’s really the most minor change, turning that center square into a QST (quarter square triangle) square. Heck, those modifications on the PDF are 9 patches, so they’re practically encouraging me to do this modification. But there’s one big problem: I didn’t have a measurement for those QSTs.
What I knew about this was that square was 4 1/2″ finished. And if I look up charts for QSTs, there are tons of sites that will tell me the size square I need to make four QST pairs. But I only needed two of those pairs, and I’m short on fabric. I had no room for waste here. And it’s clear from the sketch that I can cut a single square each of orange and pink, cut them in half on the diagonal, and piece them together. If quilting math wasn’t impossible, I could apply the Pythagorean theorem to this. I’m incredibly good at algebra. But my god if that seam allowance doesn’t eff everything up.
I thought I was making the right decision posting this issue on one of my FB quilting groups. Not the blockheads one. This was a more general one, and I thought surely others had dealt with this before and knew the answer.
Don’t trust the internet, y’all. Don’t trust facebook. Not to be rude or anything, but that first answer is literally the dumbest thing I have ever read today, and I can’t even fathom what she’s picturing as she explains this to me. At worst, I was expecting someone to forget about seam allowance and apply Pythagorean Theorem to 5.5, but this? Just dividing by 4? And then multiplying by 4 . . . and dividing in half for good measure? WTF?
As to the second answer, this is completely useless to me unless you take that ruler and measure that for me. I’ve given you the (albeit wrong) number, you just have to use it. This is like asking how to make deviled eggs and someone replying with, “Oh, I have a recipe for that,” without actually sharing the recipe. If you don’t want to check the ruler, that’s totally cool. This is my problem, not yours. But don’t just tell me about your ruler.
And I can’t stress enough that, while Google does provide plenty of quilting cheat sheets, I did literally say that I already tried that.
Thankfully, someone eventually offered the smartest and most obvious advice: make a template. Brilliant. Painfully obvious but brilliant. And this is something that I have all the skills to do myself and am happy to share with you.
In a previous post, I made a big fuss about not trusting graph paper. Even if it says that it’s 4 squares per inch, this is the sort of mass-produced thing that you can’t put your faith in. Just putting it out there, but this is also true of those off-brand cutting mats you see at discount shops. They’re not all wrong, but you need to check those units before you trust them.
I’m still going to use the graph paper to draw this template because of those nice perpendicular guidelines, but I need to draw this thing to scale or my measurement will be wrong at the end, so I’m relying on my ruler for this.
The first step here is to draw the shape I need, to scale with the finished block. This happens to be a very simple shape — a bisected 4 1/2″ square — but it doesn’t matter how complicated it is. As long as it can be drawn accurately and to scale, a template can be made.
The next step is to add the seam allowance to the shape. UTILIZE THAT RULER! Simply lay the 1/4″ line atop the lines of the finished shape (highlighted here because I was silly and didn’t make it brighter for picture) and then draw the seam allowance. You’ll want to extend those lines out as far as you can. As you see in the next picture, the meeting points of the seam allowance triangle are quite a distance out.
At this point, you have two options. Depending on what you’re doing, the best option may be to cut that shape out and simply use it as a template to cut the fabric from. There’s nothing wrong with that. But this is an easy shape. All I need to do is measure one of those legs and cut a square from it.
There it is, that point at 4 1/8″. All set to go!
Yep, it worked great. My scant 1/4″ was a bit too scant so it did come out a smidge large, but that was a sewing error, and it wasn’t so severe that I needed to restitch.
In the end, I still didn’t like it. I don’t know, it just wasn’t my jam. I was hoping those weirdo 3/4 square units would make me happy, but meh. And that’s totally a me issue. The block is fine.
Oh also, that top row pattern square that inadvertently looks like an extension of the pink HST next to it? That block can go die in a fire. I nearly replaced it, it bothered me so much. Hopefully once everything is quilted, it will hide.