Back to the Herringbone Quilt tutorial! (Got whiplash yet from me from bopping back and forth from project to project?)
Now let’s make the triangle sections that fill in the top and bottom of the quilt columns. (**please see editor’s notes at end.) So here’s the basic parallelogram shape that we’ve been building by foundation piecing. As described in Part 1 of the Herringbone tutorial, join several of these blocks end to end, you’ll have long columns the length of your quilt. When you lay the columns next to each other, you get this:The next step is to square off the ends of the columns before sewing the columns together to make the quilt top.
You COULD just square off the top and bottom by chopping them off, but why waste that much more of your carefully pieced work? Piece the set-in triangle sections at the top and bottom of each column, you will use up more scraps!
Fewer scraps in the trash = more quilt for the money = more money to spend on more pretty fabric. The circle of life, my friends.
The best way to construct the end triangles is to foundation piece them. For this tutorial, I decided to try using pages from my (used) phone book as the paper foundation.
(I’m tired of shelling out $$ for more of the dissolving foundation paper so I thought it was worth a try. The pages are the right weight, so let’s see how this goes.)
First, from your foundation material, cut a right triangle (a half-square triangle or HST) that has as it’s longest edge the same length as the strips that you used to construct your parallelogram blocks.
The strips I used to construct my parallelogram blocks are are about 8 1/2″ long (untrimmed.) The longest edge along bottom of my HST triangle foundation is about 8 1/2″.
Next, line up a 8 1/2″ fabric strip along the bottom edge of the triangle so the bottom edge of the fabric and the bottom edge of the triangle align.
Choose a shorter scrap and stitch it to the foundation paper just like you did for the parallelograms, flipping it up and pressing well.Keep adding strips until the foundation is completely covered with fabric strips and that the fabric strips extend beyond the edges of the paper foundation. You’ll end up with a little layer-cake looking section.Do not trim it yet.
Center it over one end of your parallelogram column and stitch. Flip it up and press well.Flip the sewn section over wrong side up. Using your ruler and rotary cutter, trim the layer-cake section even with the sides of your parallelogram.You’ll notice that the foundation paper is still in place on the back of the block. Do not remove this paper until the entire top is pieced together – right before layering to quilt.
Keep making your little foundation pieced HST’s and sew them to the top and bottom edges of your long columns of blocks. Trim the sides but DO NOT TRIM THEM ALONG THE TOP EDGE YET.Here is a picture of three columns laying next to each other. See how uneven that top edge is when I line up the strips into zig-zags? That’s OK for now! We’ll get everything aligned in the next tutorial.
Now about using the phone book pages: just for the heck of it, I removed the paper triangle just to see how easily it removed. The paper tore easily – not too much different than my experience with other tear-away foundations. The downside of using phone book pages is I noticed a dusty film on my fingers and I worry about the ink that may rub off on my hands and the fabric if I keep handling it a lot. I think for the HST column ends, it will work just fine, but I don’t want to push it.
So, overall the phone book pages worked fairly well as foundation paper.
Another reminder: whenever you sew paper, the machine needle dulls much faster and will need to be replaced more often.
Part three of the herringbone tutorial will deal with joining the completed columns and preparing to quilt.
I hope you’re having a wonderful time with this challenge!
All the best -
**Editor’s note: yes, my cutting mat is REALLY that dirty with paint. And yes, my photos are REALLY inconsistent on this entire post.
For some reason, this post was a bear to write – I feel like I couldn’t teach my way out of a paper bag today. It just needs to be OVER . . . so the photos are what they are and the text is DONE DONE DONE. If you have questions, just drop a comment -