January 2, 2011

The Magic 8

**See my updated blog post for more accurate cutting hints and handy math chart for the Magic 8!...click HERE

The Magic 8 is a wonderful technique that has been around.  I think it is wonderful so am sharing it with you.

1.  Determine finished size of the desired half square triangle
2.  Add to this number 7/8"
3.  Multiply that total by 2
4.  Using the total from step 3, cut one square each from 2 different fabrics

My finished half square triangles will be 1-1/2"
add to that, 7/8" = 2-3/8"
2-3/8" x  2 = 4-3/4"
I cut two 4-3/4" squares

 Place right sides together and draw 2 diagonal lines corner to corner
 Stitch 1/4" on either side of both drawn lines

Cut vertically measuring in 2-3/8".  
This is the measurement right down the middle.
 Using the same measurement of 2-3/8", carefully cut across horizontally. Don't shift the fabric!
 Without moving your fabric, cut corner to corner on the drawn lines.
 Repeat again cutting opposite corner to corner
 There you have it!!  Nice huh??
 My half square triangles measure 2" unfinished
I have one of Marsha McCloskey's Feathered Star Rulers; awesome for trimming!
I have made lots of Farmer Wife Blocks using this method.  
Have you started or wanted to begin the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt?  Don't like dealing with templates??
  I offer an online pattern class teaching modern cutting and piecing techniques.  With very few templates!
Find my online class HERE

13 comments:

  1. Happy New Year to you......looks like you have things planned for sometime....good luck

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  2. Drats! Why didn't I see this before my 127 blue/tan HST's?

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  3. Wonderful lesson! I am working on a small doll quilt that requires HST's and I will use this tip. Thank you for sharing Sandi's instructions with us she would be pleased that you passed her teaching techniques on to all of us.

    Happy New Year to you and your family.

    Hug's, Carolyn

    Carolyn

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  4. Wow!! That is genius. Could have used this 8 years ago when I made my first granddaughter's quilt--a Pieced Star, finished block size: 6 in. by 6 in. In my mind, that pattern is now "Naomi's Star".

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  5. I have used this technique twice today. It has worked both times. I will be using it most times in the future.
    Any left over squares can go into my scrap quilts.

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  6. Your tutorial showed up on the Quiltville Yahoo list today. Just what is needed in our church group that will begin cutting 8 quilts of valor. THANK YOU!

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  7. Linda P - That is where I also found the link. Karen, thanks for the tutorial. Very helpful, especially for those like me that are a little timid with bias sides and stretching. Good visuals.
    Pam B. in IL

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  8. I have never seen this before - I came across someone on the FB Celtic Solstice mentioning it. Looks great.

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  9. OMG! Where did you find that hysterical picture of Lucy sewing?!!!! LOVE IT!

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  10. New to quilting & don't want to lose this info, do you have a Pinterest page so I can pin this?

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  11. Thank you so much for this posting. I'm currently working on a Balkan Puzzle quilt top and using your method for all the half square triangles. This method is saving so much time.

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  12. Eleanor Burns from Quilt-in-a-Day has used this techinque and other similar to it for many years. It is far more accurate than two sewn strips cut with a triangle ruler and you can make the original squares slightly larger and trim to size for even more accurate sizing. I don't mind wasting an inch off a full yard of fabric to get the accuracy I want for my quilt.

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  13. Love to make the half square triangles this way... no bias edges with other sew and cut systems.

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