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Modern Christmas half square triangles quilt

Modern Christmas half square triangles quilt

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half square triangles quiltMy second quilt! This is a half square triangles quilt, made in Cotton + Steel’s Tinsel fabric, that I gifted my Mother-In-Law this past Christmas. My first quilt was gifted to my husband the Christmas before, and it left me swearing I’d never make another one. I felt my reservations start to melt once I started spending more time on Instagram – I follow lots of talented quilters there and their projects are contagious!

My sister gave me a fun new sewing book,  Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle* by Jeni Baker (who blogs at In Color Order), and I decided it was time to dive in again. I still hadn’t figured out a present for her, so I looked for the simplest (relatively speaking) pattern that I could find.

Check out more inspiration here – 30+ modern Christmas quilt patterns!

Half square triangles quilt

hst christmas quilt

It called for 8 half yards of fabric, and I spent wayyy too much time trying to mix and match between different lines. I couldn’t get a mix I liked so I decided to use the Cotton + Steel Christmas line, Tinsel! I love the modern colors and designs; I think my favorite print is the snowglobes. Something I didn’t anticipate was how much contrast there would be between the red & dark blue prints against the others – I ended up putting them both diagonally and like how it turned out. I am so in awe of the color theory & spatial awareness that designing/making quilts requires (a skill set I have lots of room for improvement with!)

white quilt back

I used plain white for the backing and a plain red for the binding. I played with the idea of an “improv” strip down the back but I ended up psyching myself out. Normally I’m the first person to say “it’s just fabric! experiment!” but the idea of messing something up with only a few days until Christmas was too intimidating.

I’m trying not to point out my mistakes, but I will say this quilt is slightly smaller than the book’s pattern. I cut all my initial squares at 17″ instead of 18″, after one cutting error required me to even them all out. I was worried it would be too small, but I actually am glad it wasn’t any larger. This is a great lap size!

Snarky quilt sewing label

I added one of my favorite labels, they always make me smirk.

quilt detail

I used my walking foot, which made the actual act of quilting a breeze. I decided to try skinny little lines, which I regretted after about five of them. It took forever! I definitely took a wonky/organic/imperfect approach intentionally but it ended up being even wonkier than I intended. I normally use the start/stop button, my foot pedal isn’t even attached, but I think that was a mistake. When I had to stop and shift the quilt layers around, the stitch length went wonky and then jerked around when I restarted. Next quilt, I will use my foot pedal!

quilt detail 2

I stitched in the ditch (more or less) around the blocks before I did the straight line quilting. You can see how “quilty” the fabric got – normally I am a diehard pre-washer for clothes & projects so it was hard for me to sew this fabric straight out of the bag! I love how it turned out though, so I’ll definitely do that again.

Red quilt binding

I machine sewed the binding on, and am really happy with how this half square triangles quilt looks. I’d love to hand sew binding on to a quilt eventually, like I did for this mixer cover, but I need to give myself more than three weeks from start to finish!

I have TWO more Christmas quilts planned to give this year and already bought the fabric on clearance. My goal is to have all my handmade gifts done by September – fingers crossed. Have you made a quilt before? What’s stopping you?

Pin this modern Christmas quilt for later, with this image and link:

A Christmas HST Quilt with Cotton and Steel Tinsel Fabric. I love half square triangle quilts - this is a pattern from Patchwork Essentials by Jeni Baker. #halfsquaretriangles #hstquilt #quilt #quilting #christmas #christmasquilt #sewing

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Laura B

Sunday 31st of January 2016

This is so pretty! Great job!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Sunday 31st of January 2016

Thanks Laura!

Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter

Sunday 17th of January 2016

This is the perfect quilt for a beginner! So glad you didn't give up on quilting. I love it, and you will too I think. Hang in there, and good job on the quilt! So cute!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Thursday 21st of January 2016

Thanks Jennifer! I didn't end up swearing I'd never make another one this time, so hopefully that is a good sign :)

mjb

Thursday 14th of January 2016

Great job!

Mariana

Monday 11th of January 2016

Hi Stephanie,

Your quilt has wonderful playful colours and your pictures show great quality of work! Very good job! You should be really proud! I started my serious sewing with quilting (so, will stay my "first love" forever!). Did my first quilt for my mum, I quilted with gold metallic thread (I love sparkle;) "Cat's Meow". However, soon I moved into Fashion studies and now I'm a clothing upcycling professional + blogger;)

Thanks for the Instagram link here, so I can follow you on there too;) I like what you do and your website is lovely (I only can imagine how much work and time is involved in developing it! So congrats on that too.)

Have a great day, Mariana

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