The Diamond Dreams Quilt: Easy Quilting Tutorial with Rob Appell of Man Sewing. Rob shows us how to make an amazing Diamond Dreams Quilt out of half square triangles using 10 inch squares of precut fabric called Splash by Alex Anderson for RJR and white Fairy Frost from Michael Miller.
Get more details here: http://land.mansewing.com/diamond-dreams
Video Transcript (Downloadable PDF Here):
Hey everybody it’s Rob from Man Sewing. And today’s tutorial is a real splash. That’s right if you look behind me at this great quilt. It’s a simple half square triangle layout but I’m using one of my dear friends, Alex Anderson’s new line called Splash for RJR. And I just love this fabric. I love grayscale and I love the texture of the “sea” prints obviously inside. And then for our neutrals, this is simply the white Fairy Frost from Michael Miller. Technically if you used every square from Splash, you would need 3 ¼ yards to match up to your half square triangles. But I didn’t use every single fabric, so you could really get away with three yards. And heck, while you’re taking notes on your supply list, why don’t you make sure you write down we have a six inch border. And we’re using 1 ½ yards total to create that border. Now let me get you started and show you one of the easiest ways I’ve ever seen, and I did not create this, but I certainly use it often. And I love it. How to make half square triangles.
So as I started unpacking my fabrics off of that 10 by 10 pre-cut, you’ll notice that there are some pinked edges as you go around. And, so this is the pre-cut version and then this was yardage that I cut into 10 inch squares. And so I am going to put the print down first to make sure that I’m centering my ready-made cut or I’m centering my own cutting. That’s what I’m trying to say here. And then we’re going to the sewing machine and we’re sewing a quarter inch seam allowance around all four sides.
Insufficient information on yardage handling!
Ok, I got it. Here’s what you need to know. What we’re going to do is we’re going to take that yardage of our neutral fabric, and we’re going to start by making 10 inch strips. From those 10 inch strips we’re going to rotate them and we’re going to make those strips into 10 inch squares. You’re going to want one 10 inch square for every one of your prints, so if you’re working from a pre-cut between 40 and 45 different neutral squares. And now we can go to the sewing machine and make that quarter inch seam allowance all around. Follow me.
We’re just going to do that for all four sides. So again, I’m coming into the edge. I’m going to take just a few stitches, the needle’s down, I come around let’s take a nice start, slow. There we go. And then off we’re running. And I just have the last side to do. There. And then we’re going to go ahead and cut these wide open. This is such an easy technique. I love doing my half square triangles that way. Ok, so now we’re going to be ready to cut first and then we press because we’ve actually stitched, as I said, around all four sides. And I’m such a tidy freak today, let’s go ahead and get those out of the way as well.
Now, if you had a lazy Susan, this would be a great time to use it. But you don’t need one. So what I do is I put the block square in front of me. And I take my ruler and I’m laying it so that the ruler is basically just barely showing me the little crosshairs on the threads. Now the key is, once I make this slice, not to move the fabric. I’m just going to lift the ruler up and I’m going to drop it back down, just like that. And again. And now we have four perfect half square triangles as they start to open up like this. Ok? Now, what I always do is I do all the prep work first so that I can play at the design wall second. Which is my favorite time, right? In the quilting. That’s not altogether true, I love the free motion machine quilting as well. So favorites: machine quilting, then design, then construction. That’s about how it works in my life. Here’s the trick. Take it, and so you have your dark fabric facing up. Take your iron and slide it in there to set that seam. And then just press that open like that. And we’re going to do that with all four sides. And then I’m going to walk you through how to make the base block in what you’re seeing behind me.
Now, as I was saying, this started from the Rainbow Dreams pattern by the MSQC which I really liked. And I wanted to kind of play in my grayscales but in the middle of the process, I kind of got hyper creative and kind of made this diamond shaped quilt instead behind me that you see right now. So let me kind of walk you through that. Let’s start with the pieces we already just made so you recognize them, right? This is what it would have looked like if we could have ironed them all the way open without moving anything. And the nice thing about that, follow me to the quilt, if you will. Look at this as simple structure. So we have a diamond shape. There are three, one, two, three across the top row. There are two in the middle of the quilt. And this seam right here is the actual division, the halfway point in the quilt. And then there are one, two, three more diamonds down at the bottom. So when I started building the quilt, I looked at this diamond first which looks just like this. And we’ve got a cool printable for you kind of in a neutral grayscale so you can follow along regardless of which fabrics you’re using.
So we’re starting here and then we’re going to take similar shades and we’re going to build out. So in order to do that, right? I like to go ahead and make these points first, here and here. And maybe, let’s say, here and here. Then I’m going to take another dark shade so meaning that all of these read very, very similar in value. And then I’m going to build it like this as my first unit. But I’m not starting right in the edge of the design wall or the design table. I’m actually kind of starting in the middle and I can go out in any direction. Of course never stitch anything together until it’s completely designed that way you are free to move things as you like, right? Now I’m going to take kind of a lighter set now and I’m going to drop these in so that the neutrals were touching. And as these neutrals touch, it starts to form the secondary element of design. So you see the all over diamond starting to form. You see these corners here. This is what I mean by the secondary element of design. So what you actually have is a diamond and parallel running stripes. So if focused on your diamonds and you make sure that all of your prints are running parallel to each other, it becomes a very, very simple layout. And then all I’m playing with now is the gradient and the color shades as we go throughout the entire design.
Once you are super excited about the way your quilt is going to look, now we’re going to come back in and we’re going to just start piecing together our blocks. Now the neat thing about piecing together this way with your half square triangles, is when we start with our fabrics here, the key is, is to simply be able to match up our edges. And these edges have a bit of flex to them because they are actually done on the bias, the way we constructed the squares and then made them cut into the triangles. So what that gives me is the opportunity to shift my fabric a little bit to make sure that all of the points are always lining up really nice as we go, right? So that’s really fun. Now if you’re playing with your half square triangles, sometimes you’re butting them together where you can feel them coming in, let me see if I can do this correctly for us. And it’s really neat, you can actually take and position your two seam allowances right up against each other and then go over to your corner and make sure your corners line up when you’re doing the opposite style construction, and that’s another fantastic way to make sure that all your blocks line up. And you’re going to get terrific points in a real hurry, constructing your half square triangles this way.
So like I said, this is a quick down and dirty tutorial for you using the Splash fabrics by a dear friend of mine, Alex Anderson. I certainly hope you enjoyed it. Now, my call to action for all of you is though, let’s keep those pictures coming. We have the best fans ever out at Man Sewing and I love seeing all the quilts you’re making. I cannot wait to see what you all come up with following this variation of the Rainbow Dreams pattern here at Man Sewing.