Thursday, July 5, 2012

TNT Thursday: Nifty Trick

 Melissa at Happy Quilting each week hosts Try New Things Thursday.  This week her adorable six year-old is the star of the show with her cute skirt she made.  I was so impressed!  Anyway, as I assume you gathered from the title I tried something new this week that I wanted to share.  Almost a year ago I found this helpful link through Pinterest.  To create a 1/4" seam allowance she suggested taping two wooden pencils together.  I thought it would be useful and promptly forgot about it until this week.  Enter the TNT post...

The final block for the Skill Builder Sampler was the INSANE Alice Brooks Butterfly.  I printed up the templates only to discover that once again the lines made to the outside giving seam allowance didn't show up.  I was bugged until I remember the pencil trick.  I found then sharpened two wood pencils, dug up some tape and was ready to go.

Step one: tape the pencils together.  You need to make sure the tips line up.

They are a teeny tiny bit more than 1/4" apart but not anything that would really matter.  I'm sure my seams are naturally that far off.

Step two: draw out your seam allowances.  All you have to do is line up one pencil with the printed line and trace around it.  The other pencil will create the seam allowance line.

That's all it takes.  Look how the curve is perfect!  The straight lines would be easily done with a ruler which is why I'd never used this technique before but with the curves this is totally the way to go.

Here are all my pieces outlined and ready to go.  It was pretty fast too!

With the templates I made this block.  The wing tips are a little off but I blame the curves and not my pieces.  Lots of curves are sure an adventure.  This was the last block for the sampler.  See the finish post here.
I'm also having fun keeping up with the Let's Get Acquainted Blog hop.  There is a great giveaway this week for two quilt patterns.  There are currently under 30 entries and three winners so your chances are great!  All you have to do is click on the link above and leave a comment on the post.  There were some fabulous post by fellow hoppers, go check them out here...

July 3
    Di from Willowbeck Designs
    Jennifer from Knotted Thread  
July 5
    Sarah from Sarah Lou
    Catherine from Knotted Cotton
Click here to find links to the awesome tutorials from the last six weeks and to see some fantastic events currently being hosted by blog hoppers.


  1. That is such a cool way of adding a 1/4". I am going to have to remember that!!! Love your block, it is amazing!!!

  2. What a neat trick! The quilt block is stunning, too!

  3. That's a really cool way of doing it...I'll have to keep it in mind!

  4. That's so helpful, thanks for sharing. If it's okay will you I'll add this to my Pinterest wall!

  5. Oh my goodness that's so simple but so effective. I would never have thought of that! Thanks for sharing x


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