June 16, 2015

"Building Blocks Tuesday" + Custom HST Twin and Lap Quilts {Progress #2}

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Today I'm guest hosting Building Blocks Tuesday for the regular hostess, Quilter in the Closet.

My block share for the week is 450 half-square triangles for custom twin and lap quilts.  They are all trimmed.  Since the only one who volunteered to come over for an afternoon to help me trim them was my sister who lives 1500 miles away, I had to trim them all by my lonesome!  {GASP!}

I have begun keeping track of every minute I put into a project.  If you don't want to be in for the shock of your life, don't do it.  Really, don't do it; it can be very disheartening if you are looking to put a dollar figure on your time.  With my 6.5" Bloc Loc ruler and rotating mat, I got it down to 15 seconds to trim each HST and have officially achieved the "AAA Professional" rating in trimming HSTs!

Bloc Loc's are the most useful rulers in my collection, other than the 5" x 24" and 3.5" x 18" rulers that I use all of the time.  The groove on the bottom of the Bloc Loc ruler nests against the seam of the HST block and keeps the ruler from slipping as the block is cut and the mat is turned.

Bloc Loc's are often sold in sets of several sizes, and I'll let you in on a secret - you really don't need all those sizes!  In fact, in my opinion, the littlest ones aren't really safe because your fingers end up so close to the edges where the rotary blade is cutting.  I have two sizes - the 4.5" and the 6.5" - and these two sizes work great for all blocks 6.5" and less.

To trim a block that is smaller than the ruler size, line up the ruler as usual, trim the first two sides, rotate the mat 180 degrees, slide the ruler down so the two cut edges line up with the markings for the measurement of the block, and trim the other two sides.

With the money you save by buying less Bloc Loc's, you can invest in a rotating mat, which I consider a required companion to the Bloc Loc rulers.  If you have a need for tools to trim HSTs, here are some great buys on supplies, though the Bloc Loc's seem to rarely go on sale:

What blocks have you been working on this week? I would love to see. Link up your fabulous blocks. You put a lot of hard work into them - show them off! This free linky will stay open until it closes {HaHa!}, and it will be reposted every Tuesday until a new linky starts {I don't know when that is!}.  You'll find this link-up here again next Tuesday since I'm guest hosting Building Blocks Tuesday on June 23rd also!

Quilter in the Closet Rules:
1) Please link up only to the page in your blog showing your wonderful blocks, not just the blog homepage. Flickr and Instagram pictures are also OK.
2) Make sure to put your blog name as the description so people know where they are going or the name of your block!
3) Please grab Quilter in the Closet's button and post it in your blog post or sidebar.  Here is the code:

<a href="http://quilterinthecloset.blogspot.com" target="_blank"><img src=" http://i1270.photobucket.com/albums/jj619/NewbieJen/a3e94b25.jpg " title = "Quilter in the Closet" alt="Quilter in the Closet" width="125" height="125" /></a>

4) Visit other linky participants!

Quilter in the Closet

My rule:
Please link back to this page in your post!

Get a Free Quilt Pattern!

Get a free pattern when you sign up to receive the latest info on what's happening in my studio, new quilt patterns, subscriber-only sales and Giveaways, quilty window shopping, and other fun news!

Click here to sign up!


Gale Bulkley said...

I have looked hard at the block-loc rulers and would like to have a couple. I'm glad to know you recommend them. Perhaps its time to make the commitment to an actual purchase.

Shannon said...

Congrats on your "AAA Professional" rating! lol! I need to get me a bloc loc ruler, but instead I just try to avoid HSTs! Not the best method I know, and most of the time it doesn't work out very well. Great post today!

Heidi said...

Enjoyed my visit - Thank you for hosting!

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

I bought a 6.5" bloc_lok a few months ago - one of my best purchases ever! I tried using it with a rotating mat and I didn't like the mat. I've found that I can just rotate the ruler and the block stays locked in place and turns as well. I agree that the smaller rulers are unnecessary. I've been trimming 2-1/2" blocks today and my bigger ruler works just fine.

Gwyned Trefethen said...

Anyone contemplating quilting for a living should keep track of their time on several projects to get a sense of how long it really takes to make a quilt. It is a good thing to share with your clients, too. I've done my share of trimming 100's of HST and I doubt I ever achieved 15 seconds per HST. I am impressed.

~ Gwyned