Week 3 | Sky Cabin SAL

Posted by Olivia Alaniz on

Intro to Week 3

Hello hello! Welcome to Week 3 of the Sky Cabin SAL!

How’s everyone feeling after sewing up the log cabin blocks? If you tried out chain-piecing for the first time last week - was it as life-changing as we said it would be? Now that you’ve mastered chain-piecing, you’ll get to apply it to sewing up the Half Square Triangle (HST) Blocks this week!

As a reminder, one lucky quilter will win the grand prize we’ve put together for you all at the end of the sew along. In order to enter your name in the drawing for the grand prize, you will need to post the weekly photo by Sunday night of that week! Make sure your profile is set to “public” and you use the #SkyCabinSAL hashtag so we can see your pretty pictures! 

Week 3 of the SAL means we get to find out what the next sponsor of the grand prize! We are super happy to announce that The Mini Project Iron from Oliso will be included!! This iron may be mini but its ironing power is LARGE AND IN CHARGE. This is a powerful travel size iron that pairs perfectly with the Wool Pressing Mat that we announced last week! With the Oliso brand name, you know that you are getting a quality iron!

Sky Cabin Sew Along Schedule

2-at-a-time HSTs 

HSTs are a staple in quilt designs. Because of this fact, some really smart quilters ended up figuring out a few different ways to sew them up! If your pattern calls for 500 HSTs, you don’t really want to cut, sew, and trim them one by one. The Sky Cabin pattern uses the 2-at-a-time method for HSTs!

To create your HSTs using the 2-at-a-time method, you will pair two squares together and sew a ¼” seam on either side of a diagonal line across the pair. You then cut along that same diagonal line, press your blocks open, and voilà - you’ve got yourself 2 HSTs. 

Marking the Squares 

There are a handful of ways you can mark this diagonal line on your fabric squares. Here are a few that I’ve used before:
  1. Water Soluble Pen - these little things are so convenient for quilting. You can use a water soluble pen to draw your diagonal lines and they disappear with water! How cool! You can remove it with steam from your iron or spritz with a spray bottle, or leave it and let your washing machine remove the lines! Of course, always test these types of markers out on a scrap piece of fabric first! You don’t want any surprises later on!

  2. FriXion Pen - These seem like ordinary office supply pens, but they work for sewing too! These pens erase with heat, so the lines come right off as you’re pressing your HSTs. There is a warning I need to give you about these though… Only use these pens on the backside of your fabrics, because as the ink lifts with the heat, it removes some of the color from your fabric. You end up with ghost lines on your quilt if you use these on the top. (I found this out after using the pens to mark my quilting lines.)

  3. Pencil - I think almost everyone has at least one pencil laying around your house for one reason or another. These work perfectly for marking the diagonal lines of the HSTs. Since the lines are hidden on the backside of the quilt, you’ll never see them! Just lightly draw your line on the lighter fabric and you’ll be good to go.

  4. Ironed Lines - I know it’s fun to go out and get all of the fun doodads people use for quilting, but it definitely isn’t necessary! You don’t even need a marking tool if you already have your iron! If you fold your square over diagonally and lightly press your iron on the crease, you’ll have that marked diagonal line! 

    Want to know my favorite all time way to sew diagonals?


    This tape is basically the best invention to ever exist. I mean, besides electricity and sliced bread and all of that. I could talk all about this magic tape, but I’ll let Cluck Cluck Sew explain it for me!

    “Diagonal Seam Tape is simply washi tape that is placed on the front plate of your sewing machine to act as a guide while you are sewing diagonal seams.

    The red line in the center is aligned with the needle of your machine, and the black lines on either side are 1/4″ to each side from the center of the lines, to represent a 1/4″ seam allowance.  The black lines won’t replace a piecing foot with a perfect 1/4″, but act as an extra guide.”

    Cluck Cluck Sew Diagonal Seam Tape

    Photo credit: Cluck Cluck Sew

    HST trimming pile

    Trimming the HSTs

    Okay, I’m not going to lie - trimming HSTs is not my favorite thing to do. It can feel a little tedious, BUT there are a couple things you can do to make it way easier! Bust first put on a ‘binge-worthy’ show, or audio book!! This is a very repetitive task, so having something else to pay attention to during the process makes it go much quicker!

    1. Rotating Cutting Mat - this is a smaller cutting mat that, you guessed it, rotates! This makes trimming easier because you don” have to pick up your ruler and block, flip it, and line everything up again to trim. Just give your mat a little spin! It is kind of fun, too. There are several brands out there that make rotating cutting mats. I like this Olfa one and this Fiskars one!

    2. Bloc Loc Ruler - the Bloc Loc ruler is one of the best rulers for trimming. The HST ruler has a groove in the center where the diagonal seam is. The groove catches the bulk of the seam and uses it to anchor the ruler in place. This prevents the ruler from rocking around or slipping.

    3. DIY Bloc Loc - if you don’t want to spend the money on a very specific ruler, you can always DIY one using supplies you probably already have in your quilting area! You can recreate the same Bloc Loc mechanism by using washi tape. Just place a stack of a couple layers of tape across the diagonal to catch the bulk of the seam and you should be off and trimming in no time. I also like to add a couple pieces of tape on the top of the ruler to use as a reminder of the size I’m trimming.

      DIY Bloc Loc Ruler for trimming HSTs


      We have some awesome longarm quilters that are offering discounts for your finished Sky Cabin quilts at the end of the SAL!

      • Trace Creek Quilting will be offering 25% off your longarm quilting for any Sky Cabin quilt that arrives by September 30th, 2022!
      • Quilts Made With Love will also be offering 25% off your longarm quilting for any Sky Cabin quilt that arrives by September 30th, 2022!

      To take advantage of the discount, make sure to mention the Sky Cabin SAL in your service request!

      Next week, we will be starting on the Half Rectangle Triangle (HRT) Blocks! Taylor plans to go live on Instagram (Monday, 6 p.m. PST) to walk you all through the process of creating these blocks and answering any questions you all have! We'll see you soon!
      SAL sky cabin

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