Retro Tetro Quilt Along Week 3

We’re chain piecing large HSTs this week!

Retro Tetro Quilt Along

Dates: September 15 through November 23
Duration: 10 weeks
Quilt Sizes: Mini, Crib, Throw, or Twin

How to Quilt Along

Share your progress on Instagram using #retrotetroqal. That’s where you’ll find the weekly photo prompts, livestreams, and more! Sign up here to be eligible for prizes, and get the weekly emails with tips for the coming week’s fun.

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Week 1: Pick your fabrics, get your pattern, plan your coloring sheet
Week 2: Cut, label, and organize your pieces
Week 3: Make Large HSTs
Week 4: Make Block 2 (12 blocks)
Week 5: Make Small HSTs
Week 6: Make Block 3 (10 blocks)
Week 7: Make Blocks 4 (8 blocks)
Week 8: Make Block 5 (8 blocks)
Week 9: Sew blocks and strips into columns
Week 10: Finish quilt top

Step 1: Get organized

Open up your pattern to page 8 and grab your large squares.

The top half of the page tells you how to make 2-at-a-time HSTs. The table in the bottom half of the page tells you how many large and small HSTs you need to make from the pair of colors in the leftmost columns.

2 important notes: the “number to make” is the number of HST units, and the size at the top of the column is the size to trim your unfinished HSTs to, NOT the size of the squares you start with. Remember, your smallest squares should be in your “Block 2 & 4” bag. (We’re only making the large HSTs this week, but just in case you decide to work ahead, I don’t want the small squares to trip you up.

Step 2: Pair your squares

Grab a color A and a color B (that’s the first 2 columns in the table). Put them right sides together.

I used a mechanical chalk pencil, but anything will do, since you’ll be cutting along the line.

Step 3: Mark your line

Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner, or fold and press to make a crease. You may be tempted to skip this step and eyeball it while you’re stitching, but that will lead to tears.

If you’re using directional prints, peel back a corner before you mark your diagonal line to check that you like the way the 2 fabrics will look together. Rotate as needed.

If you like, pin on each side of the line.

Step 4: Chain piece!

Stack up your paired squares and sew a seam 1/4″ to the left of the line. When you get to the end of a pair, leave a tiny gap, then start sewing the next pair without cutting your thread. You’ll save time and thread, and avoid that thing where the ends of the thread get snarled up under your fabric.

Step 5: Chain piece the other side!

When all your pairs are stitched, turn your last pair around and stitch 1/4″ from the other side of the line. Keep going until all your pairs have 2 lines of stitching.

Step 6: Cut triangles apart

Bring the whole chain of squares over to your cutting mat. Cut apart the threads, then cut your squares in half on the marked line.

Step 7: Press

Press each triangle with a hot iron briefly before opening it up to set the seam. Finger press open, then press with the iron. (It really doesn’t matter which way your seam allowance goes. Dark side, open, toward the rising sun, it doesn’t make a big difference for this quilt. Open just means you’re opening up the triangle into a square.)

The Stripology Squared Mini ruler makes it SO EASY to square up HSTs!

Step 8: Trim

Line up the seam with the 45 degree line on your ruler. Trim the square down to the finished size at the top of the Large HSTs column.

You can see how it’s done in this video!

You should have 30 large HSTs.

Step 9: Label Block 1

Use the Block 1 Combination Table on page 9 to find the block numbers for 18 of your large HSTs. Check your Coloring Page to see which way each block should be oriented, then label the block with its number at the top. Put these blocks in alpha-numeric order with their background strips.

There should be 12 large HSTs left. We will use them to make Block 2 next week.

Step 10: Share!

Remember to share your progress on Instagram using #retrotetroqal.


This week’s prize is a half yard bundle of Whatnot fabric by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Ruby Star Society!!!

From summers in Japan with her fashion model mother to publishing two sewing books born of a wildly successful blog, Bay Area-based designer Rashida Coleman-Hale has lived a life brimming with excitement and inspiration. After attending FIT in New York, she ended up trading the fashion world for design, teaching herself Photoshop and Illustrator and dabbling in freelance graphic design, but she can actually credit motherhood for her segue to fabric design. “I met my husband and we had our first baby. She was so easy that it gave me time to get back into sewing, and soon after, I began my blog.”

What began as a hobby for a stay-at-home mom turned into a successful business venture, and a magazine soon reached out to Rashida about creating sewing articles for them, which led to the opportunity to write a sewing book. But Rashida soon yearned for her next adventure – designing fabric. Before Ruby Star Society, Rashida designed collections with Timeless Treasures and Cloud 9 Fabrics, and she was a founding designer of Cotton+Steel. A full-fledged member of the sewing and quilt community, Rashida’s favorite thing about her industry is the connections she’s made with her fellow sewers and designers. “It’s the warmest, nicest community,” she says. “They’re so welcoming and supportive… I was so shy at my first market, and they instantly made me feel comfortable and included.”

Win a half-yard bundle of Whatnot! A little of this, a little of that – Whatnot by Rashida Coleman-Hale is a playful look at the objects we see around us every day. To-do list, toothbrushes, scissors, phones, what else can you spot? If only the real things were this cute!

Head over to today’s Instagram post for the details! Best of luck!

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