Hi friends, Our July issue will be hitting mailboxes and newsstands soon, and I'm super excited about both of the craft projects that you'll see when you get your issue. One's an easy craft that your kids are going to love; the other is an easy patchwork project that I hope will get your creative juices flowing, and give you the excuse you need to fire up the sewing machine, take a trip to your fabric stash, and get sewing.* The patchwork project is of the quick-and-easy variety. The shapes are simple (just squares and triangles) and the techniques (rotary cutting, strip piecing) are basic. But I want to take a bit of time to talk about a fast way of making half-square triangles. The first time I made a quilt, I cut out dozens of right-angled triangles, and then spent hours pinning, repinning, sewing, seam ripping, and resewing. As a beginner, I had no idea that sewing along that long edge of the triangle was so hard because I was sewing along the stretchy bias edge. Nor did I know that there was a much easier way! It turns out that it's much easier to place two squares of fabric right sides together, then mark a diagonal line from corner to corner. Pin, then sew two seams – each one a scant 1/4-inch from the marked line. Cut the square diagonally in half along the marked line and voila! You've got two half square triangles. Easy. (One note: you need to make the squares a bit larger than you'd think. In this case I added 3/8" to the size of the square.) In the case of this project, you need a total of four HSTs, so you'll actually cut two rectangles of fabric, and mark three cut lines: one down the centre of the rectangle, and two diagonal cutting lines. Here's how it looks: When you're finished sewing, remove the pins and cut the squares apart on the marked middle line. Then... Cut apart the triangles. Press the blocks open, then trim the dog ears. Tada! Now you've got a set of four half-square triangles, ready for you to make into a variety of pleasing arrangements, like this pinwheel, or to use in another block, such as the one you'll find in our July issue. *Just in case you need another reason to get sewing, I'm hoping you'll submit photos of your finished projects online. We're going to choose our favourite projects to feature in our July 2011 issue!