Tips Tuesday

Tips Tuesday: Tri-Recs Without Specialty Rulers

Tri-recs without Specialty Rulers by HollyAnne Knight of String and Story

Hey Friends!

Very shortly, I have a brand new pattern coming out in Make Modern Magazine called Dogwood Blossoms-- yay! This pattern calls for triangle in a square units, more frequently called "tri-recs" units. It's a pretty quick unit to make with the specialty rulers, but I know not everyone has those. Plus, it's a pretty quick unit to make without the rulers, too! Let's get started:

*Tri-recs Without Specialty Rulers units are made two at a time, due to the need to have reversed triangles for the "wings."
**Please note that this method uses more fabric than the specialty rulers, so plan accordingly if working from a pattern written for using specialty rulers. For example, my upcoming pattern, Dogwood Blossoms, is fat-quarter friendly, but if using this method, you might need more like a third of a yard instead

Tri-recs Without Specialty Rulers by HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

-Two fabrics, a fat quarter of each
-Your favorite cutting ruler (such as a 8.5 x 24 inch)
-Rotary cutter and mat
-Sewing machine set up for piecing

(Finished tri-recs size + 1/2 inch) x (finished tri-recs size + 1/2 inch)
Rectangles= (Finished tri-recs size + 1/2 inch) x (1/2 finished try-recs size + 1 inch)

Goal: 6.5 x 6.5 inch tri-recs unit

Tri-recs Without Specialty Rulers by HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

1) Cut: 2 (two) 7 inch squares and 2 (two) 7 x 4.5 inch rectangles

Tri-recs Without Specialty Rulers by HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

2) Mark the center point of the top edge of each square, then set aside

Tri-recs Without Specialty Rulers by HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

3) place rectangles RIGHT sides together. Then, make 1/2 inch in from lower left corner and upper right corner

Tri-recs Without Specialty Rulers by HollyAnne Knight of String & Story
Tri-recs Without Specialty Rulers by HollyAnne Knight of String & Story
Tri-recs Without Specialty Rulers by HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

4) Line up your ruler diagonally from mark to mark on the rectangles and cut, making two sets of funky triangles that become the "wings" of each tri-recs unit

Tri-recs Without Specialty Rulers by HollyAnne Knight of String & Story
Tri-recs Without Specialty Rulers by HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

5) Sew right "wing" onto the first tri-recs unit by aligning the top corner with the center mark on that square and the lower corner with the lower right corner of the square. Sew 1/4 inch from edge of triangle

Tri-recs Without Specialty Rulers by HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

6) Trim away excess fabric, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press wing up into position

Tri-recs Without Specialty Rulers by HollyAnne Knight of String & Story
Tri-recs Without Specialty Rulers by HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

7) Repeat steps 5 and 6 with the left wing of the tri-recs unit, then trim up block to measure 6.5 inches square. Be sure to center the upper point of the center triangle and leave a 1/4 seam allowance at all points

8) Repeat steps 5-7 with second tri-recs unit

Tri-recs Without Specialty Rulers by HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

Ta-da!! You are now ready to make Dogwood Blossoms or any other tri-recs using pattern without the specialty ruler! I'd love to see your pics if you use this method-- you can tag me in pictures on Facebook and Instagram @stringandstory. Then, when you're ready to quilt your gorgeous top, I want you to quilt with CONFIDENCE. Join me in my FREE, online workshop, Intro to Free Motion Quilting, to learn how. 

Happy quilting!

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Creative Business Resources

Creative Women's League: HollyAnne Knight

Good morning, Creatives!

I have the pleasure today of being Episode 30 on the Creative Women's League podcast. Kate and I talked about my creative journey, our favorite biz resources, and why we think it's foolish to overlook the plentiful opportunities to self-educate on topics like business and marketing. To that end, here are some of my favorite books, podcasts, etc. to teach you how to start, grow, and market your business. I spend 4-6+ hours per day listening to business books and podcasts. I joke with my friends that I'm working on a free, online MBA. But, jokes aside, I take my continuing education and personal development very seriously-- If I am in my sewing room, my car, or my kitchen, school is in session. 

A few guidelines as you begin your self-education journey:

  • Beware of gimmicks. There are no shortcuts-- only opportunities to work smarter and see better results. Building as business is a lot of hard work.
  • Spend money wisely. Right now, you probably don't need the $1000 course (and, perhaps more significantly, you probably don't have a grand lying around to spend on a class). Focus on educational investments that cost less money and more time (i.e.: books, Audible, etc). There is so much available for free-- allow yourself to start there. The course is probably fabulous, but remember that even a $1000 course isn't a magic wand for your biz. 
  • Learn about all the things, but start by just implementing a few. If you try to do all the social media, and a blog, and youtube, and pinterest, and an email list, and ads, and courses, and finance, and and and, then you will overwhelm yourself and burn out fast. Learn about all of it, but just start working on the few things that make the most sense and have the least friction. Just let the rest roll around in your head for awhile. You can add facets of your biz and marketing strategy as you grow in your skill and confidence. 


  • Building a StoryBrand with Donald Miller
  • Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield
  • The Goal Digger Podcast with Jenna Kutcher
  • The Influencer Podcast with Julie Solomon
  • The Creative Women's League with Kate Toney
  • The Dave Ramsey Show (personal finance)
  • The Ken Coleman Show (career development)
  • EntreLeadership (effective leadership-- which I'm finding very insightful even though I don't have a team)
  • How to Be Remarkable
  • Creative Peptalk with Andy J Miller


(These are affiliate links to Amazon)


I love webinars from Donald Miller (5 Minute Marketing Makeover-- delivered to your inbox), Amy Porterfield, Jenna Kutcher, and Julie Solomon. I probably do at least one webinar per month. 

Must Listen

Online Marketing Made Easy #183 by Amy Porterfield: How to Create Your Promotional Calendar. This is my #1 must listen podcast right now because I'm learning to look past next week in my business.

Intro to FMQ Workshop with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

Happy Self-Educating, y'all! If you have more questions about the resources I love to grow my business savvy, you can leave a comment here, email me, or reach out on social media. Speaking of which, you can find me at String & Story on Facebook and @stringandstory on Instagram! And, if you are a quilter who is ready to quilt with confidence, please join me for Intro to Free Motion Quilting: a FREE online workshop! 


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FriYAY Friends

FriYAY Friends :: An Interview with Sheila Chen

FriYAY Friends: An Interview with Sheila Chen

Happy FriYAY Night, my friends!

I don't know about y'all, but there is a margarita at the end of my to do list, and I'm so excited about it! It has been a week full of friendship and collaboration, and I'm thrilled to introduce you to one part of that-- my new friend Sheila Chen. Sheila is an amazing artist, pet portraitist, and illustrator, and she is totally charming. Sheila and I met in a entrepreneurial Facebook group, and I'm so glad we did! Thanks for joining us today, Sheila!

FriYAY Friends: An Interview with Sheila Chen

1) Tell us a little about yourself— your family, hobbies, creative background, etc. I am a military spouse, new to the navy life! Before embarking on this nomadic lifestyle, I graduated from the studio art program in the University of California, San Diego. After graduation, I was an after school art teacher for kids ages 4-18. While teaching to pay the bills, I had dreams of becoming an animator and I was in the process of applying for a masters animation program. However, I had to compromise that future when I realized it was unrealistic for my family’s future. 

FriYAY Friends: An Interview with Sheila Chen

2) How did you get started creating pet portraits? What do you love most about your niche? I started creating pet portraits for the holiday season in the fall of 2017. When I reached my financial goals for the holiday season within the first week of opening commissions, it was clear that this could be a perfect natural progression into a career as an artist. What I love about the pet portrait community is how inclusive and helpful everyone is. I actually took the leap into pet portraits with the encouragement of someone I followed on Instagram! (Kit Gray Illustration). Kit was so warm, so thoughtful, and gave me the best advice to jumpstart my portraits. I also love the obvious benefits of being a pet artist: the most adorable models!!! I am very serious when I tell my clients it’s an absolute honor to paint their fur babies. With two fur babies of my own, I know how important and special it is to have a stranger’s trust to capture their beloved pets.

FriYAY Friends: An Interview with Sheila Chen

3) You also write and illustrate punny children's stories. Tell us more about them and how you bring your words and illustrations together. Writing this all out I am seeing my own pattern of life— I work at a present goal to pay the bills and dream bigger for another set of goals! I suppose that’s what Children’s Book Illustration is for me. It’s a way to satisfy my previous lofty goal of becoming an animator because it’s still story telling, it’s still using art to communicate to the youth. My process for my punny book series includes writing out fun puns that make me giggle by myself, incorporating the many beautiful souls that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing in my life, and mixing it all together with research and sketches. I like creating concept art before the story comes together to get a sense of the world and give that single book a unique aesthetic.

FriYAY Friends: An Interview with Sheila Chen

4) How is creative community important to your work? The creative community is my foundation. I am SO grateful for my creative pack of artists, art enthusiasts, old friends from my childhood and new friends from social media. They’re my honest critique group, my cheerleaders, and my own creative little family! We share logistics, problems, and heart of heart conversations to make sure we’re always aiming for what is true to our core self. I cannot stress enough how important it is to surround yourself with those who not only lift you up, but you want to lift up too.

FriYAY Friends: An Interview with Sheila Chen

5) What advice do you have for other makers on their creative journeys?  The best advice I can give is to DO THE WORK! So often we are our worst enemies and our inner critic wins the arguements. I find that when I am in doubt, I just need to remind myself to do the work and the negative thoughts go away. Whether it is getting paints out, put pencil to paper, or just sit with a planner and plan the next hour/day/week— do something that helps you inch closer towards your goal. 

FriYAY Friends: An Interview with Sheila Chen

 Sheila, your work is breathtaking! Y'all be sure to check out Sheila's work on Instagram @sheilachenart and consider having your fur babies memorialized in her gorgeous work! 

I would also love to connect with you on Instagram, and you can find me (and my own crazy fur babies) @stringandstory.  If you are a quilter who is ready to start quilting with confidence, be sure to check out my FREE online class, Intro to Free Motion Quilting

Happy Weekending!

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