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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Half-Square Triangles...HSTs

Peg's comment, "One of my bug-a-boos is those *** triangles - somehow they always end up out of square!! Got any tips?" 

Well, I don't think any of this is new, but I'll show you what I did for my November block. This may be new to someone...

I cut out two 2+7/8" squares of fabrics.
Then I draw a line, corner to corner.
Then I stitch a scant  1/4" seam from the line on one side...
... and another "scant"  1/4" seam on the other side of the line.
I end up with this...
I cut on the drawn line, and have two triangles...
It is very important to set the seams with the iron at this point. Doing this sets the stitch line into the fabric, which aids in a finished crisp seam. 
 At many retreats, I see a lot of quilters omit this step.

Then I open the triangle, iron a nice crisp seam, and I have one of two HSTs. I check to make sure I haven't ironed a fold in close to the seam, which would reduce the size of the HST.
Now I check to see if I've got the proper 2+1/2" finished HST.
 You can see I have a tad to cut off. This is because I used a scant 1/4". It is better to have some to trim off at this point, than to be short... I make sure my diagonal line on my ruler is on my seam line before I cut...

My trimmed HST. Oops! My ruler shifted when I grabbed my camera, and didn't notice till my photos were on the comp...
... and here is the 2+1/2" HST.
Sewing the two HSTs together... 
 I made sure my seam was just shy of a 1/4". When you have a lot of pieces like this in a block, you can easily loose 1/8" to 1/2" in your finished block.

Two joined HSTs... Measures 2+1/2" x 5+1/2"...
 In this sample I used two 2+7/8" squares, to end up with two 2+1/2" HST sections, like in my November block.

There was a lot of dense seams/intersections on that block, so it is equally important on how you direct the seams while sewing. and then pressing, so the block lays as flat as possible and hopefully end up the correct size... I lucked out on this block!
 In my September block, I started off with two 4+7/8" to get two 4+1/2" HSTs.

In this October block I started off with two 3+7/8" to get two 3+1/2" HSTs.

I hope this info is helpful to some of you quilting blog readers...

Happy stitchings...
Myra

5 comments:

Karen said...

Good tips.

The Quilted Finish ph 02 63310084 said...

Really helpful. Love the picture of the back of your block showing how you managed the way the seams lay. I often have trouble deciding how to do this. Thanks.

aubirdwoman said...

excellent. I do all of these, including setting the seam, I also iron out using the very edge of the iron. And always light press, not an 'iron the hubbies shirts sort of iron'
thanks for visiting. I love your envelops bag.

Julie said...

I love making these. There are so many combinations you can put them in.

Peg said...

Thanks Myra - this is really helpful Blessings, Peg