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Thread: HST questions

  1. #1
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I see lots of patterns that I want to make and am thinking that I could do quite a few without buying the actual pattern. Then I start thinking about the HST and am not sure the best way to start. I know about laying the two squares together, marking the line and then sewing on either side. It is the starting measurement that I am not sure about. Is it slightly bigger than what I want for a finished block? If I want a 4-1/2" HST block, are my starting squares 4-1/2", or bigger? Do you lose a bit because of the technique of sewing first then cutting?

  2. #2
    Senior Member kathyd's Avatar
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    I believe most times you add 7/8" to the starting square but I add a full inch and then trim my HST to the correct size.
    So for a 4 1/2" HST square I would start with a 5 1/2" square, draw the diagonal, sew 1/4" each side of line. Cut, press and square-up to 4 1/2".
    Do other agree with this?
    kathyd

  3. #3
    MTS
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    The exact formula for the starting squares is the FINISHED desired size of the block PLUS 7/8" .

    I prefer to add 1.25", make the HST's, and then trim the block down to the UNFINISHED size.

    For example, if you need a 4.5" FINISHED HST block, you cut two squares that are 5.75", make the HST's, and then trim the 2 blocks down to 5" UNFINISHED.

    @Kathy- you would trim down to 5" (the unfinished size).
    Otherwise, it's the same concept. I just like the little extra to work with.

  4. #4
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I do as MTS said except I add 1 inch. 1.25 inches would probably be better because I always get a few that are too skimpy.

  5. #5
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter
    I do as MTS said except I add 1 inch. 1.25 inches would probably be better because I always get a few that are too skimpy.
    And, mind you, the 1.25" is just an arbitrary number I picked. Anything over an inch should give you enough wiggle room to work out any irregularities in cutting and sewing.

    And the pressing is really important. You want to make sure that the block is flat as wallpaper, and that there are no creases or tucks or pleats along the seam. Don't attack the seam, because you don't want to distort it, but flatten that sucker down. :mrgreen:

  6. #6
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    Thanks for this info. I was wondering the same thing. Ya'll are so helpful!

  7. #7
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I think maybe I need to refresh in my mind exactly what are the differences between finished and unfinished when talking about blocks. When I think of a finished block, I think of one that is ready to be sewn to another, but I am not sure that is what you are saying. I am confused.

  8. #8
    MTS
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    That's exactly the definition of a FINISHED block measurement - the size once it's sewn into the quilt.

    So if, as in your op, you wanted/needed HST blocks that were FINISHED 4.5" that would mean 5" UNFINISHED.

    As I said upthread, the formula is the FINISHED size plus 7/8" (or 1.25 for comfort).

    You make the HST's, and then trim them down to the UNFINISHED size so you can sew them into the quilt.

    Where they will be 4.5" FINISHED.

  9. #9
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    gotcha!...thank you so much....I know when I have questions that I can always come here to get the answers....so many great quilters willing to help a fellow quilter in need....what a great place this is!

  10. #10
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye Rose
    I think maybe I need to refresh in my mind exactly what are the differences between finished and unfinished when talking about blocks. When I think of a finished block, I think of one that is ready to be sewn to another, but I am not sure that is what you are saying. I am confused.
    It's very easy to get this confused. Remember you are dealing with patches & blocks. Basically I think of the finished measurement as taken when ALL SIDES of the object are sewn down, and there are no more raw edges. Usually you think of all 4 sides of a square. So a BLOCK isn't finished until you sew it into the quilt top, but the center square piece in a 9 patch is the finished size before the block is added to the quilt because there are no raw edges left.

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