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Thread: 1/2 square triangles - what should I do?

  1. #1
    pal
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    1/2 square triangles - what should I do?

    Our Quilting Club is making a mystery quilt using 144 1/2 sq.triangles, making a 4 1/2" square. Mine stink - close but not quite......

    Should I try to use them? Or should I cut them all down to 4" and make a smaller quilt?

    What's the worse thing that can happen if I use them and juggle this way and that? Precision is really not a part of my life, so if it comes out "not too bad" or just "looking good" that would be fine.

    Thanks for any help you can give me.
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    Well, with a mystery quilt we don't know if everything will trim down and work or not. If all parts are now made/cut and work with the square math (as opposed to rectangle math) it would be just fine to trim down and make them consistent. Sometimes it will, sometimes you think it will and then you cut the offending block in half and that takes out any flexibility you may have had.

    I'd go with it as good enough if you can. I'm not impressed with my workmanship on my current project but nobody but me knows what the back looks like!

    As I deal with my vision issues I prefer to make large and cut down for precision. Also, I work quite fast and slicing and dicing is easier for me than trying to get my eyes to work on slow and careful.

    If I had to exchange blocks with other people, I would do them again. For me, it's rare I redo. One of my recent projects was quarter-square blocks made from pre-cut 6" squares. Yeah, most of them worked just fine but when I ran out of 6" squares and used 6.5" squares and trimmed them down I was much happier.
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  3. #3
    pal
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    Thank you, Iceblossom. I used my favorite fabrics so I don't want to lose them. Wish I'd cut them larger than needed and cut them down but was too anxious to start the project and didn't really think it through. Another learning experience.....(wish I didn't always have to learn the Hard Way!)
    PACE - Positive Attitude Changes Everything

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    mim
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    Somehow -- no matter how carefully I do, some end up not quite right. I've learned the hard way to make large and cut to size. I have square rulers that make it easier. Good to know that I'm not alone

  5. #5
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    Karen Brown from Just Get It Done just published a YouTube video on HSTs. Maybe that will help you in your struggle with precision.

  6. #6
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    Are they all too small? If I had done a few and they were not coming out the correct size, I would take them apart, move my needle over one click and check the size agin. If that did the trick, I would take apart the others and do the same. If it is a mystery quilt, chances are cutting them down may effect the overall design. Can you ask the person in charge of the mystery if cutting them down will effect the pattern?

  7. #7
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    In my experience with HST close but not quite can still work. If they are only 1/8" off or so I would say go ahead and use them paying close attention to scant 1/4" seam allowance. You may end up with a few chopped points or floating points but if you are ok with that go for it. I fear cutting them down they won't line up with other units in the mystery.

  8. #8
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    If the HSTs are only a little skimpy, make a template for the "finished size" - draw around it on the skimpy unit. Line up the seam lines with the other unit, stitch on seam lines. If my fabric is "sturdy" - I can live with scant seams .

    If the fabric is flimsy, sleazy, or ravelly, or ununwashed, using skimpy seam allowances is just asking for problems.
    Last edited by bearisgray; 11-08-2019 at 11:03 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pal View Post
    Our Quilting Club is making a mystery quilt using 144 1/2 sq.triangles, making a 4 1/2" square. Mine stink - close but not quite......
    I would ask the mystery quilt organizer if the smaller HST would work. If not and if you can't squeeze a bit more size out of them, save them for another project and make new ones! I've no doubt you could come up with something fun with them.

    But I hope they work out for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeresaA View Post
    I would ask the mystery quilt organizer if the smaller HST would work. If not and if you can't squeeze a bit more size out of them, save them for another project and make new ones! I've no doubt you could come up with something fun with them.
    This is what I would suggest, too.

  11. #11
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    There are many techniques for making HST's. Maybe you haven't hit on the right one for you.

  12. #12
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    Try Thangles or Triangles on a Roll the next time you have to make HST's. They work great and save time of squaring up.

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    I just finished my first half square triangle quilt. I bought the Tucker Trimmer Tool large size. This helps you square up the sections before you sew then together. I consider this a must have tool for half square triangles. With this method you make your half square triangles bigger than you need., then you trim them with the tool.The I also pressed to opposing sides so the pieces would nest together.

  14. #14
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I’ve tried a lot of different ways but I’ve learned that it works best for me to make them a little bigger and trim down with a ruler with a 45 degree line. I’ve dodged on occasion and this usually works.
    Alyce

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    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    For doing the "stitch 1/4" both sides of the diagonal center line" using a square (which gives you 2 HSTs) , I always add 1.4" to the beginning size of the square and trim after sewing.
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    Over the years I've gotten used to the fact that my blocks are usually a hair too small, even though I have a 1/4" foot. I think it's not the sewing but my cutting. As I age, I seem to cut less precisely due to eyesight issues. Knowing that, I sometimes sew blocks oversized and cut them to size, but often I just "fudge to fit." Usually, it comes out OK.

  17. #17
    Super Member WMUTeach's Avatar
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    One thing that I frequently do is if I get a lot of squares that are slightly off I will frame them with an appropriate fabric and use them for something else. This may not be the solution for your mystery quilt project but it would put the squares to use and allow them to become UFO's.

    If it is the HST that are off, make them slightly over sized and then cut them down to the perfect sized called for in the pattern. If it is the 4 1/2 squares that are off, you many want to check you seam width. You might need to sew a "scant" 1/4 inch seam rather than your normal seam.

    I like HST but I have learned over time to start larger and then cut down. Yes, it adds a step but the finish is much better. I know my skills AKA my lack of precision. I am working on it and over time, getting better.

  18. #18
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    Have they all been squared up? Not squaring a clock up leaves them looking terrible.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Pagzz's Avatar
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    If you are aware that they are just a bit smaller, you can compensate when they are incorporated into the quilt. Ideally if a skimpy hst is paired with a square make sure the square is the correct size and move the hst into centered on the square - the seam would be normal for the square, and skimpy for the hst
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    Super Member tuckyquilter's Avatar
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    If I understand your post, each person is making a Mystery Quilt. And your blocks will only go on your quilt correct? If this is correct, then just make sure you make all the blocks the same size. Consistency will be your friend in this case.

    However if your blocks will be incorporated into a group quilt, then they should remain the size stated.
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  21. #21
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    If this is a mystery quilt - life might be easier making the HST units the size suggested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pagzz View Post
    If you are aware that they are just a bit smaller, you can compensate when they are incorporated into the quilt. Ideally if a skimpy hst is paired with a square make sure the square is the correct size and move the hst into centered on the square - the seam would be normal for the square, and skimpy for the hst
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    This would work if the HST fabrics are "sturdy" enough to not pull apart with a skimpy/scant seam allowance.

    If making a mystery quilt - i think making/using the HST units as the "suggested size" would probably make the construction of the quilt easier.

  23. #23
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    Pal: I think you need to check with the organizer. I am working on a pattern I bought from a very well known quilting teacher and the pattern does not work. Her dimensions are too small. I have gotten help from ladies I quilt with that have 40 years experience because I thought it must be me. It is not and this part it in the middle of the block and the three outside borders will not work if each block is not correct in size. I am one that will now make up a block first before I cut all my fabric. I would never have dreamt that a pattern from this person would not work.

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