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Thread: 6 1/2 unfinished half square triangle blocks

  1. #1
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    6 1/2 unfinished half square triangle blocks

    I need clarification on a pattern I am starting. It says that the unfinished half square triangle blocks should be 6 1/2 inches. Can anyone tell me what size block I should cut? I have only made one other quilt with half square triangles, and it told me what size to cut my blocks.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. It is called Quick and Easy Carpenter Star.

    Dina

  2. #2
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Okay, I finally found the right place to google, and it said to add one inch to the desired finished size. So I will cut 7 inch squares, since I assume the actual finished half square triangle will be 6 inches. I sure hope this is right.

    Dina

  3. #3
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    If you use the method where you sew two lines 1/4" from the center then the "official" recommendation is Finished Size of the HST + 7/8" I find that too tight and use Finished Size + 1" to square my HSTs.

    So in your case, the finished size would be 6" + 1" = 7" You were correct.

  4. #4
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    It depends on which method your using? Are you getting one or two from the squares? I bought a hst tool last year and its fantastic. It's called the angler I think, but it's great!
    *Rachel*

  5. #5
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Thanks! Yes, I use the method where I sew two seams 1/4 inch each from the center. Thanks, Martina.

    Rachel, I saw that tool demonstrated at our last quilt meeting. Then my sister showed me one that she uses that is different. Perhaps I am ready for a tool, but I wish I had gotten a better look at the one from the guild. She held it up and showed us samples, but I didn't get my hands on it. I am a very visual person and need to hold an object in my hand before I really "get it."

    Thanks again, to each of you.

    Dina

  6. #6
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    You should cut your first squares at 7 & 1/2" square to make your unfinished HSTs at 6 & 1/2" (finished at 6").....but then you likely will need to trim them down to the exact 6 & 1/2" size. Everyone's 1/4" seam allowance is a bit different so this method of starting at 1 inch larger than you need is a good method of being sure you will end up with an accurate HST.

    You don't "need " a tool to make HSTs; just don't forget the trimming!

    Jan in VA
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  7. #7
    Senior Member AudreyB's Avatar
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    For a 6" finished block you want a 6-1/2" block. If you are drawing a diagonal line and sewing 1/4" on each side of the line, you want to add 7/8" to the block size (6-1/2 + 7/8) if your 1'4" seams are accurate. I find it better (not only for accuracy but mathematically) to add 1" and then trim to the desired size. That means for a 6-1/2" block you will cut 7-1/2" squares.
    AudreyB
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  8. #8
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    What about how you take a square of each color placed right sides together and sew 1/4 inch all around the outside of the the square and then cut down the middle corner to corner making and x? What size of square do you need to make the resulting 4 HSTs if you want a 10 1/2 inch or a 8 1/2 inch ? I saw this on YouTube but could figure out the size of the square. Thank you in and advance for the help.

  9. #9
    Super Member Quiltngolfer's Avatar
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    You will need 2- 7 1/2 inch squares. Place them right sides together. Draw a diagonal line across the light square. Stitch 1/4 inch on each side of the line. Cut on drawn line. You will have 2 half square triangles. Square them up to 6 1/2 inches.

  10. #10
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    I think the "preferred" way to make HST is to add 7/8" to the FINISHED size of the block you want. So you want to start with 6 7/8" block. Sew line corner to corner, stitch 1/4" from center line, cut and wala! 2 HST blocks measuring 6 1/2" unfinished, 6" finished. I actually use a ruler by Cindy Casciato called "Migicle Triangle Method Tool". With this tool you cut fabric +1" instead of + 7/8", mark lines, sew and cut. Block is perfect every time since the tool allows for the 1/8" extra. Personally I do not like to over make block and then try to center and cut down.
    "In the crazy quilt of life, I'm glad you are in my block of friends."

  11. #11
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    For future ideas -- I use the Nifty Notions HST ruler. You cut a strip then just flip flop the ruler making only 1 cut as you go. I would look for you tube videos. It saves on fabric because there is very little waste. It was designed by Kaye England.
    Cheryl Robinson
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  12. #12
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    There are several methods for making HSTs. Quilt in a Day has a Triangle Square Up ruler that I like, because you square the HSTs after you cut but before you press open, so you only have to trim 2 sides. June Tailor also has a Shape Cut type tool for marking, cutting and trimming HSTs. Then there are Thangles or Triangulations or a product that is on roll, where you cut and layer fabric strips, then sew using marked paper strips. The finished HSTs are usually very nice, there's no trimming, but you have to tear the paper away.

  13. #13
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    I usually cut the square bigger than the pattern says, just in case my seams aren't exact. For me it is easier to cut the finished block down to size than to come up short and start over.
    http://www.oregonquilting.net
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  14. #14
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Okay, thanks everyone. You have all been really helpful!!

    Dina

  15. #15
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    When I first started quilting, I was told to add 7/8" to the square, draw a diagonal line, then sew 1/4" on either side. However, depending on the position of the moon and the stars (just kidding). Now I add 1" to the finished size, so if you are making a 6 1/2" HST, I would cut 7" square, sew on either side of a drawn line across, cut, then I would trip to 6 1/2", it's an extra step, however, the accuracy of my piecing has improved with this method. The same is true of my blocks, I make sure I square them up to the unfinished size. I hope this helps and I hope I haven't confused you.

  16. #16
    Senior Member AlaskaAlice's Avatar
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    Jan, it is great to see you back on the board!! Hope you are doing well!!

  17. #17
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    To: love to sew --- I found this info online today but don't remember where from. I only saved the information. This will make four 1/2 square triangles from each two pieces sewn together. Hope this helps...

    If you know whatsize your HST should be then use this to find what size the beginning squareneeds to be: >>
    HSTsize/0.64 = beginning square size>>

  18. #18
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    If you want them to be exact with no trimming, cut 6 7/8 but your seams will have to be perfectly sewn, otherwise cut 7 inch squares, sew and trim to 6 1/2 inches.
    GeeGee

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