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Thread: Half Square Triangle/Tips for more perfect

  1. #1
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    Half Square Triangle/Tips for more perfect

    I just abandoned a quilt project that was all half-square triangles made from pre-cut 5" squares. I used the drawn line method and all was well until assembly took place and some points were off. Now if these were all the same size, is that supposed to happen? Is accuracy hard to achieve w/ these and if so, what do you do to maximize accuracy with those points? I read a little bit online and it seems many make them larger to start with and then later trim to size. Is that step i missed that would've yielded better results?

    mea
    mea

  2. #2
    Super Member Abby'smom's Avatar
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    I have had good luck making four 6 1/2 inch hsts from a 9 1/2 square (got tutorial from QB here) -- the secret seems to be accurate cutting of squares, using starch and pressing, accurate sewing of 1/4 inch seams, accurate cutting of diagonals, and then pressing the seams -- mine have come out fairly well -- I made a carpenter's wheel and a flyfoot in large blocks and was pleased with the results -- I wanted something easy and liked the idea of 4 hsts from one square -- good luck!!
    diane

  3. #3
    Super Member Abby'smom's Avatar
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    Someone posted a chart for making 4 smaller hsts from a square -- starching before may have helped too -- sometimes things just don't work out like planned!!
    diane

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    When making HST's from squares, you want to allow at least 7/8" "loss, I always allow an inch. So if I want for example to have a 4" HST, I would cut my squares 5". You can do the same "method" for quarter square triangles, except you need to add 1 1/2".

  5. #5
    Member BryeLynn's Avatar
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    I find that precuts are never accurate - I always get better results when I cut the squares myself. I know that a lot of tutorials out there recommend making them bigger and trimming them down. I have never had a issue - I use the drawn method. Your issue was probably with the pre-cut.
    Don't wait for inspiration to get started - get to work and the inspiration will come.

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    Senior Member Toni C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BryeLynn View Post
    I find that precuts are never accurate - I always get better results when I cut the squares myself. I know that a lot of tutorials out there recommend making them bigger and trimming them down. I have never had a issue - I use the drawn method. Your issue was probably with the pre-cut.
    That's my thought. I have found precuts very often are varying in size

  7. #7
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    try cutting some five inch sqs and making hst's and see if they are much better. if so, it's the pre-cut ones that are at fault. if you trimmed, you must always lay the 45 degree line on the seam before trimming, turn the block, line up again and trim more on the other sides if necessary.

  8. #8
    Senior Member batikmystique's Avatar
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    I have not had good luck using pre-cuts and find that cutting my hsts down from a larger block work out the best. I will also add that it is just not the pre-cut squares that can be off. The jelly rolls are notorious. It's unfortunate because the reason so many of us buy the pre-cuts is to save time and fabric waste. So, if you have a pattern that is forgiving, pre-cuts are great...otherwise reconsider, avoid frustration and buy fabric off the bolt.
    Creative clutter is better than idle neatness.

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    Untill I started using the "make larger block, trim to size needed", HST were nothing but frustration for me. It's the only way now for me.

  10. #10
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    i find that even with an accurate consistent square to start with i must use the scant 1/4" for accurate results. Otherwise they are too small

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    OH thank you everyone for helping me!! If I could tackle this again, I probably wouldn't. Now I know to not use pre-cuts for this sort of thing and to starch more and square up using a 45" angle line. In future I will make my own squares cut a bit larger than i need. SO helpful! THANK YOU!
    mea

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    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    My best ruler addition is the Quilt In A Day triangle square up ruler. ONE cut to square up. It is great. It is fast and easy and everyone I have shown it to goes out and buys one.
    I think Eleanor Burns has a demo on her web site.

  13. #13
    Super Member kateyb's Avatar
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    I don't buy pre-cuts so I have never had a problem with HST's. I use the method described by pocoellie. It works well for me.

  14. #14
    Senior Member judi_lynne's Avatar
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    I have tried making them larger and cutting them down, but somehow I manage to screw that up too I'm going to try the starch method next time. Thanks for all the tips ladies! I'm also going to check out the Eleanor Burns ruler!
    Judi

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    Quote Originally Posted by mea12 View Post
    I just abandoned a quilt project that was all half-square triangles made from pre-cut 5" squares. I used the drawn line method and all was well until assembly took place and some points were off. Now if these were all the same size, is that supposed to happen? Is accuracy hard to achieve w/ these and if so, what do you do to maximize accuracy with those points? I read a little bit online and it seems many make them larger to start with and then later trim to size. Is that step i missed that would've yielded better results?

    mea
    I always make them bigger and trim down to size. I also invested in the Bloc Loc rulers. Love these rulers!

  16. #16
    Super Member Aurora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandy l View Post
    Untill I started using the "make larger block, trim to size needed", HST were nothing but frustration for me. It's the only way now for me.
    Me too! I just add 1/4" to the size of the original squares. Also, one other trick a guild member told me is to just stitch a hair north of the stitch line (this really helps me with my HST's).
    Aurora

    "A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot." -Robert A. Heinlein

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    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    I've found the most important rule for me was to make sure the 45 deg line on your square up is totally on, then cut to size. If either of the ends is off a hair, it'll make the hst off in piecing.

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    Tiger Tape. Works absolutely wonderfully.

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    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    I have this ruler and LOVE it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rose Marie View Post
    My best ruler addition is the Quilt In A Day triangle square up ruler. ONE cut to square up. It is great. It is fast and easy and everyone I have shown it to goes out and buys one.
    I think Eleanor Burns has a demo on her web site.

  20. #20
    Super Member piepatch's Avatar
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    I make the HST's bigger than needed, then cut them to size.

  21. #21
    Super Member piepatch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by judi_lynne View Post
    I have tried making them larger and cutting them down, but somehow I manage to screw that up too I'm going to try the starch method next time. Thanks for all the tips ladies! I'm also going to check out the Eleanor Burns ruler!
    Yes, be sure to starch!

  22. #22
    Senior Member Judi in Ohio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mea12 View Post
    OH thank you everyone for helping me!! If I could tackle this again, I probably wouldn't. Now I know to not use pre-cuts for this sort of thing and to starch more and square up using a 45" angle line. In future I will make my own squares cut a bit larger than i need. SO helpful! THANK YOU!
    There are many, many ways to make hst and qst. I have Triangulations software which is the bomb. You print out what size you need, put the pattern on top of your two fabrics which are face to face. Sew on the lines. Perfect hst. There's also Sewlingo?? - don't know if that name is right, and there are some hst you can get from the computer - just google. I am in the middle of making an Ocean Waves that requires 3,000 2" hst - yes 3,000. I bet I have more made. We had a charm square swap so I tried the 5" charm squares folded in half, & half again, sewed on the lines, sewed in half again and again, and cut on these lines. I got 8 hst this way. I like scrappy quilts so I decided that I would use no more than 6 of the same color combo in my hst, so the triangulations papers got cut up to smaller sizes. It still made 12, so I put 6 in one box to use in OW and 6 in another box to swap at some time or use in another quilt. We also did a hst swap that I got some goodies from. The wondercut ruler was the only ruler I've used that did not work well for me. I'm sure it was user error, but I look at the quilt I made with those hst and I grit my teeth - it's my screen saver no less. I love hst. Just play around and enjoy.
    Judi in Ohio

  23. #23
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    Squaring up on the 45 degree angle is the way to go. But I was making Boston Blocks (or Triple Triangle) and forgot about the OTHER 45 degree angle. So I didn't allow for the 1/4 in. on the third corner. : (
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  24. #24
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    My new favorite way to make HSTs is using this ruler. It's fast and simple. No bias edges either. http://www.ct-publishing.com/pdfs/20182.pdf if I don't have the Go die for the size I need I use this ruler.
    Got fabric?

  25. #25
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    I found that using a "square up ruler" is the key...I make 3,1/2" HST's all the time..my fav size to use. But also..I find that cutting the squares in the first place...just a tiny tad bigger...I line up the 3,1/2" line and then move it in that tiny tad just past the line..and then cut. I think that pressing the rotary cutter down pulls the fabric just that tiny tad of a bit, that makes a huge issue later on that you are having. Then...I draw the line, and sew..I use a seam guide as my pressure foot isn't exact..and then set seams and open and press...pressing hte seams first is a big help as it sets the threads flat and straight for opening...just think about it..those threads make loops which are round...and if they are not pressed flat...they can move and get crooked...again, just a tiny tad, but enough in quilting to make a difference. Then...use the square up ruler. and the points come out fine. Quilters have to remember ....a little here, a little there...means a WHOLE LOT later!

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