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HST or QST and bias edges

HST or QST and bias edges

Old 11-03-2014, 06:18 AM
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Question HST or QST and bias edges

The November Craftsy workshop has us making half-square triangles, but the description and pics of how to make them make me think they're actually quarter-square triangles. What do you guys think...... we have to put 2 squares right sides together then sew all around the perimeter, then make 2 diagonal cuts to end up with what she calls "4 HSTs."

Apart from my questioning the name of these (HST or QST), is there any way to avoid all those bias edges that the above method would result in? I thought there was another method, but I'm drawing a complete blank--maybe I imagined it.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:48 AM
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You can fuse an X of stabilizer across the square before cutting. The bias edges will not stretch at all.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:06 AM
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Yes, that is a method of creating 4 HSTs from 2 squares. You have hit upon the issue: bias edges. Many people don't have an issue with this, but I'm not one of them! You can create the same HST, by looking at the FINISHED block (all sewn into the quilt) and figuring out the size of the HST in that block. Cut 2 squares 1" larger than the finished size. Draw a diagonal line, then sew 1/4" on either side of the line, then cut on the line. Open, press then trim down too the finished size +1/2" for seam allowance. This makes 2 HST, so you will need to cut twice as many squares as the pattern indicates because the craftsy method yields 4.

so lets say the HST in the finished block measures 5". Cut two 6" squares, sew, press then trim down to 5 1/2".
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:42 AM
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They're called HSTs because when the block is done, it's two triangles sewn into a square; ergo "half square triangles". Quarter-square triangles are when the triangles take up a quarter of the square of the finished block.

When making anything with triangles, I usually starch the snot out of the fabric before cutting it. That tames the bias.

The method you might be thinking of is to cut your original squares on the bias (so your squares are on point), but you still have to be careful when handling them and sewing around the perimeter. I find it's just easier to starch.

Last edited by Peckish; 11-03-2014 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:53 AM
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As Peckish said, starch it until it pretty much becomes card stock and the bias won't be a problem. You couldn't stretch the edges of my HST with a ratchet strap.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:15 AM
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An alternate method is to mark and sew 1/4" each side of center diagonals. No bias involved. Most of us cut the squares just a little larger and trim each after separating them.

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Old 11-03-2014, 08:57 AM
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Wow! Thanks, everyone. Starch (I use Best Press) seems like a great idea. Would I use it before stitching around the perimeter, or just some time before actually making my diagonal cuts? Or does it even matter?

Thanks again.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:15 AM
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I won't use that method that leaves all the bias edges. I know I can starch them up but I hate babysitting them so I'd rather use a regular method.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:55 PM
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I am not a fan of biased edges either, but seeing Jenny (MSQ) uses it for all of her HST, I decided to give it a try. I wanted to do the DHG, and I have to say it IS quick, but I had to take care with the edges. I did not starch, but did steam only the seams, being very careful NOT to extend the pressing to the edges. It does make doing a block very quick, and with patience, I think that I could get used to this method!
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter View Post
As Peckish said, starch it until it pretty much becomes card stock and the bias won't be a problem. You couldn't stretch the edges of my HST with a ratchet strap.
HAHAHA LISA Now that's a stiff HST
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