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Thread: Trimming half square triangles?

  1. #1
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    I'm getting ready to do a quilt with half square triangles. I like the method where I sew a square twice, cut, press, and have 2 triangles. My cuts are going to be 5 7/8", finishing at 5"

    What I've seen suggested is to cut 6" rather than 5 7/8" and then trim down. What I'm wondering is assuming I do that, when I go to trim them, can I just line up the center on my 45 deg line and cut from there? (I would be exposing top and side of the block, and cutting both at once). Do I need to worry about bottom and other side?

    I did something else where I needed to line up the center point at the middle of the ruler size, and carefully cut to keep it even and I had to rotate it a few times. I *think* that for a half square triangle, as long as I'm on the 45 deg line, it shouldn't matter, and I shouldn't need to worry about getting the center exactly centered on the ruler to trim, but I'm just not sure....

  2. #2
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    I never seem to be able to get my HSTs to come out perfect, so I always make them just the bit larger and trim to size. For me, I'm just so much happier with the product it is well worth the time it takes.

    Once you have the HSTs, you press open then just line up on the diagonal and trim. The first time trim as little as possible, rotate the block and make sure it is lined up on your 5 inch mark, then trim to size. I put painters tape on my ruler where I need to line up, just makes it a bit easier for me.

  3. #3
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    It seems to work for me by using the diagonal line. If I have a square the right size, I like to use it but if not a regular ruler will work, too.

  4. #4
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    I always trim using the center "cross hair" seams as my quide. I know that if I want a 5 inch FINISHED square I have to trim it to 5 1/2 so from center to one side is going to be 2 3/4inches so I line the center vert. and horiz. lines up with 2 3/4 and then trim two sides (top and side). turn and do the same thing for the other two sides and I end up with a 5 1/2 inch square.

  5. #5
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    I have always squared mine up just like Grammy P--line up the diagonal, trim two sides, rotate, trim the other two sides.

    I just bought Eleanor Burn's ruler for squaring up HST and am anxious to use it. Before you press your block open, you line up the seam and trim. Then when you press the block open it is trimmed and the correct size.

    This is what it looks like-- http://www.quiltinaday.com/shoponlin...p?i=1087&page=

  6. #6
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I have been using El Burns triangle square up ruler for a long time. It is the best investment I ever made. Got it at Joanns with a coupon.
    You only make one cut to square up any size up to 6 1/2 inches. Place the ruler on the stitch line before opening and line up with one edge and cut the other. Perfect HST every time.
    I also use her method for making 8 HSTs at a time and whip them out very fast.

  7. #7
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    HAHA, maybe thats why I do it the hard way because I don't have that handy dandy square it up ruler. I might just have to invest in one.

  8. #8
    Super Member nursie76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose Marie
    I have been using El Burns triangle square up ruler for a long time. It is the best investment I ever made. Got it at Joanns with a coupon.
    You only make one cut to square up any size up to 6 1/2 inches. Place the ruler on the stitch line before opening and line up with one edge and cut the other. Perfect HST every time.
    I also use her method for making 8 HSTs at a time and whip them out very fast.
    I just got the Elanor Burns Square up ruler. I have a problem knowing what size to square the triangle to to get the right sized block, but I will continue to work on that. How does she make 8 at once? I have normally stayed away from HST because I never like the results, but would love any suggestions.

  9. #9
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    I really like E. B.square up ruler. I can make 8 at a time,if needed, very easily.
    It is the ony way I seem to be able to get good results.I used to get very upset when I tried to make hsts and they were uneven or not the right size.

  10. #10
    Super Member LoisN's Avatar
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    I was being "brain dead" in a workshop and the instructor gave me a tip. Since I am right-handed, I needed to put the 1/2 square triangle on the cutting board with the diagonal oriented from the lower left to upper right. Then my ruler lined up correctly. Duh!!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcia
    I have always squared mine up just like Grammy P--line up the diagonal, trim two sides, rotate, trim the other two sides.

    I just bought Eleanor Burn's ruler for squaring up HST and am anxious to use it. Before you press your block open, you line up the seam and trim. Then when you press the block open it is trimmed and the correct size.

    This is what it looks like-- http://www.quiltinaday.com/shoponlin...p?i=1087&page=
    I second, or third, or fourth the use of this ruler :) It's GREAT!

  12. #12
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Since the corner bits have to be trimmed from both opposite corners, I find it easier (and cleaner) to trim all four sides. The amount I trim depends on how clean the HST is and at times one turn might just shave off a hair.

  13. #13
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justwannaquilt
    I always trim using the center "cross hair" seams as my quide. I know that if I want a 5 inch FINISHED square I have to trim it to 5 1/2 so from center to one side is going to be 2 3/4inches so I line the center vert. and horiz. lines up with 2 3/4 and then trim two sides (top and side). turn and do the same thing for the other two sides and I end up with a 5 1/2 inch square.
    :oops: LMAO!

    OH MY! I got up way to early this morning (went to bed at 2 up with the middle child at 4) Here I am talking about trimming PINWHEELS and everyone else is talking about trimming HST! lol Pinwheels are HST though right.

    From now on I PROMISE not to post prior to a nap if I have gotten up that early! :oops:

  14. #14
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter
    It seems to work for me by using the diagonal line. If I have a square the right size, I like to use it but if not a regular ruler will work, too.
    this is how I make mine too...no trimming

  15. #15
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justwannaquilt

    :oops: LMAO!

    OH MY! I got up way to early this morning (went to bed at 2 up with the middle child at 4) Here I am talking about trimming PINWHEELS and everyone else is talking about trimming HST! lol Pinwheels are HST though right.

    From now on I PROMISE not to post prior to a nap if I have gotten up that early! :oops:
    Hahaha, I was wondering about that, but I figured you're the expert so you must know :) I've trimmed blocks like you're describing, which is why I wasn't sure if HST needed that much care and attention as well.

  16. #16
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    And thank you all so much for your feedback and ideas - it really helps!

  17. #17
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    On my way out the door to get one of those rulers!!!

  18. #18
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    Beachlady, Did you go and buy you that ruler?

    Karen

  19. #19
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    Just left crafty bear - not to the store yet. LOL

  20. #20
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcia
    I have always squared mine up just like Grammy P--line up the diagonal, trim two sides, rotate, trim the other two sides.

    I just bought Eleanor Burn's ruler for squaring up HST and am anxious to use it. Before you press your block open, you line up the seam and trim. Then when you press the block open it is trimmed and the correct size.

    This is what it looks like-- http://www.quiltinaday.com/shoponlin...p?i=1087&page=
    I have that ruler. Wish this thread had been a couple of weeks ago when I had a kazillion 2 1/2 HST that I trimmed the hard way.

  21. #21
    Junior Member marybs's Avatar
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    I just found the instructions for 8 hst. This will come in handy when I finally get up the nerve to do a full quilt! For now just little projects!



    http://www.quiltinaday.com/RulerInst...ulerInsWEB.pdf

  22. #22
    Senior Member annmarie's Avatar
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    Thanks sooooo much for the link.

  23. #23
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Now I'm gonna have to look for that EB ruler. I always trim all 4 sides because I like to make sure all of the sides are square. I've been using a regular 6 or 6 1/2" square ruler...but the EB sounds MUCH better!

  24. #24
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    I bought Triangulations 2.0 and LOVE it. Simply measure the size of square you want to end up with, find the matching page and print it out. You get a page full of triangles that are sewed all at once, then trimmed, opened and pressed before removing the paper. Is this cheating? I don't know, but no longer worry about triangles!

    http://www.bearpawproductions.com/triangulations.htm

  25. #25
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    You can trim off the little tabs at the same time you trim the square just by angle cutting the two corners before opening the square. Be sure and read the instruction page because it has all the sizes from 1 in to 6 in. It is just a matter of adding 2 in for each size larger HST you want. 6 in squares for 2 1/2 - 8 in square for 3 1/2.
    I have tried triangulations, it is not as easy as El Burns and no paper. They dont always come out the right size because of imperfect sewing and fabic stretch. I prefer to oversize and trim.

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