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Thread: Begginer Blocks#3 Half & Quarter Square Triangles

  1. #1
    community benefactor ShellyQ's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome, this month we are going to look at the half square triangle and how to make them, using them in a split 9 Patch block, some other ideas and a brief look at quarter square triangles

    Now for exact measurements for cutting half square triangles we need to add 7/8ths of an inch to our finished size square, then cut the square diagonally from corner to corner. There are lots of different ways of making these, some people just cut their squares into triangles and piece accordingly without any trouble. I’m not very good at lining up the points of my triangles and end up with all sorts of interesting variations so I like to sew my seams before I cut the diagonal line, that way I actually have a chance of ending up with something usable lol..

    Another way to make these is to include a trimming allowance when cutting the squares. That is instead of cutting at 4 7/8” you would cut at say 5” then when the half square is completed, trim to 4 1/2”. You can also draw up paper guides or purchase ready made guides.(Thangles, I think they are called.) My personal choice is to cut accurately and draw my guide line directly on the fabric, but if that doesn’t work well for you investigate one of the other methods, the trick is to find what works best for you.

    Fabrics for the Split 9 Patch

    You will need scraps of light and dark, I have used pinks for my lights and blues for my darks.
    In blues cut four of 4 1/2” squares and two of 4 7/8” squares

    In Pinks cut three of 4 1/2” squares and two of 4 7/8” squares (Pic 1)

    These cutting requirements will give you a couple of extra half square units, but is necessary to maintain the scrappy look, your extras are bound to come in handy somewhere else

    This block can also be made in two colours, if you use two colours you will only need to cut one 4 7/8” square in each colour



    Pic 1 Fabrics for Split 9 Patch
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  2. #2
    community benefactor ShellyQ's Avatar
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    Making the Half Square Triangle Units

    On each of your light squares, on the reverse side of the fabric, draw a diagonal line, with a soft pencil or other suitable marker, note: this is not your stitching line as in making sew and flip triangles like we did last month but is you cutting and seam guide line. (Pic 2a,b)



    Pic 2 Mark squares
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  3. #3
    community benefactor ShellyQ's Avatar
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    Match up your light square with a dark square, right sides together. Sew 1/4” either side of the drawn line by lining up the edge of your quarter inch foot on the drawn line. (Pic 3a-d)



    Pic 3 Sew seams
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  4. #4
    community benefactor ShellyQ's Avatar
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    Press lines of stitching to set seam and cut apart

    Lay triangle unit dark side up on the ironing board finger press open, then lightly press with iron, being careful not to distort your finished unit. This will result in the seam allowance being pressed towards the dark fabric. Trim off dog ears and your half square unit is finished.(Pic 4a-f)

    If you are using a lot of these units in a block you may want to press the seam allowance open to reduce bulk, but for the split 9 Patch, pressed to one side will be fine



    Pic 4 Press seams and complete half square units
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  5. #5
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    Assembling the Block

    Lay out all your block pieces as shown (Pic 5)



    Pic 5 Layour for block piecing
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  6. #6
    community benefactor ShellyQ's Avatar
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    Stitch units together in strips. Press seams of top and bottom strips towards center. (A) Press seams of middle strip towards outside edges,(B) so that seams will butt nicely when strips are joined. (Pic 6a,b)



    Pic 6 Press Seams on Strips
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  7. #7
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    Sew strips together as shown (Pic 7)



    Pic 7 Layout of strips
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  8. #8
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    Your finished block Pic 8



    Pic Eight, This time?
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  9. #9
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    This is a very versatile block and can be used in layouts similar to a log cabin. If using it in an allover pattern I would probably make this block in a 9 inch or smaller or you will end up with a really humongous quilt

    Here are a few examples of possibilities.

    Barn Raising



    Barn Raising Layout
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  10. #10
    community benefactor ShellyQ's Avatar
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    Furrows and one I came up with by playing about with the block set :wink:



    Furrows Layout
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    Another Example
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  11. #11
    community benefactor ShellyQ's Avatar
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    I have included a colouring page for this block in PDF, so you can colour, cut apart, have a play and come up with something you like. The possibilities are endless. Have some fun with it :D

    Also below is a down loadable PDF file with the directions for making the Split 9 Patch



    Colouring Page of Split 9 Patch Blocks

    PDF of instructions for Split 9 Patch

  12. #12
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    Using Half Square Triangles to Make Stars

    I am going to show you how to make the Ohio Star using half square triangle units. Now the points in this star are often made using a flying geese unit and these can be made using last months sew and flip method, but because we are working on half square triangles this month, we are going to make the star using these units

    For this star you will need to choose a background fabric (A), a fairly strong colour for your star points (B) and a couple of other colours that work well together for your center 4 Patch (C) (Pic 1)

    From your background fabric cut
    Four of 4 1/2” squares and
    Four of 4 7/8” squares

    From your star point fabric cut
    Four of 4 7/8” squares

    Out of each of your fabrics for the center four patch cut
    Two of 4 1/2” squares



    Pic 1 Fabrics for Ohio Star
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  13. #13
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    Make 8 Half square triangles using your 4 7/8” background and star point squares, as shown for the Split 9 Patch Press seams open for these units, to help reduce bulk (Pic 2a-d)



    Pic 2 Making the Half square triangles
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  14. #14
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    Matching the Points

    We are unable to get a nice butted seam when joining the half square triangle units into pairs, so to get a really good match on the points I find it helpful to machine baste the join.

    Lay the units out in pairs as shown
    Set your machine stitch length much bigger than normal
    Match up the points and sew a 1/4 seam just over the join for a short way.
    Remove from machine and check your join.
    If you are happy with your join reset stitch length and sew seam as normal (Pic 3a-c)
    If you are unhappy with your join, remove basting, adjust placement and re-baste.

    I often use this technique to get a good match at seams and joins, the advantages are that you can open out your units fully to check placement, machine basting is easy to remove and if you like the fit pieces will not shift while piecing once they are machine basted



    Pic 3 Machine Basting the Points
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  15. #15
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    Making the Center 4 Patch

    Stitch your 4 1/2” squares together in pairs, using a 1/4” seam
    Press seam allowances towards the darker colour
    Join the paired units together to form a four patch, butting the center seam to get a smooth join. (Pic 4a-c)



    Pic 4 Make center 4 Patch
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  16. #16
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    Completing the Block

    Layout the units for your block as shown
    Stitch a background square to each end of two of the star point units

    Press the center seam of the star Point units in the opposite direction to the seam in the four patch (Pic 5a,b)



    Pic 5
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  17. #17
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    Stitch the other two point units to either side of the four Patch butting the center seam and ensuring your seam passes over the point where your other two seams meet as shown.(As indicated in red on Pics 6a&b)
    Press seams towards four Patch



    Pic 6a
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    Pic 6b
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  18. #18
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    Sew top and bottom strips to complete the block
    Press finale seams open to help reduce bulk (Pic 7)



    Pic 7
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  19. #19
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    Finished Ohio Star Block Pic 8



  20. #20
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    Ohio Star set with plain blocks as the alternating block



    Ohio Star with plain alternate blocks
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  21. #21
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    Let’s change those plain blocks into snowball blocks, that we learnt to make using the sew and flip method



    Ohio Star with a Snow ball as the alternate block
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  22. #22
    community benefactor ShellyQ's Avatar
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    How about a bit of appliquι in those blank spaces, Look :lol: not hearts this time.

    I've tried to use examples of combinations that we have covered so far, to show just how wide a variety of choices you have available to you for working with your quilts. It really is amazing what can be created with a few simple shapes :P

    Also below is a PDF file with the instructions for making the Ohio Star



    Instructions for Ohio Star in PDF

    Ohio Star with an appliqued snowball as the alternate block
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  23. #23
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    Variable Star

    I am going to briefly cover making a variable Star using quarter square triangle units as these are very similar to half square triangles, just a repeat of a couple of steps really. When cutting squares for quarter square triangles we need to add 1 1/4” inches to our finished size, then cut both ways on the diagonal. We will again be sewing before we cut as in the method used for half square triangles Although I would probably classify this block as intermediate rather than beginner. I think that if you’ve mastered the half square triangles, then a quarter square triangle is very do-able and it’s good to stretch ourselves a wee bit. Don’t be afraid to have a go, if it does all turn to custard, you can always toss it in your scrap bin to use in a crumb block.

    Fabric Requirements

    You will need two color ways that contrast yet work well with each other and a background, I have used pinks and greens

    From the background cut
    Two of 4 7/8” squares and one of 5 1/4” square
    From the dark green cut one of 5 1/4” square
    From the dark pink cut two of 5 1/4” squares
    From your medium green cut two of 4 7/8” squares
    And finally from the light pink cut one of 4 1/2” square
    (Pic 1)



    Pic 1 Fabrics for Variabl Star
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  24. #24
    community benefactor ShellyQ's Avatar
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    Using the 4 7/8” medium green and background squares make four half square triangles as in the previous instructions for Split 9 Patch and Ohio Star (Pic 2)



    Pic 2 Half square unit for corners
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  25. #25
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    Making the Quarter Square units

    On The reverse side of your dark pink 5 1’4” squares mark a line diagonally from corner to corner. Sandwich one of these with the background 5 1/4” square and one with the dark green 5 1/4” square. Sew 1/4” seam on both sides of the line as previously for Half square triangles, Cut apart, press seams towards the dark pink and trim dog ears (Pic3a,b)



    Pic 3 Mark fabrics for sewing
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